Ultrastar 7K3000 hard drive offers three terabytes to enterprise

The Deskstar 7K3000 is the only three-terabyte, 7,200-RPM hard drive currently available on the market. Today, Hitach is announcing an enterprise-oriented version dubbed the Ultrastar 7K3000. This new model is mechanically identical to its desktop counterpart, which means you get up to three terabytes of storage spread across five 600GB platters. Hitachi cherry picks only the best drive heads and media for its Ultrastar line, much like Intel selects the most promising dies for use in its high-end CPUs.

While most hard drive makers stack no more than four platters, this will be Hitachi’s fifth generation five-platter design. Hitachi says it initially pursued five-disc designs to compensate for the fact that it was slow to develop platters with higher areal densities. The reliability of those drives was so high that Hitachi’s spin doctors now profess that the five-platter approach has become a part of the company’s strategy.

One might think that the presence of an additional platter would increase the risk of a catastrophic head crash. According to Hitachi, however, that kind of event is responsible for a tiny fraction of all drive deaths. Instead, the company says that most premature failures can be attributed to the magnetic characteristics of the drive head or media. Thanks to platters with a lower areal density that doesn’t push the magnetics quite as hard, Hitachi claims its drives are more reliable than competing products.

Hitachi is so confident in the Ultrastar 7K3000’s durability that it’s given the drive a Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) rating of 2 million hours. Previous Ultrastars in this class were rated for 1.2 million hours, and according to Hitachi, they achieved closer to 3 million hours in the real world. Couple that with a claimed Annualized Failure Rate (AFR) of less than 0.35%, and the new MTBF rating doesn’t look unreasonable.

As one might expect, the Ultrastar’s firmware has been optimized for enterprise workloads and multi-drive RAID environments. A 6Gbps Serial ATA version is shipping now, and a Serial Attached SCSI model is due out in the first half of this year. Hitachi says the Ultrastar 7K3000 will be a little more expensive than the equivalent Deskstar, which is selling for $200 at Newegg right now.

Comments closed
    • albundy
    • 9 years ago

    holy cr@p! its cheaper than WD’s black 2TB! nicely done eggy on the $179 shell shocker deal.

    • Corrado
    • 9 years ago

    *click*click*click*click*click*click*

    What’s that? I can’t hear you over the clicking.

      • 5150
      • 9 years ago

      Click! Click! BOOM!

    • Dposcorp
    • 9 years ago

    Is the warranty still 3 years, or did Hitachi “grow a pair” and up it to 5 years?

    • webkido13
    • 9 years ago

    I have 96 of these previous generation drives (mix of 1TB and 2TB) in use in a big RAID box and have not had a single one die in 18 months. That says something about reliability.

      • Anomymous Gerbil
      • 9 years ago

      The problem with anecdotes like that is that in fact it tells you almost nothing about these drives’ reliability.

        • webkido13
        • 9 years ago

        Not if you have two of three of them. If you have 96 drives used 24×7 under load for 18 months and none fail I think it says something about reliability.

          • JustAnEngineer
          • 9 years ago

          (1-0.0035)^(1.5×96) = 60% chance that you would not see a failure.

            • stdRaichu
            • 9 years ago

            QFT. You need a sample pool of hard disks in the realm of thousands before you’ll be able to observe any statistically significant trends.

            At work we do have thousands of hitachi hard drives (SAS and SATA, as well as seagates and WD’s), and whilst generally noisier and hotter the the other two are apparently just as reliable.

          • indeego
          • 9 years ago

          Manage a fleet of HDD’s and SSD’s in a variety of systems, including servers, and none have failed since 2006.

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