WD starts shipping new 2.5”, 10k-RPM enterprise drives

Western Digital has started shipping a new version of its 2.5″ S25 enterprise drive. The third-generation design boasts a 6Gbps SAS interface, a 10,000-RPM spindle speed, 32MB of cache, and capacities up to 900GB. WD doesn’t reveal whether the higher capacitiy is enabled by adding another platter or using higher-density media, but we suspect the latter is the case. The company’s 2.5″, 10k-RPM drives are long overdue for an areal density ugprade. Also, the drive’s 15-mm thickness doesn’t leave much room to stack platters.

According to the spec sheet, the S25 is capable of sustaining transfers up to 204MB/s. WD doesn’t even bother listing seek times for the drive; if you’re concerned with random I/O performance, you’re much better off with an SSD. Getting one that comes anywhere close to the S25’s near-terabyte capacity is going to be expensive, though.

Despite its turbo-charged spindle, the S25 is said to consume just 8W under normal operation. It’s equipped with a few extra features, too. The drive supports the T10 Protection Information standard, which increases the sector size from 512 to 520 bytes to make room for tags to ensure data integrity. WD says the S25’s full-disk encryption option meets the Trusted Computing Group’s “Enterprise Class A” standard, as well.

For enthusiasts, the most interesting thing about the S25 is its potential offspring. WD has long produced a line of VelociRaptor drives based on the same 2.5″ foundation as its enterprise-oriented offerings, and it’s been a while since the last one was introduced.

Comments closed
    • Rageypoo
    • 8 years ago

    I want HDD’s to stay! Nothing is better than taking a high powered magnet to your friends house and watching the light in his eyes go from happiness to utter terror!

    • ModernPrimitive
    • 8 years ago

    Would like to see a velociraptor version…. I’d pay 300 for a 900GB vs 350+ for a 256GB SSD for now……for the ones that have the money to burn on SSDs I’m happy for ya and don’t blame ya. 😉

      • Waco
      • 8 years ago

      The difference between a 7200 RPM drive and a Velociraptor is small at best. The difference between a Velociraptor and a SLOW SSD is drastic.

        • OneArmedScissor
        • 8 years ago

        Unless you actually have 1TB of games or something like that, you could do even better by partitioning a 7,200 RPM drive with super dense platters.

        That would allow you to keep all of the things that can use a boost at the fastest part of the disk, and still have plenty of room for everything else that’s just going to sit there.

        …or you can just put your OS and programs on a SSD, leave everything else on the HDD you already have, and not mess with any of that.

    • gmskking
    • 8 years ago

    Anything with Moving Parts need to GO bye-bye!!!

      • burntham77
      • 8 years ago

      I agree. The day I can get a 500 gig SSD for 1 dollar per gig is the day my main computer no longer needs a mechanical drive. Although I’ll still keep an external mechanical drive around for backups.

        • Silus
        • 8 years ago

        What ? So you’re willing to pay $500 for a SSD and you think that’s good ? You can buy a mechanical drive with double storage capacity for less than $100…

        I, on the other hand, will only buy a SSD when the same amount of GBs costs me at most twice as much as the corresponding mechanical drive i.e. 500 GB Hard Drive = $50, 500 GB SSD = $100.

          • Coyote_ar
          • 8 years ago

          Dude, you should check your facts, this aint your WD Green. 600gb Velociraptor goes for over 300usd … thats Big SSD money …
          This 900gb drive wont be any cheaper …

          I really see no point on such a high performing mechanical disk. You can beat those 200mb/s transfer rates with a raid0 of any regular 2Tb drives … and save some coin in the process. Even if you worry about reliability … raid0+1 is an option with that budget.

          • OneArmedScissor
          • 8 years ago

          None of you are making any sense. You have 500GB of stuff that you need to go faster?!?

          I don’t know about you, but the MP3s and videos that tend to take up most of my drives don’t play any faster on a SSD!

            • Deanjo
            • 8 years ago

            Two words…. Video editing.

            • OneArmedScissor
            • 8 years ago

            Yeah, for you. But everyone else saying they need to put everything on one SSD?

            I would venture to guess that most people are going to get practically all the benefit they can with just a 60GB drive.

