Every time more terabytes are added to a hard drive, data centers rejoice as it means they can fit more storage into their already packed to bursting server farms. So Western Digital shipping the world's first 14 terabyte hard drive will be music to their ears. But it's not just more storage these drives offer, it's power saving, too.
Offered under Western Digital's HGST brand, the helium-filled Ultrastar Hs14 promises 60 percent lower idle power use per terabyte when compared to the 8TB air-filled drives that are common today. It's also available in two formats: SATA and Serial Attached SCSI (SAS). Both types can achieve a sustained transfer rate of 223MiB/s and are rated at 2.5 million hours (Mean Time Between Failures) backed up by a five year warranty.
Western Digital has helium to thank for achieving such a high capacity drive. The less dense atmosphere inside the sealed drive allows for more precise read/write mechanisms, more platters to be stacked, and for those platters to spin more easily meaning less power is required to do so.
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For now, the 14TB hard drive is aimed squarely at the enterprise user and will make its way into data centers for big data, cloud storage, and the ever growing pile of content posted on social networks and video sites such as YouTube. But where the enterprise goes consumer products will surely follow. Eventually we'll get a 14TB drive suitable for your PC and home NAS. By then, the enterprise will be turning its attention to 16TB and even 20TB drives.
If you're thinking these huge hard drives are managing to keep mechanical drives ahead of SSDs, think again. Seagate already showed off a 60TB SSD earlier this year. The drive's one big disadvantage being the huge price it would inevitably command if released today.