Seagate MACH.2 Multi Actuator Tech Enables 480MB/s HDDs

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Aug 9, 2018
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At the OCP summit this week Seagate and its partners revealed new proof points showing continued progress, solid results, and customer and industry adoption of the company’s advanced HAMR and Multi-Actuator technologies, which will be implemented in the near future in Seagate Exos enterprise hard drives.

Seagate Pulls Off 480MB/s In HDDs With MACH.2 Technology

Earlier this week Seagate said its new MACH.2 Multi-Actuator technology has enabled them to set a new hard drive speed record, demonstrating up to 480MB/s sustained throughput – the fastest ever. Seagate formally introduced its MACH.2 Multi-Actuator technology yesterday, which has now been deployed in development units for customer testing prior to productization.

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Seagate’s advanced engineering team also announced a breakthrough in the demonstrated reliability of its HAMR (Heat-Assisted Magnetic Recording) technology hard drives. Seagate revealed that its HAMR read/write heads have achieved unprecedented results in long-term reliability tests that surpass customer requirements by a factor of 20.

The statements above are really quite impressive, to the point of some skepticism on my part, but with news like this perhaps “Spinning Rust” may have a bit more life in it then we expect.

Photos Courtesy of Techpowerup

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Partners work with Seagate to prepare HAMR and Multi-Actuator technology deployment
Seagate’s technology team reports at OCP that partners have begun integration development with both our HAMR and our MACH.2 Multi-Actuator technologies. Several partners displayed these advanced technologies, the new Seagate Exos X14 drive, and Seagate Nytro Data Center NVMe SSD Series drives in their booth demos.

“MACH.2 Multi Actuator technology is an IOPS-per-Terabyte win for Seagate and for our cloud provider partners. Our purpose is to accelerate technology innovation for performance in the cost-sensitive storage tier – and MACH.2 does that by solving response time for the end user and enabling our cloud partners to attain SLA requirements. Continued advances in capacity with HAMR and increased IOPS with MACH.2 work together to improved cost efficiencies while sustaining performance.”

Tony Glavis – Seagate marketing initiative manager for Enterprise applications, discussing the collaboration with Microsoft.

Seagate engineers have set a new record for how fast data can stream data off of a hard drive. With a Seagate hard drive equipped with its MACH.2 Multi Actuator technology, Seagate has demonstrated up to 480MB/s sustained throughput – the fastest ever from a single hard drive, and 60 percent faster than a 15K drive.

Seagate has stated that MACH2 Multi Actuator technology doubles IOPS performance in a single hard drive by using two independent actuators that can transfer data to the host computer concurrently.

Today Seagate’s engineering team revealed in its latest in-lab reliability testing, Seagate HAMR read/write heads have far exceeded industry standards, surpassing customer requirements by a factor of 20.

The industry’s standard specification for nearline hard drive reliability anticipates that a drive will be able to transfer 550TB per year, or 2750TB total over a five-year period. On a hard drive with 18 read/write heads, each head is expected to transfer 152TB reliably over five years.

Seagate’s development team has now demonstrated a single HAMR read/write head transferring data for 6000 hours reliably, equaling 3.2 Petabytes of data transferred on a single head. That’s more than 20 times the amount of data required by the spec. The whole press release has a BIG IF TRUE vibe, as the possibilities shown here have a lot of possible implications on data centers futures.

“On any hard drive meeting the industry specification, if all heads on the drive were writing 100 percent of the time in the field – which, of course, they do not – that would mean each head had written 152TB per head in total, or to put it into Petabytes: the customer requirement is that a single head can write 0.152 Petabytes; we’re already writing 3.2 Petabytes on a single HAMR head.”

Jason Feist – Seagate’s director of Enterprise Product Planning.

Together, Seagate HAMR and MACH.2 Multi Actuator technologies maximize drive capacity while maintaining performance levels above data center customers’ specifications.

Seagate’s HAMR and MACH2 Multi Actuator technologies are on track to work together, enabling new-generation capacities and performance. These technologies are being implemented in the near future in Seagate Exos enterprise hard drives. Exactly when that future is is quite unclear.

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