Seagate Unveils 1TB 2.5-Inch HDD Designed for Data Centers

Seagate's Constellation.2, a 1TB hard disk drive for storage arrays and enterprise data centers, will be shipped in Dell systems at the end of the month.

Seagate introduced on Dec. 13 the Constellation.2, a 1TB hard disk drive designed for enterprise server storage applications.

The 2.5-inch hard disk drives are intended for a variety of storage environments, including direct attached storage, network attached storage and storage area network systems, according to Seagate. With high capacity, low power consumption and fast performance, these drives can be used by small to midsize companies as well as large enterprise data centers that store and host data in the cloud, the company said.

"Reaching the 1TB capacity in a small form factor gives IT managers more options to meet capacity requirements with efficient storage platforms," said John Rydning, research director for IDC. Rydning predicted that capacity-optimized drives will increase by more than 50 percent from 2010 to 2014.

The 7,200-rpm drives will be available in 250GB, 500GB and 1TB capacities, and with 6G -bps SATA or SAS interface options, said Seagate. The smaller 2.5-inch drive is more versatile than the standard 3.5-inch drives, as it can be used in compact applications as well as the ones that generally use the larger drives, according to the company.

Seagate is not the first hard drive vendor to bring a 1TB internal 2.5-inch hard drive to the market. That distinction belongs to Western Digital's Scorpio Blue, launched last year. Nor is it the largest, with Western Digital's 3TB, 3.5-inch WD Caviar Green desktop hard drive on the market. However, Caviar Green and Scorpio Blue targeted desktop computers and laptops. The Constellation.2 is designed to bear heavy data loads inside the data center, Seagate said.

"With its class-leading reliability, record-breaking capacity and improvements made along its entire range of features, Constellation.2 drive is a perfect solution for dense server and storage systems," said Kennedy.

The new Constellation design provides improved data integrity with the new T10 Protection Information standard, Seagate said. Data reliability has also increased, with up to 1.4 million hours mean time between failures (MTBF), according to Seagate.

"Data center managers continue to seek out more efficient storage technologies without sacrificing performance, while still meeting capacity growth requirements," said Rydning.

For companies concerned about soaring energy costs, Constellation.2 drives have low power requirements, Seagate said. According to Seagate's Inside IT Storage blog, the drive operates on less than 6.4 watts and saves up to 72 percent over traditional 3.5-inch hard drives. The PowerChoice power savings feature can also reduce power consumption by nearly half during slow or idle periods, Barbara Craig, a senior product marketing manager at Seagate, wrote for the blog.

The drive also has 128-bit to 256-bit self-encryption technology, which protects important data from unauthorized access, Seagate said. The drives come with a five-year warranty and an additional two years of protection, according to Craig.

Dell will be one of the vendors shipping these Constellation.2 drives in their storage systems. The Dell PowerVault storage enclosures and PowerEdge servers will be able to use these 2.5-inch Constellation.2 SAS drives, such as the direct-attached, energy-efficient storage array MD1220. With 24 Constallation.2 hard disk drives, enterprises can use the PowerVault to gain 24TB capacity in a 2U system or up to 192TB of storage if eight units are clustered together.

Dell will start shipping the drives in late December, said Seagate, which declined to provide any more details about pricing or shipping.