Seagate announced that it has bulked up the remainder of its HDD products to 14TB, which should be the last generation of Seagate drives using conventional recording technology. These new drives include the Barracuda Pro for desktop PCs, the IronWolf and IronWolf Pro series for NAS, and the SkyHawk series for surveillance applications. These new HDDs join the already-shipping 14TB Exos X14, which is designed for hyperscale data centers.
These drives use standard PMR (Perpendicular Magnetic Recording), which has been the standard recording technology for nearly a decade. Seagate's next-gen 16TB models will mark the debut of HAMR (Heat Assisted Magnetic Recording) technology, which uses tiny lasers to increase storage density. We'll have to wait for those exciting next-gen models until next year, but the new lineup also represents a nice step forward.
Like most modern HDDs, the new 14TB models all come with a Helium design, which reduces internal turbulence to boost reliability and capacity while reducing weight and power consumption, and eight platters and sixteen heads.
14TB Barracuda Pro
Seagate designed the 14TB Barracuda Pro for desktop PC and direct-attached storage applications. The drive communicates over the SATA 6Gb/s interface and has a maximum sustained transfer rate of 250 MB/s. Seagate backs these 7,2000-RPM drives with a five-year warranty that includes the company's Rescue Data Recovery Services, which provides data recovery services for the first two years. The eight-platter drive features the same power consumption characteristics as Seagate's 12TB drives (4.9W idle, 6.9W active) and comes with a 300TB workload rate limit per year.
All hard drives in the BarraCuda family come equipped with Seagate's Multi-Tier Caching Technology (MTC). This technology boosts HDD performance by applying intelligent layers of NAND, DRAM, or media cache. The desktop models do not use NAND caching, instead relying upon a 256MB DRAM cache and a complimentary media cache, which is a section of fast outer tracks reserved to boost the performance of frequently-accessed data. Seagate rates the Barracuda Pro drives for 300,000 load/unload cycles, which is standard for a desktop-class hard drive.
14TB IronWolf And IronWolf Pro
Seagate's IronWolf drives are designed for NAS applications and come with a more robust feature set than standard desktop models. That includes the company's AgileArray technology, which enables dual-plane balancing technology and RAID optimizations for multi-drive storage devices. The 7,200-RPM 6Gb/s SATA drives also come with RV (Rotational Vibration) sensors that help the drive counteract vibration in multi-bay enclosures and advanced power management features geared for NAS devices.
The standard IronWolf drives come with a three-year warranty and feature a maximum transfer rate of 210 MB/s. These models are designed to be used in groups of one to eight drives and come with a 180TB/year workload rating, which is surprisingly less than the Barracuda Pro desktop models (300TB/year). However, these drives are tailored for the frequent spin-up/spin-down environments found in a NAS and have a much higher 600,000 load/unload cycle rating. The drives also come with a 256MB DRAM cache and draw slightly more power than their 12TB counterparts with a 5.3W/7.9W idle/active rating (0.3W/0.1W increase, respectively).
The IronWolf Pro models step up to a five-year warranty that includes two years of Seagate's data recovery service. Seagate designed the Pro models to operate in groups of up to 24 drives, and they come with a more robust 300TB/year workload rating. They also offer up to 250MB/s of throughput and come with a 256MB DRAM cache. The Pro drives have the same power consumption rating as the standard IronWolf models.
The drives also mark the debut of TDMR (Two-Dimensional Magnetic Recording) in Seagate drives. TDMR uses two read elements in the drive head to improve accuracy, thus increasing storage density by using narrower tracks. The technology allowed Seagate to improve from an areal density of 923 Gb/in2 to 1077 GB/in2.
All of Seagate's new HDDs begin shipping today, but the company hasn't shared pricing specifics. We will update as they become available.