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HGST Ultrastar Helium 6TB Enterprise Hard Drive Review Discussion

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#1 Brian

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 05:01 PM

 

The HGST Helium hard drives provide a new option when it comes to dealing with the sheer volume of data being accumulated. The Helium drives have a wide range of use cases and don't drop off from current 4TB drives in terms of performance. Couple this with a strong TCO argument and the 6TB Heliums will find their way into many data centers.  

 
HGST Ultrastar Helium 6TB Enterprise Hard Drive Review
 

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#2 unityole

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 07:29 PM

nice review storagereview!  the sequential could be higher but imo it is already very good.  it would be nice if you could also show the lowest performance on the platter as well when drive reaches full.  HD Tune is perfect tool for this.

 

everything else, if this falls below 400 mark I'd buy a few.. if that ever happens.


#3 continuum

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 01:49 PM

w00t, finally a review!

 

Premium pricing, but for a brand-new top capacity product, not surprised... will have to see what Seagate and Toshiba come up with!


#4 [ETA]MrSpadge

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 04:57 PM

It will be interesting to see how they can scale this technology. Using whatever technology the M9T uses should be good for ~1.33 TB per platter at 5.4k rpm in the 3.5" form factor. With 7 of these platters we'd already be at 10 TB!

 

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#5 Brian

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 07:17 AM

It's not official of course but we're told by multiple sources 8TB is the next step.

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#6 fallbreak

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 11:58 AM

Really the next step should be 6TB with Air.


#7 Brian

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 03:52 PM

You'll see that very soon but it's not going to be from HGST. HGST decided to commit to sealed drive technology, which may or may not work out for them, remains to be seen. Kind of a gamble today, but for next gen drives, they'll have an advantage at 7K.


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#8 jtsn

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 06:09 PM

The He6 is much quieter than its air-filled brethren, including the Ultrastar 7K4000, which boasts 2.9 bels when idling compared to the He6's 2 bels. Besides being quieter the drive also uses substantially less power than the older 5-platter 7K4000. In our tests we measured idle active power rates of 5.56 watts on the He6 HDD, while the older drive consumed 7.68 watts.

 

Impressive! Didn't expect, that these drives are so silent. Seems the He6 is the first real "green" hard drive.  :)

 

everything else, if this falls below 400 mark I'd buy a few.. if that ever happens.

 

Helium itself is very expensive, so i doubt these parts will ever reach the pricing of their air-filled counterparts. But this is not the only problem. For over $800 you can get almost 2 TB of solid state storage already, and that has such a huge power consumption, performance and reliability advantage, that may completely outweigh the extra cost. In a few years (before 2020) hard drives will lose this race...


#9 Kevin OBrien

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 10:58 PM

Hard drives aren't going anywhere, especially in the timeframe of 6 years, let alone longer. Right now NAND shipments are a drop in the bucket in worldwide production compared to the storage found on traditional spinning platter storage. 

 

Now the type of hard drives will evolve, but in terms of $/GB HDD has and will for a long time into the future have a huge cost advantage. The part that is always tricky to realize is while HDDs are shrinking out of view from consumers as most mobile devices turn to flash for speed and portability, there is a ton of storage making up "the cloud" that products like these have to serve up.


#10 [ETA]MrSpadge

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Posted 29 March 2014 - 05:42 AM



Helium itself is very expensive, so i doubt these parts will ever reach the pricing of their air-filled counterparts. But this is not the only problem. For over $800 you can get almost 2 TB of solid state storage already, and that has such a huge power consumption, performance and reliability advantage, that may completely outweigh the extra cost. In a few years (before 2020) hard drives will lose this race...

 

He is surprisingly expensive for a gas.. but we're still talking about less than 10€/l of liquid He. That's an enormous gas volume, and you don't have to fill that much volume per drive. Just consider those He-filled balloons - they're not that expensive. And when talking about HDD pricing (and comparing to flash) you always have to keep in mind that these do not neccessarily reflect real production costs. Especially once you put an "Enterprise" sticker on anything it magically costs 2 or 3 times as much.

 

Before the flood my company was able to buy standard 1-platter 500 GB drives for 17€. That included some massive discount, but the manufacturer and the OEM we were purchasing from still made some money on that deal (otherwise they would not have offered it). And adding a few platters doesn't make an HDD all that much more expensive.

 

Bottom line: when you're paying a few 100€ for some high capacity enterprise drive you're not really paying for the manufacturing, but rather for "what the product can do for you". There's plenty of room at the bottom for HDD pricing, altough actually offering those prices for everyone would leave them without any profit margin to put towards research & development. Hence they won't unless they'd be forced to do so by some competing technology.

 

MrS


#11 fallbreak

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Posted 29 March 2014 - 08:49 AM

Yes, I am aware that Seagate is pushing the 6TB Air (maybe they really should call it that..haha) since the CEO promised it in the last investor call.

He is used in many environments for HDD production (seal checks, etc..) and lots of it is used for assisted servo track writing. Not everywhere and not by everyone but the companies know the price, availability and handling of this gas very well.

 

Yes, the He drives are supposed to be overall quieter. The air turbulence inside drive which generates the majority of the noise floor just isn't there, He is so much lighter. However you might hear icky pure tones better or more distinct. Anyway, acoustics should not be a problem and a benefit that comes for free. I don't know the design exactly, but the 2nd cover welded on the top gives some extra protection as well.

 

Most interesting for me is the long term reliability of these drives. And not just that He will leak out slowly.

 

As for the HDD industry, I think it is great such technology is finally applied and actual available drives exist, it is a bold step for them to go He. 

 

Ad for the storage industry, we will see ow they will be able to address the clould's 'cold storage' demand. Cheap, slow, power saving, huge capacities. He drives are certainly in the opposite direction.


#12 GeoPet

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Posted 29 March 2014 - 12:48 PM

I would worry about these floating away...


#13 Mickey

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 09:27 AM

No doubt HGST has invested a huge amount of R&D money into developing this product, so they're going to want and need to recover it as part of setting the price on this drive. The bulk of the cost of producing this drive isn't the price of the He itself, but it's in the tech needed to keep it sealed inside over the life of the drive. But if going to He is what it takes to achieve a particular areal density point, that's what you do, when balancing cost, time-to-market, and other concerns.


#14 Brian

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 09:58 AM

All the drive guys have engineering expense, that is just part of doing business, they won't try to recapture expense from a particular platform on that platform. They're priced the way they are more due to market forces. All the drive guys have played with sealed drives over the last 10 years, maybe more. HGST is just the only one who's decided it's viable to bring them to market.


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