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

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:


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
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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    131 thoughts on “New Seagate 20TB Ironwolf Pro and EXOS Hard Drive Revealed

    1. I have a Seaget 4TB HD that always gives me a reading error after a few months, the only way to solve it is formatting. how can we trust 4TB in a brand that makes a person lose everything? imagine 20TB absurd. who else has lost their HD files from this brand?

    2. If i have an a 2 bay raid enclosure , I want to use it just for raid 1 to back up my video files once/twice a week do i still need the iron wolf or i can just buy the barracuda ?
      Great content , learned a lot from you, thanks.

    3. LOL, sir, you underestimate how old some of us are. There used to be a lot more popular hard-drive brands other than just WD, Seagate, and Toshiba. I don’t know what brand of hard drive was in my family’s first PC, a Mac Plus, but I know that the first hard drive I had in a windows PC was Fujitsu (which ran great for many years until I eventually retired it because it was too small), and my second hard drive was a Quantum/ Maxtor drive. I have owned one Seagate and many, many WD drives since then though.

    4. never buy seagate SMR drives. They end up corrupting their firmwares during heavy writes and are very problematic when you do batch writes. They are typically put in backup/archive drives but are a poor choice for your backups. Speaking from experience.

    5. Great video, thanks!
      Interestingly, while (looking at product manuals for 10TB drives) the older Ironwolf Pro models (such as ST10000NE0008) should be about 1dB quieter than EXOS drives, the latest ST10000NE000 Ironwolf Pro model now has the same acoustic specs as its EXOS counterpart (ST10000NM001G). Noise may be going away as a differentiating factor.

    6. It’s march 21, 2021 and, O”Boy I love your video, that and the fact I bought a Seagate EXOS. three days ago, for all the reasons you mentioned. There is a tipping point that comes with buying anything, in this case I have an abundance of hard drives along with plenty of SATA ports eight to be exact on each of two Motherboards and extra SATA controller cards. Yet todays Computer cases lack 3.5″ storage space. Most only allow for 2 or 3 mechanical drives and some up to 8 SSD’s and Nvme.M.2’s but the newer cases if selected right will also come equipped with incredible dust filters. Cleaning dust from computers three times a year by taking them apart can be dangerous. Mine are or were RAID/ JOBD. (I did back-up first) and I needed to change out a power supply that didn’t help. In the end deciding to use one large EXOS made it easier. P.S I clicked “Liked”, “Subscribed”, and clicked the “Bell” for all your videos.

    7. I’ve been a loyal Seagate customer for decades; I’ve tried other brands over the years, including WD drives, and some others, and always come back to Seagate. When purchasing for the company, always have been choosing Seagate when possible. They’ve just been the more reliable brand overall..

      For home use, I tend to boot and run from SSD, but for raw storage, I tend to prefer the slower spindle speeds and larger cache. In a NAS at home, I still would lean towards a slower drive for less noise, less heat, and hopefully longer life. The data recovery feature, while it sounds like a nice feature, well, I’m going to say my drives tend to last longer than the warranty anyways, so while it’s insurance, it’s insurance that will often NEVER get collected upon.

      Playing the odds: Only a fool keeps his/her important data on one drive, and waits for it to fail. If you know the manufacturer’s warranty, for all intents and purposes, assume 80% of that, and be prepared for failure at that point. Check your drives and backups on a routine basis; a NAS is not a backup device, although it can be. Keep at least 3 copies of your important data, on 3 different systems, separate systems. Ideally, two or more of your copies will be on OFFLINE (powered down ) backups. I’d lean towards SSD drives for the really important stuff- keeping them as offline media.

    8. Seems like the Ironwolf drives are gimmicky. You say it is suggested between a certain amount of drives, but the EXOS just seem like a better deal throughout all of the info and they are even cheaper. I feel anything labeled NAS drive is always marked up for no good reason.

    9. I remember Seagate drives having higher failure rates than both Toshiba and WD. And WD would have the lowest typical failure rates. Seagate really needed that data recovery service included for people to even try their products again. That was only a few years ago.

      Now Seagate has the lowest failure rates while WD has the highest. Seems like current WD management is running WD into the ground. By sacrificing quality for higher profit margins. And I guess the included data recovery service gave Seagate an excellent insight of common failures on their products. Data which they obviously used to their advantage. It’s actually quite brilliant.

    10. when I was the university I used to be in disk recovery and I always recommend Seagate. Then went to work for a corporate job where only had HP SANs and disks. after decades of working for them A left return to a world where everything has changed recently I had to build a SAN base on open source software and choose disks completely on the fact, I use to use Seagate disk as a student. I made a lucky guess

    11. Hey! Just subbed.
      I have 21 tb worth of data… On my 6 Seagate 4.5 tb drives. Can I use EXOS to just store data on it? Not in nas. Just archival purpose. Just copy and store data and then only read from it now and then. Replace it after 10 years.

