WD’s HGST Unveils World’s First Solid-State Drives with SAS-12Gb/s Interface

HGST Introduces High-End Enterprise-Grade SSDs with SAS-12Gb/s Interface

by Anton Shilov
04/08/2013 | 11:25 PM

HGST, a Western Digital company, has announced the industry’s first family of advanced enterprise-class solid-state drives with SAS-12Gb/s interface. The drives are based on multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash memory and are designed for the most demanding applications where “hot” data is accessed frequently, such as high-frequency trading, online banking, cloud computing, online gaming, and big data analytics.


Due to their rich SCSI heritage, SAS SSDs and high performance, high capacity hard disk drives (HDDs) will continue to be the building blocks of choice for future generations of high-performance enterprise servers and storage arrays. Leveraging HGST’s SSD market success, the new Ultrastar 12Gb/s SAS SSD family combines enterprise-grade, 25nm, highest-endurance, MLC NAND flash memory, industry-leading performance, advanced endurance management firmware and power loss data management techniques to extend reliability, endurance and sustained performance over the life of the SSD.

The first SSDs with 12Gb/s SAS interface are available in three versions:

With this new generation, HGST has also improved its SSD “quality of service”. Quality of service refers to how quickly and efficiently the SSD can manage and process reads and writes to the drive. Like lanes on a highway, too much data traffic can cause congestion and slow performance. In tier 0/1 enterprise applications such as high-frequency trading, every millisecond counts. As the industry leader in enterprise SSDs, HGST uses unique firmware and controller technology to significantly improve command completion time requirements. The overall result is a 50% improvement in latency, a 300% improvement in I/O per second (IOPS) writes, and a 2x – 3x faster throughput compared to the earlier generation Ultrastar SSD400S SSD. Common firmware and controller technology across HGST’s enterprise-class SSD and HDD families also allows for seamless system integration and reduced qualification times.

Ultrastar 12Gb/s SAS self-encrypting SSD models are also available, which conform to the Trusted Computing Group’s enterprise A security subsystem class encryption specification, helping customers reduce the costs associated with drive retirement and extend drive life by enabling repurposing of drives.

The Ultrastar 12Gb/s SAS SSD family is targeted to achieve a 0.44% annual failure rate (AFR) or two million hour mean-time-between-failure (MTBF). They are backed by a five-year limited warranty, or the maximum petabytes written (based on capacity).

Availability HGST is currently qualifying its SSDs with select OEMs. Broader qualification samples are now available with channel distribution scheduled in June 2013.

“SSDs along with high-performance and high-capacity HDDs are the main building blocks of choice for traditional IT and cloud hyperscale datacenters and represent a market that is expected to grow in excess of $16 billion by 2015. SSDs, such as HGST's new SAS SSD family, continue to improve generation to generation to meet today’s enterprise workload requirements while driving down the price points to support high I/O applications,” said Jeff Janukowicz research director, Solid State Drives and Enabling Technologies at IDC.