New Seagate 20TB Ironwolf Pro and EXOS Hard Drive Revealed

Seagate 20TB Irownolf Pro and EXOS Hard Drives for NAS/Server

It’s been in the pipeline for a while (originally revealed way back in Jan 2020 with hopes of arriving in Q1 2020 and developed deployed in the background since) that Seagate has had a planned 20 Terabyte 3.5″ SATA and SAS hard drive for 24×7 server use – but data center users may be pleased to hear that it is looking like an end of 2021 release. Arriving in their popular Ironwolf Pro NAS server and EXOs data centre-class series, these are among the biggest commercially available drives in the market and are a real feather in the cap for Seagate – who recently announced their roadmap for reaching 20TB, 50TB and a staggering 100TB by 2030 – see video here. Both the EXOs and Ironwolf Pro 20TB hard drives are arriving with helium seal design, high workload rating, CMR architecture and maximum drive speeds reported at 285MB/s. For those concerned with early adoption, 20TB Hard drives have already been in usage with the likes of major cloud companies and providers (for example Facebook, Google, Amazon Web Services, Azure etc) for well over a year now, so this tier of storage is by no means in its early days of development. These are going to be some serious kit (with the EXOS series arriving in SATA/SAS and onboard encrypted hardware versions) that are going to be available to the average company. Let’s take a closer look at each of these drives, how Seagate hit the big 2-0 and whether these should be your next big business storage purchase to hit the Petabyte mark?

What Are the Hardware Specifications of the Seagate Ironwolf Pro 20TB NAS Hard Drive?

The Seagate Ironwolf drive media range still continues to be one of the biggest in the NAS market, arriving at a better price point than most, yet still providing top-level performance and endurance. Alongside the inclusive business-level data recovery services included with the Ironwolf HDDs (so 5 years standard warranty and 3 years of inclusive data recovery coverage in the event of failure), this drive is also heavily geared towards the 24×7 use of NAS systems in both home and business. This new 20TB NAS hard drive is part of the Seagate Ironwolf Pro series, so that means an impressive 300TB workload rating, 5-year warranty, 7200RPM, 256MB cache and perfect for much, MUCH larger rackmount arrays. Although not likely to be the quietest drive, this will likely be largely dwarfed by the active cooling systems of even the most conservative business NAS solution. Below is a breakdown of those specifications in full:

Seagate Ironwolf Pro 20TB NAS Hard Drive

Product Family SEAGATE IRONWOLF Pro
Capacity 20TB
Standard Model Number ST20000NE000
Interface SATA ONLY
Drive Bays Supported Upto 24-Bays
Recording Technology CMR
Drive Design (Air or Helium) Helium
Workload Rate Limit (WRL) 300TB
Spindle Speed (RPM) 7200
Cache (MB) 256
Max. Transfer OD (MB/s) 285MB/s
Annual Power-On Hours 8760
Sector Size (Bytes per Logical Sector) 512E
Startup Current, Typical (12V, A) 2..0
Idle Power, Average (W) 5.5
Average Operating Power (W) 7.7W
Standby Mode, Typical (W) 1
Sleep Mode, Typical (W) 1
Vibration, Nonoperating: 10Hz to 500Hz (Grms) 2.27
Acoustics, Idle (typical, measured in Idle 1 state) (dBA) 28
Acoustics, Seek (typical) (dBA) 32
Rescue Data Recovery Services 3yr
Warranty 5yr

Unfortunately, this drive will not be seeing a non-PRO release, given the restructuring of Seagate in their capacities across PRO/non-PRO ranges. Additionally, the Seagate Ironwolf Pro will likely be quite a pricey drive, both for those enterprise build specs, the capacity and simply the exclusivity of the drive on the market.

What Are the Hardware Specifications of the Seagate Ironwolf Pro 20TB NAS Hard Drive?

The Seagate EXOS series, although often compared and similar to that of Seagate Ironwolf due to it’s server design and deployment, is a drive with a much larger focus of heavy, HEAVY workloads. The Seagate 20TB EXOs hard drive, much like the previous capacities before it, arrives with a hefty 550TB workload limit (TBC!), choice of SATA or SAS interfaces, 7200 PRM and a massive 2.5 million hours MTBF. As you would expect from an enterprise-grade drive, there is also a choice of self-encrypted drive (SED) versions that also features FIPS support (government class encryption). Below is a breakdown of the SATA/SAS EXOs 20TB hard drives and how they compare:

SPECIFICATIONS SATA DRIVE – 20TB X20 Series

SAS DRIVE – 20TB X20 Series

Product Family EXOS X20 EXOS X20
Capacity 20TB 20TB
Standard Model Number ST20000NM007D ST20000NM002D
SED Model ST20000NM000D ST20000NM003D
SED FIPS Model N/A ST20000NM005D
Helium Sealed-Drive YES YES
CMR YES YES
RPM 7200 7200
Cache (MB) 256MB 256MB
Sustained Read (OD) 285MB/s 285MB/s
Sustained Write (OD) 272MB/s 272MB/s
Random Read 4K QD16 165 IOPS 165 IOPS
Random Write 4K QD16 550 IOPS 550 IOPS
Average Latency (ms) 4.16 4.16
Idle A (W) Average 5.4W 5.8W
Vibration, Nonoperating: 2 to 500Hz (Grms) 2.27 2.27
Shock, Operating 2ms (Read/Write) (Gs) 40 40
MTBF 2.5Million 2.5Million
Power-On Hours per Year 8760 8760
Warranty 5yr 5yr

Although lacking the Rescue data recovery services of the Ironwolf Pro HDDs, the Seagate EXOS 20TB has an incredibly sharp focus on robust deployment and touch-of-a-button responsiveness (i.e low latency) which is vital in considerably larger data center/hyperscale environments.

When will the Seagate EXOS and Ironwolf Pro 20TB HDDs Be Released?

Seagate has been particularly firm on their stance about introducing 20TB hard drives into their portfolio before the close of 2021 (despite HDD market-changing factors, SUCH as Chia, Hardware shortages and the pandemic) and all indications so far would heavily indicate the availability of the new Seagate Ironwolf Pro and EXOS 20TB hard drives landing (not just announcing, but being business-available) on time. Despite SSD prices and NVMe SSD technology growing in its appeal and affordability these last few years, Seagate still seems fantastically committed to hard drive technology as still the best option for BIG data this decade and these new 20TB drives are going to be a big step for any business looking at the realistic need to store petabytes of data. Pricing for each version of the 20TB Seagate HDD series is almost certain to be a sore point for some, but Seagate almost certainly knows that people will pay it.

 


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