    12. One thing I can for sure verify alot of newer drives after Seagate gain more memory cause they can shingle magnetic recording overlapping tracks there’s pros and cons EXOs are pure PMR drives verified up to 16tb

    13. I can confirm that both 18 TB and 20 TB pro drives have exactly same dimensions and thickness.
      According to qnap official website the 18 TB drive, currently is compatible with QNAP TS-453D but it is not supported by Seagate IronWolf Health Management in the current QTS version.
      Qnap website says that support will be added for this drive in the future releases (4.5.2).
      Any good reason not to get the latest 20 TB version for my QNAP TS-453 NAS?

      Qnap email service support would be useless at this time, I know for sure, they didn’t test the 20 TB drives for my NAS, but they will do it in the future… I’m not quite sure why drive tests takes so much time, particularly for the top hard drive manufacturers.

    14. How valuable is “free data recovery” for a drive that lives in a fault tolerant array?
      If fewer drives fail than your fault tolerance can handle, there’s nothing to recover. Just replace the drive and rebuild.
      If more drives failed than your fault tolerance can handle, the data recovery people will need all of the drives in the array and a copy of the device they were running in for a “maybe”.

      If I have data that is important enough to protect with a fault tolerant array of disks, I back it up.

      On another note, if an enterprise is going to be banging away at a NAS, wants better speed and is concerned about life expectancy, they’re probably in the SAS drive range. A 15k rpm SAS compared to a 7.2k SATA with the 15k drive being rated for 50% more hours….

      That being said, the expansion of storage has been amazing. I remember managing a 1.5TB SAN with a Brocade switch that around 5k employees shared at a cost of over $500k in the early 2000’s The “cold storage” was retrieved by a robotic tape drive array and optical storage. Now a $100 drive can hold that. Storage engineers used to earn $150k to come up with ways to share 1.5TB of data.

    15. Thanks very much for the video! 12TB Iron Wolf (non-pro) are currently priced the same as Exos 12TB where I live. Which of the two would you choose for an 8 bay Synology NAS sitting in the living room? I’m currently using 8TB IronWolf and the noise level with those is not an issue. Thanks again!

    16. I’ve owned 4 Seagate drives over the years:: All failed prematurely. Other WD drives I’ve owned got retired before they failed, even though they’re retired, they still work. Seagate lost my patronage years ago.

    17. I was asking myself, “Why shouldn’t I buy Barracuda drives for my NAS?” You didn’t say it absolutely won’t work, but point taken. (My old LaCie external drive came with 2 3TB barracuda drives, so they aren’t listening to you.)

    18. I was looking at the Seagate vs WD share price ($43 diff between them $56 vs $99 Seagate). It’s clear Seagate are leading the way for mass capacity storage for good reason. OEM Cloud guys trust them & need them as tech/data needs advance. WD are behind and in the years to come they’ll be a clear separation. Bitter sweet with past failures but I’ve had more failures on WD / Tosh but each to their own. Reality check is, Seagate are clearly the biggest data storage supplier Worldwide. Bravo on 20TB, HAMR, MACH 2. Mind blowing stuff. If you do chuck in the river you can send it back with their data recovery service for free Haha. @Robbie does it cover Seagulls pooping on them?!

    19. I have been watching a lot of your videos and appreciated all the information you provide. I ordered the QNAP 253d nas and have been going back and forth between the Seagate Ironwolf 4tb and 6tb. I know you get 7200rpm on the 6tb as well as 256 cache as opposed to 5900rpm and 64 cache on the 4tb. Is the 6tb much louder than the 4tb? Is 64 cache to small? Thank you in advance

    20. Sorry for being critical but i just wasted 10 mins of my life on some rudimentary specs that one can get on Seagate’s website. I was looking for more tech stuff. Neither did u do your own tests. But how could you ? Your HDDs are still in their sealed packs 🙂

    21. I have a hitstchi in my laptop it failed after a month brand new, I don’t trust it, got a 970 evo plus for OS but have a 2tb hdd and just bought a 4tb barracuda for my PS4…my 2 to us used not quite daily but at least
      3-4-times a week, I don’t use my laptop as much as I used to because it’s a ryzen 3-2200u????…but this drive is from when I was in 7th grade so I’ve had it for 7-8 years at the time of this without any issues so far, not sure how much longer it’ll last but I trust that more than my toshiba that came with it and failed right away

    22. 20:12 6 Gbps is far more than any mechanical drive can even come close to even hoping to saturate. Even basic SATA SSDs that have about 500-600 MB/s read/write (ish) only just finally make use of the 6 Gbps SATA bus speeds. There’s probably benefits beyond the simple extra 6 Gbps of bandwidth though.

