HGST was formed in 2003 and became a wholly owned subsidiary of Western Digital in 2012. HGST still operates somewhat independently and maintains its U.S. headquarters in San Jose. While the two entities operate separately, HGST brings many benefits to the table and recent acquisitions of sTec and VeloBit have fallen under the HGST umbrella to solidify their existing market position in flash solutions. HGST also brings great HDD experience and expertise to the table, as evidenced by our test results of the Ultrastar 7K4000.
In our testing, the HGST Ultrastar 7K4000 excelled at all of our mixed read/write testing, easily besting the competition in these areas. Even in the more 'vanilla' pure read and write workloads, the HGST drive pulled ahead of the competition, posting leading results in the 4K and 8K random workloads.
In sequential data access, the HGST 7K4000 trailed the Seagate V.6 by a slim margin in our 128K sequential read/write testing, but the 7K4000 again dominated the mixed workload. In actual deployment, this class-leading performance in mixed read/write workloads will prove beneficial to the majority of workloads. This same performance led to excellent performance in our server emulations, which all feature mixed workloads.
Another bright spot for the 7K4000 came in our power testing. With frugal power consumption and excellent performance metrics, the 7K4000 exhibited superb IOPS to Watts performance metrics in the majority of our workloads. In our Email and Fileserver tests, the HGST Ultrastar 7K4000 provided simply dominating performance in comparison to other 3.5" 7,200 RPM HDD's.
The choice of five different Advanced Power Management modes also offers many opportunities for optimized power consumption, and the excellent sleep and standby power characteristics address a critical need in cold data storage environments. The impact of lower power consumption and higher performance per Watt on TCO simply cannot be overstated.
One area that the Ultrastar 7K4000 struggled in comparison to the other entrants was in latency measurements. In 100% write 4K and 8K random workloads, the HDD experienced a distribution that fell behind the competing HDDs. In our mixed workloads, the HGST 7K4000 provided a more consistent latency range, albeit at a higher range than the comparison HDD's.
Overall, there is a delicate balance of a number of factors to take into consideration. Reliability, performance, latency and power consumption are all factors to weigh when choosing the correct solution for the workload. With a five year warranty and a class-leading MTBF of two million hours, well above competing solutions, HGST Ultrastar 7K4000 easily cinches the reliability category.
It is not often that we have to adjust the scale of the charts higher for the same class of device to allow a new entry to 'fit' into the picture, but with the HGST Ultrastar 7K4000, we had to adjust both our performance and IOPS to Watts charts to accommodate the outstanding performance of the 7K4000. This is the signature of an excellent solution, and the excellent mixture of performance, power and reliability wins the HGST Ultrastar 7K4000 the TweakTown Editor's Choice Award.