            • BobbinThreadbare
            • 8 years ago

            My Steam folder is ~270 GBs, and I probably only have 1/3 of my games actually installed.

            • OneArmedScissor
            • 8 years ago

            Ok…and why would all of your games need to be on a SSD? That’s still missing the point.

            • eofpi
            • 8 years ago

            Nobody needs all their games on anything faster than a 4200rpm laptop drive. Actually, nobody needs games at all.

            But would it be nice if maps loaded faster in TF2? Sure. Probably not $1.50/GB nice, but maybe $0.50/GB nice.

            What would be even nicer, though, would be if Steam had an easy way to put different games on different drives. It doesn’t matter whether Bejeweled or Bit.Trip loads off an SSD, spinning rust, or that USB1.1 flash drive hiding behind your desk. But TF2 or Borderlands or the Mass Effects or the Needs for Speed would benefit from being on an SSD, if there’s space for them. I’d like a way to choose different steam folders on different devices from within Steam, without having to resort to manual symlink or hardlink silliness in NTFS.

            • BobbinThreadbare
            • 8 years ago

            It takes over 60 seconds for Total War Shogun 2 to launch, and another full minute to load up a battle. Plenty of other games are in the 20-30 second range to load a level.

            Do I NEED them on an SSD? No. I like things to go fast though.

            • OneArmedScissor
            • 8 years ago

            You named one game, which was exactly the point I was making.

            Yes, certain things benefit. Most do not at all, many games included.

            That doesn’t explain why you can’t use a SSD and get all the benefit possible unless it’s 500GB and has every bit of every program on your computer. This is going in circles.

      • l33t-g4m3r
      • 8 years ago

      SSD’s have a bleak future. Hybrid drives probably are the next step.
      [url<]http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9224322/SSDs_have_a_bleak_future_researchers_say[/url<]

        • bcronce
        • 8 years ago

        Next gen memresistor based SSDs are poised to be released in 1-2 years. Those don’t need wear leveling and they get faster as they get smaller. They’re so fast, they will also be sold as system memory. DDR4?

        SSDs will get better, NAND SSDs will get worse.

      • EV42TMAN
      • 8 years ago

      slow down there buddy. Since SSDs are still very expensive in large capacities I’ll take all the raid edition large capacity drives i can get my hands on

      • Farting Bob
      • 8 years ago

      What is wrong with offering both? SSD’s and HDD’s both have very good advantages (SSD is great for blistering speeds and high IOPS, HDD’s are great for high capacity and price), we’d be worse off if either one were to disappear.

      • smilingcrow
      • 8 years ago

      “Anything with Moving Parts need to GO bye-bye”

      You can hang around then as your brain appears to have frozen solid. 🙂

        • gmskking
        • 8 years ago

        “You can hang around then as your brain appears to have frozen solid. :)”

        I think we all know who the tard is here. Hint…its not me.

    • Elsoze
    • 8 years ago

    I’m actually surprised they haven’t gone for a VelociRaptor hybrid

      • l33t-g4m3r
      • 8 years ago

      Might be a smart move, but that would also increase power use. This doesn’t seem to be that big of an achievement when Seagate has a 15k 600gb cheetah drive, nevertheless the low power use is cool and new VelociRaptors pique my interest. The Caviar Black 2TB uses 11.5W for comparison.

        • UberGerbil
        • 8 years ago

        While adding NAND and more controller circuitry would increase power draw, there’s no reason to think it would be significant. There’s no evidence that existing hybrid drives, like the [url=http://www.storagereview.com/seagate_momentus_xt_750gb_review<]Momentus XT[/url<], have significantly higher power draw. Indeed, the primary market for the Momentus XT is single-spindle laptops, where power use is a far bigger issue than the server room. And a drive with a 8W draw has some headroom for increased power draw anyway. What is your reason for thinking that power use would be the (or even a) big obstacle to implementing a hybrid scheme for this drive? I think it's much more likely that R&D costs, especially validation for an enterprise environment, are a far bigger hurdle for WD. Moreover, it's quite likely that enterprise customers have told them it wouldn't be a huge selling point, since the ones that want the benefits of NAND are probably rolling their own combinations of SSDs and conventional hard drives already.

