Western Digital launch 14TB HDD

SSDs are quicker, are growing in popularity and are viewed - amongst those with an interest in technology, at least – as being significantly sexier than HDDs. So much so, that some have predicted that SSDs are to HDDs what Netflix is to DVDs or, perhaps more accurately, what DVDs where to VHS: a superior piece of technology that will render its competitor obsolete. With the emergence of big data, cold storage and cloud computing, though, the HDD has found itself markets within which its significantly superior cost to storage ratio makes it a more practical option than flash-based storage media.

Additionally, manufacturers quickly recognised that, in order to corner this new market, they’d need to ensure that they consolidate their unique selling point and endeavoured to create drives with greater and greater storage capacities – and Western Digital’s latest offering is a great example of this.

Boasting a storage capacity of 14TBs, the highest capacity HDD to utilise conventional magnetic recording in history, the Ultrastar DC HC530 is something that you’re unlikely to find in off-the-shelf laptops or desktops, but is, instead, certain to prove popular with enterprise consumers and data centres. Well, that’s what Western Digital are hoping for, anyway.

Brendan Collins, Western Digital’s vice president of marketing stated that, with the company’s enterprise customers demanding drives that combine exceptional reliability with high storage capacity and density, this development and Western Digital’s history of producing reliable drives of high-quality, will galvanise their position as the trusted manufacturer for “cloud providers, Internet giants and OEMs around the world.”

The drive utilises Western Digital’s patented Helioseal technology where the drives casing is filled with helium and hermetically sealed. This creates an atmosphere with less resistance meaning that greater storage density can be achieve within the same space.

Additionally, the DC HC530 offers eight 3.5 inch platters, TDMR heads with two readers (resulting in more predictable read performance) and dual stage microactuators which make the drive less likely to suffer damage due to vibration. Each drive also comes with a five-year warranty.

As the Ultrastar DC HC530 uses conventional magnetic recording, it’s running costs are similar to drives with lower storage capacities making it an ideal piece of storage media for large data centres whose profitability is reliant upon them being able to store as much data as possible whilst keeping their running costs to a minimum.

The Ultrastar DC HC530 is currently being shipped to select customers and will go on general sale in the second half of 2018.