Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR) and Heat-Assisted Magnetic Recording (HAMR) are slated for rollout from HGST in the future. We are already witnessing SMR drives in the wild from Seagate, so there is a definite future for the technology from both major HDD manufacturers.
HelioSeal Technology is forward compatible with both of these emerging technologies. By positioning the He6 platform as complimentary to other density-increasing technologies, it certainly will not be long before we see HDD's with even more density on the market.
There will be a slightly higher acquisition cost for Helium-infused HDD's, thought he numbers aren't being officially disclosed yet. The incremental cost increase is easily offset by the tremendous TCO reduction noted it the chart above. Much like purchasing a hybrid vehicle, the higher acquisition cost will be more than worth it in the end.
One of the immediate use-cases is for organizations that have very limited environments for their datacenter. This is especially pertinent in metropolitan areas, where the datacenter is beset by floor space, floor loading, power, and cooling limitations. All of these challenges are addressed with a slip-in solution that is compatible with existing infrastructure.
The advantages of a 6TB He6 are clear in comparison to the existing 4TB drives.
Looking at the advantages in a single rack, we can observe the driver behind the TCO reduction. Not only are there big power saving in each drive, on a per-rack basis we begin to see those savings multiply. We also note the reduction of space required to accomplish the same task.
Another unseen advantage is the reduction of cabling, enclosures, and entire racks when we zoom out to hyperscale architecture.