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Toshiba MK01GRRB/R 2.5-inch 6Gb/s SAS 15,000 RPM Enterprise HDD Review - Final Thoughts

Toshiba's MK1401GRRB comes in a compact 2.5-inch form factor, yet provides tremendous power and capacity at 15,000 RPM. We take a closer look at Toshiba's flagship 2.5-inch enterprise HDD.

By: | HDDs in IT/Datacenter | Posted: Oct 4, 2012 4:46 pm
TweakTown Rating: 92%Manufacturer: Toshiba

Final Thoughts




The need for storage capacity in the datacenter is multiplying daily. Larger and larger volumes are becoming available to meet the capacity needs, but smaller and faster devices are needed to deliver performance objectives and deliver on density. The size of the datacenter is growing, and with growth comes efficiency challenges that need addressing.


With each generation of datacenters demanding more floor space, it is becoming increasingly harder to deliver on efficiency. With lower power requirements per IOPS than their larger brethren, the 2.5" HDDs can also help to lower the power threshold. Moving from 3.5" HDDs to 2.5" can cut energy usage by up to 1/3, and drastically reduce the power needed for cooling as well.


Through utilizing smaller form factors, more performance can be crammed into smaller spaces. Utilizing faster HDDs such as the Toshiba MK1401GRRB in caching and tiering models allows for a more efficient use of rack space. Optimizing the entire storage pool with strategically placed tiers of performance-oriented HDDs can deliver big for those facing workload challenges.


Increasing the amount of IOPS provided to the server itself, especially in virtualized environments, allows for a much higher utilization of the CPUs. This leads to a higher ROI and lower TCO, with fewer servers needed for the same workloads. This can also help to reduce floor space, as getting more from the currently deployed servers alleviates the need for more infrastructure.


Toshiba stands behind their product with a full five year warranty, providing a promise of reliability. Sporting the 6GB/s SAS specification provides enterprise-class features, and allows for longer cabling. A 32MB cache buffer provides consistent performance, and helps alleviate performance hills and valleys.


2.5"HDDs are available at prices that are up to eight times lower than comparable capacity enterprise SSDs, which keeps them competitive. The MK01GRRB series of HDDs are at several retailers at reasonable pricing.


Utilization of the MK1401GRRB in RAID arrays can provide high performance in a dense package. We are currently testing eight Toshiba MK1401 HDDs to be utilized in a series of articles that explore the performance of different enterprise software caching and tiering solutions. We will also be posting a product evaluation with the MK1401GRRB's in different RAID configurations in the coming days.


The 15K 2.5" HDD sector is thriving, more so than many expected with the advent of SSDs and their introduction into the enterprise. The future holds these two solutions as complimentary to each other. As the need for datacenter storage continues to grow, 2.5" HDDs such as the Toshiba MK1401GRRB will be there to face the challenges, packing a big punch in a small package.



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