With our need for data growing at an amazing pace, vendors have been experimenting with new technologies to grow the number of tracks per inch or areal density on a single disk. In traditional hard drives, the track size has been controlled by the size of the read and write elements within the recording head. In modern perpendicular recording, a physical limit has been reached where tracks can no longer shrink without the addition of new hard drive technology.
Since late 2013, Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR) has been promising us higher drive densities. Seagate with SMR is doing this by squeezing tracks together in a shingled pattern allowing more data to be written in the same space. As data is being wrote on SMR drives, tracks are shingled and with the reader element being smaller than the writer element, these trimmed tracks can be read without compromise to the data integrity.
With that being said, the writer is wider than the trimmed track, so when data needs to be rewritten or updated, SMR drives will need to pick up the data requested along with data on the following tracks and write that at a later time. When the data is then rewritten, the drive will then have to correct all data in the next track all the way to the end of the drive. With Seagate's SMR technology they have placed these tracks into bands that better manage rewrites by optimizing the number of tracks that will need to be rewritten.
The ST8000AS0002 is one of three capacities released from Seagate offering SMR technology. This solution features 8TB of storage capacity engineered for 24/7 workloads of 180TB per year. Adding to this, the Seagate Archive is designed to be a low cost per GB solution featuring 1.3TB platters and a SATA 6Gb/s interface that has the capability to optimize burst drive performance.
The specification sheet taken from Seagate's website shows three Archive HDD models ranging from 5TB to 8TB. 128MB of multisegmented cache starts things off, while average data rate comes in at 150 MB/s. The maximum sustained data rate for the 8TB solution we are looking at touched 190 MB/s with its 12 head 6 platter design. Load/Unload cycles have been rated at 300,000 while carrying a MTBF of 800 thousand hours. Power management is yet another area of focus for the Archive HDD, where typical operating power consumption is listed at 7.5 watts with just 5 watts at idle.
The Seagate Archive HDD in the 8TB capacity carries an MSRP of $259.99 with a three-year warranty.
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