While many see the future of data storage being with some kind of solid state media, Seagate is continuing to work on HDDs and develop ways to improve them. At OCP the company announced the capabilities of its HAMR and MACH.2 technologies which together can offer greater speed and reliability than previous hard drives.
The HAMR acronym stands for Heat-Assisted Magnetic Recording, which means it will actually heat up the section of the hard drive it intends to write data to. Testing this method's reliability, Seagate found it could far exceed the requirements of its enterprise customers. The industry standard requires a hard drive to be able to reliably transfer some 2750 TB over a five year period, which would translate to 152 TB per head, for a drive with 18 heads. By having a single HAMR head read and write for 6000 hours, Seagate was able to achieve 3.2 PB, petabytes of reliable data transfer, which is 20 times that specification.
Also announced was the MACH.2 Multi-Actuator technology, which Seagate showed being capable of 480 MB/s sustained throughput. This is the fastest throughput achieved for a single hard drive. What MACH.2 enables is a doubling of IOPS performance as it uses a pair of independent actuators for transferring data to its host computer concurrently. Combined with HAMR, Seagate is hoping to offer fast and very reliable hard drives to its customers in the near future, and it is already supplying some drives to customers for testing purposes.
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