Seagate takes the helium out of fast hard drive

Seagate has released a 6TB, enterprise-class hard disk drive, which is 28 per cent faster than its earlier 4TB drive and does not use helium.

Helium has been touted by Western Digital as a useful way to reduce friction and heat in a drive. It also has a comedy value at the office Christmas party when the CEO reads the company results after opening the back of one.

Seagate said it does not yet need to use the lighter gas, which reduces friction and heat. The company used the same perpendicular magnetic recording technology that it has on previous models, but it was able to increase areal density from 831 bits per square inch to 1,000.

Barbara Craig, a marketing manager with Seagate, told Computerworld that it was not necessary to use helium to get to this capacity, and it’s 25 percent faster than Western Digital’s helium drive

Seagate said that its Enterprise Capacity 3.5 HDD v4 is aimed at cloud-based data centres. It also comes in 2TB, 4TB and 5TB capacities and with either 12Gbps SAS or 6Gbps SATA connectivity.

It is self-encrypting with the company’s Instant Secure Erase, which overwrites data multiple times for easy drive disposal or repurposing. The drive is also FIPS SED certified.

It also has some natty Super Parity error correction firmware with RAID rebuild functionality is located on the drive’s SAS controller, which improves data rebuild times after a drive error. This means that it is possible to rebuild a drive’s data in hours instead of days.