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Seagate Enterprise Performance 15K HDD v5 600GB HDD Review

By: Paul Alcorn | HDDs in IT/Datacenter | Posted: Dec 17, 2014 2:17 pm
TweakTown Rating: 93%Manufacturer: Seagate

Final Thoughts




3.5" 15K models are being phased out of production, and thus in the datacenter as well, which turns attention to nimble 2.5" 15K offerings. Flash is increasingly leveraged for high-performance tiers, but the need for performance hard disk drives remains. Flash is an attractive solution for many workloads, but the economics are not the right fit for every deployment. Many environments prioritize high-availability features over bleeding-edge flash performance, and the performance HDD segment (10K, 15K) employs the venerable SAS connection. The majority of value-centric SSDs are SATA, and thus lack high availability features. SAS SSDs can step in and offer high availability features, along with tremendous performance, but they continue to command a premium in comparison to the performance HDD segment. Value-centric SSDs, in both SAS and SATA flavors, often do not meet endurance requirements for write-heavy applications. These applications require durable SSDs to address endurance concerns, but these fall into a higher price bracket as well.


Truth be told, not every workload requires the ultimate in performance. The key is to address performance challenges with cost-effective solutions right-sized for the application at hand. 15K HDDs serve a valuable position as a fast front-end for large working datasets, and provide plenty of performance for the majority of workloads. Complimentary technologies, such as caching algorithms and tiered storage hierarchies, can address more demanding performance challenges.


The chasm between HDDs and flash storage has left many in an either/or position. Seagate's inclusion of SSHD models into the 15K segment offers an intermediary product between flash and typical rotating media, and SSHDs are not as limited by endurance concerns. The intelligent caching algorithms work independently to provide seamless acceleration that requires no management or optimization. This eases deployment by reducing complexity associated with caching/tiering software and speeding qualification cycles.


The Seagate Enterprise Performance 15K HDD v5 performed well in many of the key testing attributes for a performance HDD. The 15K v5 displayed a propensity for 4k and 8k random write workloads, which suits it well for deployment into transactional workloads. The small mixed random read testing results trailed the other drives slightly, but analysis of our mixed workload testing revealed excellent performance as we mixed in more write activity, and the 15K v5 took the win in the majority of mixed workloads. Our Latency v IOPS tests also revealed excellent latency performance in mixed workloads.


A surprisingly impressive aspect of the Enterprise Performance 15K v5 came in sequential workloads. We expect blistering performance in random workloads from 15k drives, but the Enterprise Performance 15K v5 blew away the competition in both sequential read and write workloads by a large margin. This enhanced performance bodes well for numerous workloads that lean heavily on sequential performance. As we turned to mixed sequential workloads, Seagate also chalked up another big win with leading performance during every category of the test.


We noted a rough increase of 1W in power consumption, but considering the large boost in capacity (3X the Savvio 15K.3) the small increase is more than acceptable. On a watt-per-GB basis in the 15K segment the Enterprise Performance 15K v5 leads the pack. Seagate infused a slew of refined and mature Seagate proprietary technologies into their latest high-performance offering. With enhanced density and a big jump in performance, the Seagate Enterprise Performance 15K v5 wins the TweakTown Best Performance Award.

Product Summary Breakdown

TweakTown award
Performance (including Overclocking w/a)96%
Quality, Design, Build and Warranty94%
General Features94%
Performance Consistency90%
Power Consumption and Efficiency93%
Overall TweakTown Rating93%

The Bottom Line: Seagate's Enterprise Performance 15K v5 adds in more performance for random workloads, along with a huge boost in every aspect of sequential performance. The 15K v5 also makes big gains in Watts-per-GB metrics, and features a mature and robust feature set.

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