Seagate Exos Hard Drives: Launches 2nd Gen Dual-Actuator HDDs 18TB at 554 MBps

Seagate Exos Hard Drives: Seagate has discreetly released four new types of their high-capacity, fast-spinning Exos Mach.2 hard drives with two actuators. The new Exos 2X18 HDDs have capacities of 16TB and 18TB (up from 14TB with the previous generation) and can compete with SATA solid-state drives in terms of sequential read and write rates.

Two 18TB HDDs with a SATA 6 Gbps and a SAS 12 Gbps interface, as well as two 16TB SKUs, are part of the new Seagate Exos 2X18 family (via StorageReview). SAS storage devices always come with a password protection feature.

In terms of speed, Seagate claims that the Exos 2X18 SATA version boasts a maximum sustained transfer rate of 554 MBps, while SAS models are certified at a maximum sustained transfer rate of 545 MBps; both are the fastest hard drives in the world. Together, the average latency across all four drives is 4.16 milliseconds, and they each offer 304/560 in random read/write IOPS (4K QD16).

Conventional magnetic recording is used by the dual-actuator drives, which also boast a 7,200 RPM spindle speed, 256 MB of multi-segmented cache, and full support for Seagate’s data centre technologies like PowerChoice (to manage idle power consumption) and PowerBalance (to manage active power consumption) and hot-plug functionality.

Seagate Exos Hard Drives Have Two-actuator

The two-actuator, helium-filled, hermetically sealed Seagate Mach.2 hard drives are effectively two physically separate HDDs (9 terabytes or 8 terabytes in capacity) that may be addressed independently with a few host-side software adjustments.

Seagate Exos Hard Drives
Seagate Exos Hard Drives

Multi-actuator HDDs outperform single-actuator hard drives in a number of ways, but their increased per-TB sequential and random read performance is where they really shine. It’s been shown that doubling the number of decoupled actuators effectively doubles performance, albeit at the expense of higher energy consumption.

Like the original Mach.2 HDDs, Seagate’s new Exos 2X18 models have power consumption rates of 7.8W/8W when idling and up to 13.5W/12.8W when under heavy load (SATA/SAS).

After initially testing their dual-actuator HDDs with Microsoft in late 2017, Seagate eventually made them available to a smaller group of partners. By including the ubiquitous SATA interface on the Exos 2X18, Seagate is likely to increase the reach of its Mach.2 hard disc drives.

It remains to be seen if such devices will be sold at retail to people seeking an ultra-fast HDD, but at least these SATA drives are compatible with a broader set of systems than their forerunners.

Since Exos 2X18 drives from Seagate are made specifically for use in data centres, the manufacturer does not reveal their prices. A five-year warranty and round-the-clock reliability characterise the new Mach.2 drives. Seagate, however, remains mum on the HDDs’ annual TB workload rating.