Western Digital brings new 24TB CMR and 28TB SMR hard drives

Western Digital has announced the commencement of mass shipments of its 24TB CMR (Conventional Magnetic Recording) hard drives, alongside the mass production of 28TB SMR (Shingled Magnetic Recording) hard drives, catered to the needs of hyperscale, cloud, and enterprise data center clients. Western Digital emphasizes that enterprise-grade hard disk drives remain crucial in assisting data center clients to design infrastructure solutions that are more cost-effective, scalable, and sustainable, especially as new applications, use cases, and connected devices proliferate.

The 24TB Ultrastar DC HC580 CMR hard drive, composed of 10 disks, features the latest OptiNAND architecture. Its uniqueness lies in the integration of an iNAND embedded Universal Flash Drive (EFD) on the PCB. Coupled with a range of technologies, this design effectively enhances the drive’s capacity, performance, and reliability. Additionally, the drive utilizes ePMR (energy-assisted Perpendicular Magnetic Recording) technology and has an improved head design, achieving higher areal density and thinner magnetic tracks. Furthermore, UltraSMR technology, with its large block coding and advanced error correction algorithms, increases the number of tracks per inch (TPI), allowing for greater storage capacity — approximately 20% more areal density compared to traditional CMR media.

Western Digital has also prepared a 24TB WD Gold hard drive, which also uses CMR technology. This drive offers an impressive Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF) of up to 2.5 million hours, features vibration protection technology, and is designed to handle workloads up to 550TB per year. It also comes with a 5-year limited warranty and is expected to soon hit the retail market. Similar to the 24TB Ultrastar DC HC580 CMR hard drive, the 24TB WD Gold boasts a maximum data transfer speed of 298 MB/s.

Additionally, Western Digital has introduced the new Ultrastar DC HC680 SMR hard drive, specifically engineered for continuous write workloads where storage density, watt/TB, and $/TB are key parameters. Targeted for large-scale applications requiring bulk storage but infrequent data access, this hard drive’s maximum data transfer speed is 265 MB/s. Western Digital notes that an increasing number of customers are leveraging the advantages of SMR technology to expand products with lower power consumption.

Both the 24TB and 28TB hard drives use 40% recycled materials by weight, improving energy efficiency per TB by over 10%. This contributes significantly to achieving energy efficiency goals in hyperscale infrastructure settings.