Seagate claims the Mach.2

Looking to the future: The new Exos 2X18 hard drives enhance the already impressive features of the Exos 2X14 units. Using the Mach.2 multi-actuator solution, the 2X18 brings humble magnetic storage technology closer to sequential data rates only seen in SATA SSDs.

Who said traditional magnetic hard drives were dead? Certainly not Seagate, one of the few companies still trying to innovate a technology that ruled the storage world in an era before SSDs and NAND Flash memory chips. The Fremont, Calif.-based company is expanding its hard drive offering for the enterprise market, introducing six new Mach.2 units. Hard drives are the fastest hard drives currently available.

Seagate describes Mach.2 as the first multi-actuator hard drive technology, a solution to increase performance by “enabling parallelism of data streams in and out of a single hard drive.” First seen in action with the Exos 2X14 product family, Mach.2 technology uses two actuators with independent read/write heads that can transfer data simultaneously. The dual actuators operate as if there were two separate 8TB or 9TB drives, while the host system only sees the entire 16TB or 18TB unit.

Seagate’s new line of Mach.2 Exos 2X18 hard drives enhances the already impressive features of the Exos 2X14, bringing six new hard drive models ranging from 16 to 18 terabytes of CMR, 7200 RPM fast storage to the market for terabyte-hungry companies. The new drives are available in standard and self-encrypting (SED) models, using either a traditional Serial ATA interface or a more enterprise-oriented Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) interface.

Based on the same helium-sealed drive design, all six drives include 256MB of multi-segment cache. They also have the usual Seagate enterprise features such as PowerChoice (to manage standby power consumption), PowerBalance (to manage active power consumption) and Hot-Plug support.

Rated for 2,500,000 MTBF (mean time between failures), Exos 2X18 drives are built to perform in busy enterprise environments 24/7 with a 5-year limited warranty. According to Seagate’s official specifications, SATA drives can support a maximum transfer rate of 545 Mbps. SAS drives can go up to 554 Mbps in sequential read/write I/O operations. Average power consumption is slightly higher than traditional hard drives, from 7.8/8W (SATA/SAS) in standby to 13.1/13.5W under heavy load.

Seagate claims the Mach.2-compatible Exos 2X18 is the world’s fastest hard drive