SSDs may have become preferred for a large number of scenarios, but the cost per gigabyte remains a key factor in others such as large data centers where the transfer speed does not matter as much as the capacity of the units that are used.
That is the reason why conventional hard drives continue to dominate that section, and Western Digital are already close to launching their new Ultrastar drives of 18 and 20 TB . At the moment said hard drives are oriented to data centers, but that is usually always the step prior to its adoption by the end user.
Western Digital managers have developed their new albums based on two key sections. The first, the use of a platform of nine disks / mechanical plates for each hard disk (until now six used to be used).
The second, the staging of a recording technology called Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR) that is able to take advantage of overlapping spaces in the 18 TB unit to achieve another 2 TB and thus reach a total of 20 TB.
The units will be the WD Ultrastar DC HC550 CMR HDD of 18 TB (the acronym CMR corresponds to the recording technique used, Conventional Magnetic Recording) and the ** WD Ultrastar DC HC650 SMR HDD ** of 20 TB. They will begin shipping to certain customers at the end of 2019 and their production will be at full power in the first half of 2020.
This is the first step for a transition to this new SMR recording technique that for Western Digital will be increasingly important: the company expects 50% of its large capacity units to use this method in 2023 . Among the customers who are especially interested in these units are those responsible for Dropbox, which are a clear example of the storage needs of this service.
The Ultrastar range will be completed with the Ultrastar DC HC330 10 TB and six air-based dishes , the Ultrastar DC HC530 14 TB, eight plates based on helium and the two models discussed. The 14 TB records will be according to TrendFocus the most popular in the industry during much of 2020, but it is clear that Western Digital is already preparing the next step.
The prices that these 18 and 20 TB units will have are not known, but we can take as a reference that the 14 TB models are currently around 700 euros. These hard drives are oriented to data centers and that is a certain extra cost, but that is only the first step of some products that will also end up reaching the end user market .