Toshiba Eyes Cloud Data Centers with 6TB HDD

By Pedro Hernandez

Toshiba is going after the workloads of today's storage-hungry cloud data centers with a new 6 terabyte (TB) version of the company's MC04 series hard disk drives (HDD).

Launched last year, Toshiba's enterprise-grade MC04 HDDs are designed for servers and storage arrays. The 3.5-inch drives spin at 7,200 RPM and feature a SATA 6 gigabit per second interface.

"Today's cloud-based infrastructures require cost-effective, increased storage capacity," said Scott Wright, director of disk drive product marketing at Toshiba Storage Products Business Unit, in a statement. "With up to 6TB capacity and 7,200 RPM performance, the Toshiba MC04 Series delivers an optimized balance of enterprise capacity, workload, and performance required by our customers' high data growth cloud use-cases."

Toshiba, as it turns out, is already a fixture in many cloud data centers, Wright told InfoStor.

"Toshiba is shipping Cloud-class capacity optimized HDDs today to a variety of scale-out data center customers," he said. "In general, such use cases are aimed at cooler data tiers of scale-out object storage, typically referred to as 'warm storage.'"

The new 6 TB model offers a 20 percent bump in capacity over the former top-of-the-line 5 TB version. Toshiba MC04 drives are also available in 2 TB, 3 TB and 4 TB capacities. The 6 TB version also delivers a 20 percent improvement in TB per watt measurements, the company claimed. The company's Advanced Format sector tech, helps the drives' platters achieve a higher aerial density, which translates into HDDs that can accommodate more data.

The announcement follows the March debut of the electronics giant's AL13SX series of 2.5-inch enterprise HDDs. Sporting a 12 gigabit per second serial-attached SCSI (SAS) interface and rotating at 15,000 RPM, the drives are aimed at Tier 1 storage systems that handle business databases and OLTP workloads.

Toshiba isn't the only drive maker eyeing the cloud.

Earlier this month, HGST took the wraps off its new 10 TB helium-filled hard drive. The drive, which employs shingled magnetic recording (SMR) technology, provides predictable performance for business intelligence and analytics apps as they probe deeper into an organization's cold storage.

SanDisk, meanwhile, is hoping to displace HDDs completely with its second-generation CloudSpeed Eco solid-state drives (SSDs). Designed for cloud data centers, the SSDs are available in capacities of up to 2 TB.

Toshiba's 6 TB MC04 series HDD is expected to ship in August.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InfoStor. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

This article was originally published on June 30, 2015