Seagate launches enterprise hybrid drives

enterprise-turbo-composite-hero-313x313Seagate has upped the ante in the enterprise hard drive market with a new range of hybrids (SSHDs) designed to meet the needs of server makers. Until now, vendors had a choice of speedy 15,000rpm mechanical drives or pricey SSDs, both of which had their drawbacks.

Seagate’s new Enterprise Turbo drives aim to deliver the best of both worlds. The flagship 3.5-inch 600GB drive features a spindle speed of 15,000rpm, but it also has 32GB of flash cache.

Seagate says it should cost just a bit more than a 2.5-inch 15,000rpm drive, but it should be up to three times faster than a plain 3.5-inch 15,000rpm drive.

“Typically the most demanding mission critical applications for 15K drives have improved performance by compromising on capacity and cost per GB,” said Rocky Pimentel, Seagate executive vice president and chief sales and marketing officer.

Seagate already put the new drive through its paces, as it spent the better part of a year testing enterprise SSHDs in IBM System x servers. The tests revealed that a 10,000rpm SSHD boasts IOPS over two times greater than a standard 10,000rpm drive. Seagate claims Enterprise Turbo SSHDs deliver a threefold random performance improvement over HDDs in mission critical tasks, while the price remains similar.

Seagate says the new drives will ship in capacities of up to 600GB and the prices should be comparable to regular hard drives, but we still don’t know the specifics. In any case the first drives are already shipping to vendors and resellers, so the exact numbers should be out soon.