Hitachi GST Raises the ‘Reliability Bar for 7,200rpm, 3.5in Enterprise Drives

Written by Ben Hardwidge

January 25, 2011 | 13:09

Companies: #hitachi-gst

SAN JOSE, Calif., January 25, 2011– Committed to the growing market for cost-effective, capacity-optimized drives, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (Hitachi GST) today introduced its new enterprise-class, 3.5-inch, 3TB Ultrastar 7K3000 drive family – the world’s first and only 7,200 RPM drive family rated at 2.0 million hours MTBF and backed by a five-year limited warranty. The new Ultrastar 7K3000 drive family represents the fifth-generation of Hitachi’s five-platter mechanical design, which has been stringently designed, tested and field proven for quality and reliability by global server and storage OEMs, as well as the most well known Internet giants worldwide. With millions of five-platter Ultrastar drives shipped over the last three years, Hitachi’s field reliability data shows an unprecedented AFR below 0.40 percent, exceeding customer and industry AFR quality specifications for a 7,200 RPM drive. By increasing the MTBF specification to 2.0 million hours, with an AFR 40 percent lower than drives rated 1.2 million hours MTBF, Hitachi enables data center managers to expect reduced failures, improved up-time and lowered TCO when using a large population of Ultrastar 7K3000 hard drives over a period of time.

"From early-stage research to design and development to component selection and manufacturing, we have multi-layer processes in place to ensure that our customers receive the highest quality products throughout the entire life of the hard drive program," said Brendan Collins, vice president of product marketing at Hitachi GST. “Raising our MTBF to 2.0 million hours on our new Ultrastar 7K3000 family reinforces this quality commitment. Our new Ultrastar drives will continue to play an important and growing role in data centers that require 24x7 availability for cloud storage, massive scale out (MSO) data farms, data warehousing, disk-to-disk backup, RAID arrays and more.”

“The need for greater storage will continue to expand in multiple directions and dimensions, and 3.5-inch enterprise-class hard-disk drives (HDDs) will play a crucial role in enabling that expansion,” said John Monroe, a research vice president in the Data Center Systems group at Gartner. “Computers come and go, but data remains, and it grows, in unpredictable ways. In the future, if we do happen to see less local storage ‘in hand’ or ‘on the desk,’ this will simply mean that even more storage will be required elsewhere, in the network cloud. Highly reliable, cost-effective, high-capacity HDDs have been and, in concert and conjunction with solid-state drives (SSDs) and higher-performance HDDs, will continue to be key enablers of the widespread proliferation of information, entertainment and communication technologies.”

Keeping TCO to a minimum

With the industry’s highest MTBF on a 7,200 RPM HDD, and stringent quality standards in place, the Hitachi Ultrastar 7K3000 family delivers by reducing system downtime, eliminating service calls and keeping TCO to a minimum. With explosive petabyte (PB) growth requirements, IT managers can also leverage the new 3TB Ultrastar 7K3000 drive’s low power, high capacity and lower cost per gigabyte to optimize floor space and improve power-density requirements, ultimately helping to take pressure off of shrinking data centers and budgets.

Providing the best watts per gigabyte (watt/GB), the Ultrastar 7K3000 drive delivers 50 percent more capacity in the same footprint and does so at a 32 percent reduction in watts/GB versus Hitachi’s prior generation Ultrastar A7K2000 drives. With its dense 3TB capacity, it is now possible to achieve a colossal 1.8PB in the footprint of a standard 19-inch enterprise storage rack by stacking 10 4U, 60-bay enclosures.

Hitachi’s 3.5-inch Ultrastar 7K3000 capacity density also allows better utilization of floor space in terms of GB per square foot (GB/sq ft.) and watts/GB when compared to 2.5-inch, capacity-optimized, 7,200 RPM enterprise hard drives. Today these 2.5-inch drives cost roughly twice the dollars per GB ($/GB) of 3TB, 3.5-inch 7,200 RPM drives with 66 percent less capacity. To reach the same capacity as a 3TB, 3.5-inch Ultrastar 7K3000 drive, customers would have to purchase three 1TB 2.5-inch 7,200 RPM drives, which will consume up to 170 percent higher watts to power the drives and will occupy three times the storage array slots.

The Ultrastar 7K3000 family represents the first Hitachi 7,200 RPM drives in both 6Gb/s SATA and 6Gb/s SAS interfaces for easy integration into legacy and new storage environments. All Ultrastar 7K3000 drives are designed, built and tested using Hitachi’s 10K RPM enterprise-class technology and quality standards, making them perfect for tiered storage architectures that combine Hitachi solid-state drives (SSD), 10K RPM 2.5-inch drives and 7,200 RPM 3.5-inch drives. Storage system architects can deploy implementations that use a combination of SSD and 10K RPM 2.5-inch drives to provide the highest levels of mission-critical system performance and 7,200 RPM 3.5-inch drives as a low cost-per-gigabyte solution for capacity-optimized enterprise storage and other 24x7 lower input/output (I/O) applications. This allows for a great deal of flexibility in designing storage solutions that provide exactly the level of performance the application requires for the least cost and maximum return on investment.

The Ultrastar 7K3000 SATA and SAS models are available with a bulk data encryption (BDE) options. While the Ultrastar 7K3000 SATA model uses proprietary Hitachi encryption, the Ultrastar 7K3000 dual-port SAS model is targeted at emerging 6Gb/s SAS enterprise infrastructures and is designed to meet the industry standard TCG Enterprise_A encryption specification.

The new Hitachi Ultrastar 7K3000 family comes in 3TB and 2TB offerings, and is now shipping with a 6Gb/s SATA interface worldwide. The Ultrastar 7K3000 6Gb/s SAS family will be available in mid-2011.

About Hitachi Global Storage Technologies

Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (Hitachi GST) develops advanced hard disk drives, enterprise-class solid state drives, innovative external storage solutions and services used to store, preserve and manage the world’s most valued data. Founded by the pioneers of hard drives, Hitachi GST provides high-value storage for a broad range of market segments, including Enterprise, Desktop, Mobile Computing, Consumer Electronics and Personal Storage. Hitachi GST was established in 2003 and maintains its U.S. headquarters in San Jose, California. For more information, please visit the company’s website at

About Hitachi, Ltd.

Hitachi, Ltd., (NYSE: HIT / TSE: 6501), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is a leading global electronics company with approximately 360,000 employees worldwide. Fiscal 2009 (ended March 31, 2010) consolidated revenues totaled 8,968 billion yen ($96.4 billion). Hitachi will focus more than ever on the Social Innovation Business, which includes information and telecommunication systems, power systems, environmental, industrial and transportation systems, and social and urban systems, as well as the sophisticated materials and key devices that support them. For more information on Hitachi, please visit the company's website at

¹ MTBF target is based on a sample, aggregate population of a drive family and is estimated by statistical measurements and acceleration algorithms under nominal operating conditions. MTBF ratings are not intended to predict an individual drive’s reliability. MTBF does not constitute a warranty.

One GB is equal to one billion bytes, and one TB equals 1,000 GB (one trillion bytes). Actual capacity will vary depending on operating environment and formatting.

Ultrastar is a trademark of Hitachi GST. Hitachi trademarks are authorized for use in countries and jurisdictions in which Hitachi has the right to market the brands. Hitachi is not liable for third parties’ unauthorized use of Hitachi trademarks. All other trademarks are properties of their respective owners.
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