Another year, another hard drive capacity. 2018 can now boast it was the year of the 15TB hard drive as the HGST Ultrastar DC HC620 15TB launched. HGST is quick to note that this is now the highest capacity hard drive on the market. If you have a 67 drive or more 4U disk shelf, you can now put 1PB of storage in 4U. For the higher-end 102/104 drive 4U solutions, that is over 1.5PB per 4U or almost 400TB per U.
HGST Ultrastar DC HC620 15TB and 14TB drives
The HGST Ultrastar DC HC620 15TB and 14TB drives come in both SATA III 6.0gbps and SAS3 12.0gbps interfaces. Each drive is spec’d to hit around 230MB/s and have 512MB of RAM. The WD/ HGST team is able to achieve this density and speed using 8x 1.75TB / 1.875TB platters rotating at 7200rpm. Like most high-capacity drives today, the HGST Ultrastar DC HC620 is a helium-filled drive.
Before you get too excited about these drives, remember that they are host managed SMR. SMR means that data is recorded in a “shingled” fashion. This is generally good for high density, low usage/ or low random access use cases like backups and archival storage. Host-managed means that the systems that these drives will go into will have to manage the SMR recording and performance across a pool of devices.
What this practically means is that these are not the general purpose drives you will want for your virtualization and main application servers. On the other hand, your next array from a large vendor may utilize these 15TB hard drives.
HGST Ultrastar DC HC620 Key Specs
Here are the key specs for the HGST Ultrastar DC HC620 15TB and 14TB drives:
As a quick note, the 14TB drive is the same as the previous generation HGST Ultrastar HS14 14TB drive. HGST is doing a bit of rebranding here.