Seagate’s new 30TB hard drive smashes storage record


Seagate Exos Mozaic 3+ HDD
Seagate's Exos Mozaic 3+ HDD packs a whopping 30TB of storage space.
Photo: Seagate

Seagate unveiled the world’s highest-capacity hard drive Wednesday with its Exos Mosaic 3+ HDD platform, hitting the 30TB mark for the first time, the company said. That’s enough space to store a thousand Blu-ray movies.

The company said it used several new technologies to get there, and its road map shows the arrival of even bigger storage devices in the coming years. And while businesses will certainly go for these megadrives, they will also be available to many kinds of end users and require no special hardware to read.

Exos Mosaic 3+ HDD

Seagate launched the Exos Mozaic 3+ hard drive platform incorporating Seagate’s bleeding-edge use of used heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) technology. The new drive reaches “unparalleled areal densities of 3TB+ per platter,” and the company said it expects to reach 4TB+ and 5TB+ per platter in the coming years. At 10 platters per drive, that means 40TB and 50TB drives on the way in successive waves.

Seagate said its Exos products with capacity of 30TB are shipping this quarter to hyperscale cloud customers. Data centers are showing high demand for the drives, the company added. And more general availability should follow.

“Seagate is the world’s only hard drive manufacturer with the areal density capability to get to 3TB per platter and with 5TB on the horizon,” said Dave Mosley, Seagate’s CEO. “As AI use cases put a premium on raw data sets, more companies are going to need to store all the data they can. To accommodate the resulting masses of data, areal density matters more than ever.”

“The Mozaic 3+ platform represents more than just HAMR technology,” he added. “It comprises several industry-first innovations that we’ve integrated to help us scale areal density.”

Watch the video: ‘A feat of atomic engineering’


Major competitors have so far fallen short of hitting Seagate’s current mark, according to TechRadar. Western Digital has a 24TB drive out and Toshiba plans a 50TB drive but hasn’t released anything beyond 22TB yet.

Here’s some more explanation of Exos Mosaic 3+ from Seagate:

Seagate’s areal density innovation—which increases the number of bits that can be stored on a platter—addresses common industry pain points. Mozaic 3+ enables customers to store more data in the same floor space than ever before. Upgrading from a 16TB conventional perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) drive (the average capacity in large-scale data centers) to an Exos 30TB Mozaic 3+ technology drive effectively doubles capacity in the same footprint.

The platform uses roughly the same material components as PMR hard drives while dramatically increasing capacity, allowing data centers to significantly lower storage acquisition and operational costs—including a 40% improvement in per terabyte power consumption. Mozaic 3+ can also help customers achieve sustainability goals—a top priority for large-scale data centers—by offering a 55% reduction in embodied carbon per terabyte (when comparing a 30TB Mozaic 3+ drive with a traditional 16TB PMR drive).

Not just for big data centers

Seagate Exos Mozaic 3+ HDD
An infographic might help explain it.
Photo: Seagate

While the initial customer base will most likely be corporate data centers, it’s likely technological advances in HDD technology will reach a variety of end users before long.

“Hard drive areal density improvements are critical for economically and efficiently expanding the installed base of hard drive-based mass storage, especially in data centers,” said John Rydning, Research Vice President IDC Global DataSphere. “Seagate’s innovative areal density breakthrough is timely and will enable it to deliver increasingly higher capacity hard drive products for many years.”

Seagate added: “In addition to data centers, Mozaic 3+ storage technology will enable a wide range of use cases, ranging from enterprise, to edge, NAS, and video and imaging applications (VIA) markets.”




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