Western Digital now shipping the 12TB HGST Ultrastar He12 Helium 7200 RPM Enterprise HDD

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Thanks to media streaming and cloud storage, many home consumers no longer need massive hard disk drives. Instead, a fast SSD with a lesser capacity can often meet needs. Of course that isn't a fact for everyone -- some folks still prefer local storage, and mechanical HDDs are ideal from a cost perspective.

Home users aside, businesses still largely have a need for hard drives with large capacities. Trade secrets and customer information can't always be stored in the cloud. While some data centers are embracing solid state drives for better performance, that is not really cost effective at this time. Today, Western Digital begins shipping the 12TB HGST Ultrastar He12 Helium 7200 RPM hard disk drive. This is a HDD with monstrous capacity that is designed for the enterprise.

"Known for high quality, the enterprise-class Ultrastar He12 HDD features an industry-first eight-disk design, to deliver 12TB capacity using PMR technology in a standard 3.5-inch form factor. It is the world’s highest capacity hard disk drive for active random workloads. Utilizing Western Digital's unique HelioSeal process that seals helium in the drive to help provide the highest capacity HDD and exceptional power efficiency, the Ultrastar He12 HDD comes in a single 12TB capacity point and offers either a SATA or SAS interface both using Advanced Format. HelioSeal technology utilizes helium with 1/7 the density of air, enabling the use of thinner disks, while maintaining a stable recording interface," says HGST.

ALSO READ: Toshiba launches 3.5-inch 8TB N300 'High-Reliability' NAS hard disk drive for consumers

The Western Digital-owned brand further says, "The unique Ultrastar He12 HDD design adds an eighth disk, two more than the highest capacity air-based enterprise drive, which enabled the capacity increase to 12TB, 50 percent more than the highest air-based enterprise drive. This additional capacity provides for increased storage density, reducing associated data center infrastructure required to store a given amount of data. It also encompasses a low-power design without compromising performance, which helps reduce overall cost of ownership. The Ultrastar He12 HDD is perfect for any application that requires massive amounts of cost-effective storage."

HGST shares the following specifications and features. You can read the full data sheet here (PDF).

  • HelioSeal: Western Digital's fourth generation, based on exclusive HelioSeal technology, bringing the highest capacity HDD to market much sooner than competing technologies
  • World’s first 8-disk design, 12TB capacity, available with either 12Gb/s SAS or 6Gb/s SATA interface
  • Data Security: Instant Secure Erase, sanitize and safely redeploy HDDs using the Instant Secure Erase feature
  • SED Features: Help protect end user data with encryption (Self Encrypting Drive)
  • Reliability: Amongst the industry’s highest MTBF rating at 2.5M hours

The 12TB HGST Ultrastar He12 Helium 7200 RPM Enterprise HDD comes with a respectable 5-year warranty. It can be had with either a SATA or SAS interface -- performance should be identical. Pricing is not known, although it will likely vary based on volume. In other words, the price may be reduced when you increase the number of them your company purchases.

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