          • l33t-g4m3r
          • 8 years ago

          Well said, R&D sounds correct, but it also could be that a hybrid 10k drive would eat into SSD sales, and WD doesn’t want to do that. Dunno. It is a good idea, but you’d have to ask them why they aren’t doing it. I understand the Momentus XT fills an important gap for laptop performance/storage, but apparently that need doesn’t transfer over to business drives, although I do think the market would buy them if available.

            • axeman
            • 8 years ago

            Ah, yes the all important gap of people that want somewhat higher performance than a purely mechanical drive, would like to pay twice as much for the drive, but can’t get by with a 120GB SSD that has performs 4 times better, and costs about the same. Yep, those hybrid drives are going to *FLY* off the shelves.

          • BobbinThreadbare
          • 8 years ago

          I wonder if a hybrid drive benefits from 10k.

          The whole point is to mask the latency of the spinning drive, right?

            • sircharles32
            • 8 years ago

            Hybrid tech only helps reads, not writes, which is where the 10K RPM would come in.

            • l33t-g4m3r
            • 8 years ago

            Writes could theoretically be cached by the ssd too, although ram should already do that. You just need a big enough cache to do both. Ram’s faster, but SSD caching wouldn’t have power loss issues. But that’s what UPS’s are for I guess. SSD caching is either a good idea or pointless.

      • Bensam123
      • 8 years ago

      Second this. I don’t think any of the old HD makers are taking SSDs seriously, even Seagate with their hybrid.

        • UberGerbil
        • 8 years ago

        Actually, they’re taking them so seriously they’re only attempting enterprise (and embedded) SSDs, and not bothering with trying to compete in the consumer market — WD with Silicon Edge, Seagate with Pulsar, etc. Whether that’s a viable long-term strategry is open to debate, but they aren’t ignoring SSDs altogether. It certainly makes some sense when you figure that the last bastion for their existing spinning-atom product lines will be data centers, so those are the customers they need to grab and hang onto.

          • sunner
          • 8 years ago

          doublepost

          • Bensam123
          • 8 years ago

          Have you seen the performance on their SSDs that simply use controllers from other companies? Their ‘enterprise’ products are simply labeled that so people buy them because of brand recognition. (Don’t say etc. when there aren’t more examples to offer)

          They aren’t taking them seriously.

    • khands
    • 8 years ago

    Good to hear! Been too long though this is the sector that’s being hit hardest with SSDs so it’s waning, though sad, is understandable.

    • LiquidSpace
    • 8 years ago

    another batch of hard drives, aren’t we done with this crap. I want Soft Sexy drives for $50 ^

      • nanoflower
      • 8 years ago

      Only when the SSDs are more reliable than HDs. As it is they seem to be less reliable at this point in time.

        • [+Duracell-]
        • 8 years ago

        And when NAND prices come down enough to compete with HDDs on $/GB.

        • Bensam123
        • 8 years ago

        Second this and it has nothing to do with max write pages.

        • cheddarlump
        • 8 years ago

        As somebody who has HUNDREDS of disks deployed, with about 40% of them SSD’s, I guarantee you that in the real world, spinning drives with bearings that wear out and tolerances in the nm range are not as reliable as SSD’s whose flash pages may wear out.

        The trick with SSD’s, especially in the data center, is redundancy. Of all the SSD’s I’ve deployed (keep in mind, these are consumer drives in an enterprise setting), the ONE that I’ve had to replace told me it was failing a week before it went.

        But, that’s not to say that there isn’t a solid place for decent spinning drives:
        Backup servers, file servers, email / archiving, don’t really need the IO like database servers, web OLTP servers do. You can replace an entire row of 15k disks with a single RAID 1 of flash, and double your IO’s on a heavily used db server.

          • Bensam123
          • 8 years ago

          Nuh uh, I have 10s of thousands of disks deployed and my number is bigger then yours, therefore I win.

          It doesn’t matter what the operating tolerance is on HDs, that is irrelevant to the discussion of wether they work or not. No one is complaining about flash pages wearing out, they’re complaining about the damn things just breaking. Yes, SSDs aren’t immune to just exploding simply because they don’t have any moving parts.

          I’m pretty sure your redundancy ‘trick’ also applies to mechanicals.

          No one is comparing performance here, just reliability.

          I’ll believe my Newegg reviews.

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