    23. the cutlery example is probably not the best example, as it’s not that dramatic. You can put any hard drive in any system and it’ll work…you’ll run into problems potentially and in some cases more likely or sooner than later, but they will work more or less. In contrast, trying to eat steak with a spoon…not so much. 🙂

    24. Problem with 18/20TB drives is they aren’t supported by Synology, which is incomprehensibly stupid. I might just buy 8x 20TB drives next year and simply connect them to a 8x SATA ports on a motherboard… And do manual backups… Screw paying 1000+$ for an 8-bay Synology that only supports 16TB drives…

    25. Loved the video. My main reason for choosing EXOS over Ironwolf or Ironwolf Pro is the longer service life on the EXOS drives, 2.5mln vs the Ironwolf 1.2mln. All that on a frive that is typically 10%-15% cheaper. I have a total of 36 drives across 2 x Synology NAS systems and the EXOS outperforms the Ironwolf, Pro & WD Golds.

    26. Currently: NAS 4-bay RAID 5, WD RED @6TB each.
      Want: 8-bay, expandable, 14-16TB each same RAID.
      I write every day and ready every day. My RAID capacity is maxed (about 1TB space left).
      I’m torn EXOS and IronWolf Pro.
      When you say, “recovery service”, are you saying a service provided, or a software package included inside of the HDD? If it’s a service, mail in, or something like that, it’s not a factor for me.

    27. Thought they said years and years ago they would have these drives out by now but yeah a 100TB if it’s still only going through a 1GB lan & only has 250mb itself, isn’t going to be that useful, unless for archive storage. I also just hope these drives still have long life as with more complexity, you’d think there is more to go wrong. Saying that though please bring these to market sooner than later if nothing else hopefully drive $perTB will go down and NAS units will hopefully increase their transfer rates etc etc

    28. The only thing I hate about spinning HDD is that transfer speed has virtually stagnated for over a decade.
      All the improvements in density, actuators, etc and they still barely saturate the SATA bus at best.
      Luckily but over a decade late IMO there is finally a very slow push away from the SATA interface for spinning rust and small increases in speed. But its going to be data centre only at first and damn expensive, which mean if consumers get it, it will be years from now and cost too much.

    29. I was thinking of getting a large drive and outing everything on there and backing that up with a duplicate drive. I can run Plex off of my night hawk. You mentioned not putting all your eggs in one basket? What would you recommend for people who might not want a NAS system just yet?

    30. Great future hard drive video, I look forward to seeing these.
      This is about Eddie The Web Guy’s videos. Generally, he is great, he understands what hes talking about, and teaches it well. The thing is, unless I really desperately need the info on his video’s, I last about a minute. Why?
      The sound quality literally drives me nuts and I just click away.

      I mentioned way back that his microphone needs an upgrade, badly … and here I go again months later, trying to impress that this needs to be dealt with. The space he uses (in front of his windows is nice) is fine, but either the mic placement or its quality, needs adjustment or change.

      If he has a good mic … we cant tell. If he does, it needs to be closer to him, a lot closer … even to the point where its in the shot. We dont care if we see a mic.

      What we are hearing too much is the bounce in the room and the mic is picking it up. If he is closer to the mic, or the mic is better … the initial direct sound will over-ride the bounced sound.

      No, he doesnt need to smother the area in sound deadening foam or anything, just get the mic closer, or get a focused shotgun condensed mic and point it right at him.

      We dont care if we can see the mic, we need to hear him clearly … priority one … full stop.

      To add to it, he has a fair accent and a slight characteristic to his speaking voice where it can be a struggle to hear what he is saying, if the mic sound also sucks … it’s a combination that makes for challenging instructional videos, where hearing and understanding the details is all that matters.

      I’m certainly not complaining about the accent, honestly dont care if theres an accent, l but to hear the info past the accent, the sound has to be good.

      If learning the subject of a specific video isnt crucial, I just dont casually watch his videos, it just takes to much effort to hear him.

      Thats it, just trying to improve the channel.
      He needs a better sound setup.

    31. Massive drives are cool and all, but from a home/small business perspective, my main concern is drive failures/life expectancy. You’re part-way through filling the drive for example, and it fails, now you’re out big dollars. Also, big drives need big backups/offsite or cloud drives/images. Might be more economical to have more enclosures and smaller drives to distribute the risk of failures and minimize downtime. And how long would a RAID repair take on four or more 100TB drives I wonder?