Hard drives are, expectedly, becoming relegated to lower cost and lower performance roles in the data center. The Western Digital HGST Ultrastar Hs14 is a new helium-filled 14TB hard drive that exemplifies this shift. With either SATA III or SAS 3 interfaces, the hard drives are limited to 223 MB/s or 233 MB/s in the best case scenarios. SSDs are now larger in capacity, more reliable, and significantly faster. The problem is, SSDs cost a lot more than traditional hard drives and there is a NAND shortage. As a result, we are not going to see disk-based storage go away anytime soon. That trend, optimizing for cost/ capacity, is a key driver as to why we see new drives like the Western Digital HGST Ultrastar Hs14. Intel Xeon Gold 5218
Western Digital HGST Ultrastar Hs14 Key Specs
We wanted to highlight a few key specs of the Western Digital HGST Ultrastar Hs14 since they are worth mentioning. First, the drives have a MTBF of 2.5 million hours and a 5-year warranty. We do not expect many of these drives are going to be purchased from a retailer, so it is more than likely that the system vendor’s support model will apply.
The disks are SMR. As drives have gotten bigger, shingled magnetic recording, or SMR, has become a key technology. Larger data centers and systems providers want to manage the SMR process which adds a twist. We are pulling this quote directly from the press release:
“Host-managed SMR hard drives are designed specifically for sequential write environments, and will not work as drop-in replacements for traditional capacity enterprise drives.” (emphasis added)
Although these are enterprise drives, you need a system that can manage them so do not expect to use the drives in a lower-end NAS unit. At the same time, those using 14TB capacity drives are using them in engineered systems that provide host-managed SMR so this is not an issue. It also shows that why we are seeing QLC in the data center as every time flash can overcome a cost obstacle it enters a new market of competition against hard drives that are having issues scaling.
Here is the official spec table:
You can learn more about the drives on the product page.