While SSDs are more easily scalable, hard drives are more limited in capacity because of the way they work and their technology constraints. Despite this, companies are still working to offer greater capacity in the HDD, and that ends with the new model of 14 TB of Western Digital.
Following its official announcement along with the launch of the 12 TB drive last December, Western Digital recently announced the launch of the 14TB drive called HGST Ultrastar Hs14. This hard drive uses HelioSeal technology, which replaces the air inside the hard disk with helium, which is 7 times less dense than air. The lower density gives you more reliability and speed. When sealed, they are also protected from environmental wear and the carbon that damages hard drives.
To increase capacity, Western Digital makes use of second-generation SMR (Shingled Magnetic Recording) technology. With this, it provides a greater energy efficiency, key in the servers where these type of units are deployed. At rest it has a consumption of 5.2 watts, and 6.4 watts in use. This results in a 60% reduction in the wattage per GB ratio compared to an 8TB air unit.
In the business sector the reliability is important, reason why these units endure an average of 2.5 million hours without failures (MTBF). That equals 285 years in a row. As a result, helium hard disks continue to grow in business and servers, and currently represent just over 70% of the units shipped by WD to its buyers.
The hard disk is offered in SATA (6 Gbps) and SAS (12 Gbps) format. It has a buffer of 512 MB, and a maximum transfer speed of 233 MB/s. The warranty is for 5 years. The company has not disclosed the availability and the price. The 10TB version is worth about 600 euros, so it could easily go up to 700 euros.
The industry is having a hard time reaching storage capacities greater than 10, 12 and 14 TB. The limit for the current technology with helium is around 16 TB. However, Seagate says that in 2018 they will be launching an 18-TB hard drive. At the moment, the maximum capacity of the market is found in the 14 TB.