Seagate Technology, one of the largest makers of hard disk drives, is working on a new breed of hybrid hard drives (HHDs) that will target ultra-thin notebooks, performance-hungry laptops as well as enterprise segment for the first time. Initially, only select partners of Seagate will use enterprise-grade HHDs, but eventually the storage devices may become more widespread on the market of servers.
"In the fall, we will be introducing our third-generation client hybrid drives, which will be in the 7mm form-factor. We will also be shipping demonstration units of our enterprise hybrid drives later this calendar year. We are encouraged by our engagements to date on this product, as several OEMs have requested exclusive access to this technology" said Steven Luczo, chief executive officer of Seagate, during a conference call with the financial community.
Seagate did not reveal details about its enterprise-class HHDs, but it is possible that the devices will feature 10 000rpm spindle speed combined with big single-level cell (SLC) NAND flash cache. Naturally, they will likely be compatible with Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) interface and will support a combination of features available on enterprise SSDs and enterprise HDDs.
Earlier this year Toshiba said that hybrid hard drives did not make a lot of sense for enterprise applications as solid-state drives provided higher performance and lower power consumption, whereas traditional enterprise-grade HDDs offer very high capacities required to store data that is not frequently accessed.
Hybrid hard drives are supposed to significantly boost bandwidth and I/O performance as well as responsiveness of hard disk drives by adding solid-state storage for advanced caching of large frequently used chunks of data. Given the fact that enterprises use multi-tier storage systems, each of which is optimized for particular function and provide different levels of performance, it is pretty obvious that integration of hybrid hard disk drives (hybrid-HDDs) into enterprise ecosystem is a rather complicated task without obvious benefits.
"We continue to believe that hybrid drives and SSDs are an important complementary technology to HDDs. We are confident in our approach to these markets, where we leverage our customer relationships and technical capabilities and focus on building core technology with strategic partners to produce best-in-class devices and solutions," added Mr. Luczo.