Western Digital launched a dual-actuator 20TB hard drive – Ultrastar DC HS760

Recently, Western Digital launched its first dual-actuator mechanical hard drive, called the Ultrastar DC HS760. The new hard drive not only has a larger capacity but also has higher performance. The dual actuators make the read and write speed reaches 582 MB/s, and the random read/write performance is almost doubled.

It is not surprising to introduce a dual-actuator structure. Competitor Seagate has already brought multi-actuator (Mach.2) technology to the Exos series product line, and it has been developed to the second generation. Although connected via a single SAS port, such a design is essentially two independently addressable logical drives, so some software adjustments will be required on the host side. Western Digital says the Ultrastar DC HS760 consumes 37 percent less power than two separate drives. For some reason, Western Digital has yet to announce the detailed specifications of the drive.

Ultrastar DC HS760 is based on the OptiNAND+ePMR solution and consists of 9 discs with a single disc capacity of 2.2TB. It adopts the third-generation OptiNAND architecture, adding iNAND embedded general-purpose flash drive to improve the performance of hard disk burst random read and write. Unlike previous SSHDs, the flash memory in the OptiNAND architecture is not used as a cache and does not store user data during normal operation, instead, it stores the metadata of the hard disk operation, and through a series of technical combinations, it can effectively increase the hard disk capacity, improve performance and reliability.

At present, Seagate adopts a similar design of Exos 2X18 series hard drives with a maximum capacity of 18TB. This time, Western Digital Ultrastar DC HS760 has a larger capacity, reaching 20TB. Like the previous Ultrastar series products, Western Digital will provide a five-year limited warranty. It is performance-optimized for heavy application workloads and is designed to handle workloads up to 500TB per year per LUN. Western Digital did not provide the price of Ultrastar DC HS760. Since this type of storage device is mainly for data centers, the actual price depends on many factors, such as the purchase quantity or long-term cooperation agreement.