Monday, February 2, 2009

In case you missed it - Western Digital announced the first 3½", 2TB drive.

Western Digital has announced, intentionally or not (long story), the Caviar Green drive model number WD20EADS a 3½", 4 platter, 2TB drive spinning at 5400rpm with a latency of 5.5ms. Other Caviar models spin at 7200rpm and each have a 3Gb/s SATA interface. The green drive is positioned as a low power, low noise high capacity drive for the PC market. In fact Western Digital positions the Caviar Green Drive as the first 3½" drive that delivers power savings as its primary attribute. A 4 to 5 watt less power consumption when compared to comparable desktop drives supports their green claim.

A robust cache of 32MB is available to bolster performance when the green model is running at its green speed of 5400rpm. The cache helps to mask the actual number of requested disk accesses and facilities the use of conservation techniques such as head parking.

Western Digital has shown some innovation by squeezing an additional 33% more capacity into the same footprint as the Seagate’s 1.5TB Barracuda. However, expect Seagate catch up in the not to distant future.

This announcement reinforces the notion that disk drive development has bifurcated with an increasingly clear separation of the primary attributes that characterize performance drives and capacity drives. This separation defines yet another layer in the storage hierarchy as these capacity drives find application in enterprise data storage solutions. Good news for the user community? Probably, but the goodness factor is dependent on the vendor community providing the tools to enable effective use of this evolving storage tier.