Toshiba's latest hard drives store 14 TB without shingles

We love our SSDs around these parts, but when it comes to inexpensive storage of large volumes of crucial data like Bruno's collection of cat pictures, rusty old hard drives are still tough to beat. Spinning platter drives with 14 TB of storage capacity have been around for a couple months, but Toshiba says its MG07ACA-series drives are the first of that size to use conventional magnetic recording rather than the slower shingled magnetic recording. The company also claims the new drive is the first with nine platters inside its aluminum housing.

The MG07ACA avoids the pitfalls of SMR by stacking a lot of disks inside a helium-sealed enclosure. For comparison, the shingled arrangement of tracks in competing SMR drives requires rewriting adjacent tracks when the contents of an existing track are updated, slowing down the write process. Toshiba's offering uses no such tricks and is potentially faster than its competition. The platters' rotational speed of 7200 RPM also helps keep ones and zeroes moving quickly by mechanical drive standards. All models all use the familiar SATA 6 Gbps interface.

Toshiba didn't provide any throughput or latency specifications, but it did say the drives have a 2.5 million-hour (285 years) mean time to failure. The company also says the besides a 40% increase in capacity over the previous-generation MG06ACA drives, the new models should offer a 50% increase in power efficiency measured in W/GB. The new series also includes eight-platter models with 12 TB of capacity.

Toshiba is shipping MG07ACA drives to its customers starting today. The drives are intended for use in cloud and business datacenters, so so don't expect these particular models to appear at Amazon or Newegg for the time being.

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