Spinning plates
In the Cloud

Ultrastar® 7K6: More Data, Fewer Disks

Western Digital eliminates platters to deliver better value!

Even with Western Digital’s advancements in the SSD business, we remain committed to the value we can deliver with drives based on spinning media.

Ultrastar 7K6 hard disk driveOur latest enterprise-class hard disk drive, the Ultrastar 7K6, leverages improved areal density to provide the same capacity as the previous generation drives using fewer components.

This is to solve a very different problem than we addressed with HDDs like our HelioSeal® Ultrastar He12, 12TB PMR drive for data centers. In that case, it was all about the maximum capacity available, so for the He12 and the SMR-based Hs14, we actually added the 8th disk to pack as many terabytes as possible into the standard 3.5” form factor. This segment of the market cherishes capacity density, with its corresponding $/TB and TCO benefits, and the capability to keep up with exponential data growth.

The Ultrastar 7K6 is an air-based drive that addresses the mid-range capacity enterprise segment, and allows our customers to provide a range of system options and price points to better serve their traditional IT customers. By delivering 6TB[1] on four disks, versus the previous generation’s five disks, the 7K6 provides the same capacity with fewer disks and heads, thereby ultimately providing better value as our most cost-effective enterprise drive on a units basis.

Traditional IT environments differ from Hyperscale cloud data centers in that they typically use RAID for data redundancy vs. erasure coding. RAID systems perform better with smaller capacity drives, which are a great fit for the 6TB and 4TB capacities offered with the Ultrastar 7K6.

Ultrastar 7K6 Use Case: Apache Hadoop® for Big Data Analytics

An emerging use case for smaller capacity drives is Hadoop, an open-source computing environment popular for data analytics. This is a cost-effective, distributed and scalable architecture that is a great fit for the capacity and capabilities of the 7K6.

Whether it is an on-premise data center with a RAID storage system, a Hadoop cluster for Big Data analytics, or a department or SMB server, the applications and use cases for mid-range capacity enterprise drives remain an important segment of the market.

Western Digital is committed to providing the right solutions at the right time for a range of storage requirements, and the Ultrastar 7K6, with 6TB and 4TB capacity points, is the latest example of that commitment.

Learn more about the Ultrastar 7K6.

[1] One GB is equal to one billion bytes, and one TB equals 1,000GB (one trillion bytes) when referring to hard drive capacity. Accessible capacity will vary from the stated capacity due to formatting and partitioning of the hard drive, the computer’s operating system, and other factors.

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Lenny Sharp is responsible for planning and management of WDC’s enterprise HDD product line. He has over 30 years of experience in high technology marketing and product management including 10 years at WDC. His product marketing experience encompasses systems, storage, semiconductors and software at companies including Dell, Maxtor, Philips and Thomson. He has a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Western Governor’s University.

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