Seagate on Thursday officially unveiled its Exos X18 hard drives that have been shipping to select customers for a while. The new drives are designed for hyperscalers, datacenters, and enterprise NAS systems that require maximum capacity, reliability, and 24/7 availability.
The Seagate Exos X18 is the company’s 5th generation family of helium-filled 3.5-inch hard drives with a 7200 RPM spindle speed. The HDDs can store 16TB or 18TB of data using eight or nine platters. The HDDs rely on conventional magnetic recording to ensure predictable write performance. Being aimed at various customers with different servers, the Exos X18 may use a SATA or SAS interface as well as 512e or 4KN formatting. The SATA version features an average power consumption of 5.3W, whereas the SAS version consumes 5.8W.
On the performance side of matters, Seagate rates its Exos X 18TB HDDs for a 270MB/s sustained data rate and also says that the new drives offer increased random reads/write input/output operations per second (IOPS) than previous generations of hard drives.
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18TB for enterprises and hyperscalers
Since HDDs in datacenters work in multi-bay racks, a highly-vibrating environment, so Seagate’s Exos HDDs come with numerous reliability features, including a dual-attached motor and RV sensors to guarantee stable and predictable performance. As for endurance, the manufacturer rates its Exos HDDs for up to 550TB/year workload over a period of five years.
Hard drives featuring a 18TB capacity enable companies to store up to 4320TB of data in a single standard rack (240 drives), up 11.1% when compared to 16TB HDDs. Hyperscalers who use extremely-dense 4U servers with about 100 3.5-inch HDDs inside can now store up to 1800TB per box or a whopping 18PB (petabytes per rack). Owners of cloud datacenters are always inclined to increase their capacities per watt and per square meter, so they appreciate high-capacity HDDs.
The Seagate Exos X18 HDD is now available from retailers and resellers for an MSRP of $561.75, which is slightly lower when compared to the $599 price of the drive that transpired last month. At $32 per terabyte, the Exos X18 is not the cheapest hard drive on per-TB basis, but its main selling point is its extreme capacity that allows to maximize storage capacity per rack and therefore per datacenter.
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Anton Shilov is the News Editor at AnandTech, Inc. For more than four years, he has been writing for magazines and websites such as AnandTech, TechRadar, Tom's Guide, Kit Guru, EE Times, Tech & Learning, EE Times Asia, Design & Reuse.