The largest available hard disk is still a 16TB drive

Storage giant Seagate unveiled two new hard disk drives with a 16TB capacity earlier this year and, for once, the news wasn’t all about data centers.
Provantage is selling the Exos (ST16000NM001G) for just over $387 (roughly £310/AU$610), while the IronWolf (ST16000VN001) retails for just under $480 from Amazon (roughly £385/AU$755).Prices have been falling steadily due to the coronavirus pandemic, with year-on-year shipments down by a whopping 13%. Consumer units have certainly been feeling the pinch, but there are signs that even data centres are hesitant to buy.
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The Exos X16 and the IronWolf/IronWolf Pro target two different audiences: data centers and NAS users respectively. For that reason, they differ in a number of ways.The former features SATA or SAS interfaces, while the IronWolf models are compatible with SATA only.The Exos range boasts a MTBF (mean time before failures) of 2.5 million hours and a higher sustained transfer rate at 261MBps; the IronWolf and IronWolf Pro reach 210 and 250MBps respectively.The cheaper Exos also has a longer warranty period, at five years compared to the IronWolf’s three.As for the similarities, both HDDs feature nine platters, use Helium technology and share the same spinning speed (7200RPM), idle power (5W), average latency (4.16ms) and cache (256MB). Note, the IronWolf Pro also comes with bundled Rescue Services – great for data recovery.
In terms of competitors, Toshiba announced the 16TB MG08 series in January last year, but we’re yet to see any stock in the channel. Western Digital also shipped its first 16TB hard disk drives, but based on MAMR rather than HAMR technology.While SSD prices have been falling, they are still far more expensive than their hard disk drive counterparts. At about $3000, Micron’s 16TB 9300 Pro is nearly eight times more expensive.
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