Western Digital

WD Launches Dual-Actuator 20TB HDDs With SATA SSD-Like Throughput

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In a rather unexpected move, Western Digital introduced its first dual actuator hard disk drives (HDDs) on Monday, matching its competitor Seagate’s impressive Exos drives that use similar tech. The dual actuator Ultrastar DC HS760 20TB HDD (opens in new tab) builds upon the proven single-actuator Ultrastar DC HC560 drive, but doubles its sequential read/write speeds to the types of speeds we see with SATA SSDs and also nearly doubles its random read/write performance. The key advantage of the new HDD for hyperscale cloud data centers is increased IOPS per terabyte. 

Two independent actuators in the drive work in parallel, offering up twice the sequential throughput (up to 582 MB/s), which is on par with a SATA SSD in throughput, and 1.7X higher random performance than a single-actuator HDD (still not comparable to an SSD). WD also claims the drive consumes up to 37% less power than two separate hard drives. For some reason, Western Digital did not publish detailed specifications of the product, though we hope to see a datasheet soon. 

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