Seagate introduces first SSHD for servers

Seagate has extended its lineup of solid-state hybrid drives into enterprise territory. The Enterprise Turbo SSHD is the company's first hybrid to target the server crowd. This 2.5" SAS offering has a 6Gbps host interface, a 15k-RPM spindle speed, up to 600GB of mechanical storage, and 32GB of enterprise-grade MLC flash memory.

According to the press release, Seagate and IBM have been testing the Enterprise Turbo SSHD for the past year. Variants of the drive have been introduced as options in select IBM System x servers, and the Turbo SSHD is expected to hit the channel at the end of September.

The Enterprise Turbo SSHD uses the same Adaptive Memory tech as Seagate's consumer-grade hybrids. Data is cached at the block level, and the entire scheme is independent of the operating system. In this implementation, it looks like the flash is being used to cache data for both reads and writes. Seagate mentions "improved write response times" in addition to caching frequently used "hot" data.

Although the Seagate product page describes the Enterprise Turbo SSHD as a 15k-RPM drive with 32GB of flash and a five-year warranty, the IBM page linked in the press release refers to 10k-RPM drives with 16GB of NAND and only a single year of warranty coverage. Those IBM-branded G2HS and G2SS Hybrid models appear to be based on an earlier revision of the Turbo SSHD.

Seagate's SSHD family now spans notebook, desktop, and enterprise drives. However, the Desktop SSHD announced in March doesn't appear to be available yet, despite being targeted for a spring release. That drive was due to have only 8GB of flash, so perhaps Seagate is beefing up the cache size ahead of the final release.

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