Move over, SDD! Helium hard drives are back in the game, and with their positively surprising parameters and value-for-money price, it seems they are here to stay. Senetic welcomes two new arrivals in the helium HDD family.
With the arrival of a 3,5” HDD, first introduced in November 2013 by HGST (now Western Digital), helium-filled drives have made a big leap for this storage technology in its race against SSDs. Sealed tight in the casing, this noble gas provides a number of advantages to the drive’s overall parameters.
No air, no problem
In a traditional HDD, the components are surrounded with air: a mix of gases subject to density changes, heat and moisture. As in any object on Earth surrounded by air, drive elements are subject to drag. Air affects the movements of the read/write head, hampering the read/write speed, and causing turbulence and heat-inducing friction between the spinning disc platters. With helium, which is just 14% the density of air, the above problems are significantly reduced.
Cost effectiveness above all
Compared to the dollar-per-gigabyte cost, helium HDDs an absolute smash. The average price ratio between SDD and helium is 1:3 or more, which in business is quite a bargain. The use of helium reportedly increases HDD drive capacity by ca. 40%, but saves up to 50% on power consumption per TB, and produces 30% fewer turbulence. According to Western Digital, the world’s video-streaming leader Netflix increased their capacity by 50% using helium drives, while reducing energy usage by 23% on the entire system.
Helium delivers more for less
According to Brendan Collins, Wester Digital’s vice president of product marketing, it had taken more than eight years to perfect the technology of treating the components and hermetically sealing the disks. It seems the work has paid off. The discs are tightly-sealed, free from humidity, dust and other contaminants, and easily submerged in a liquid coolant. This is expected to reduce drive failure rates and increase the average life expectancy of the helium drive.
The best thing about helium technology, however, it is that it promises still more in terms of data storage. ‘Helium-filled drives have proven a milestone for the HDD technology so far, but the best is yet to come’, points out Marcin Paczko, Enterprise & Platforms Country Manager BELT at Western Digital. ‘Helium environment can give a boost to the newly introduced Two-Dimensional Magnetic Recording (TDMR) and Microwave Assisted Magnetic Recording (MAMR) technologies,’ says Paczko. According to Western Digital, we can expect 40 TB HDDs by 2025 – all thanks to the above innovations.
Two new helium discs available at Senetic
Since 2017, Senetic’s offer of helium drives has been expanding steadily, and now includes nearly 30 models of 10 and 12 TB capacity. The New Year has brought two new additions to the category, the model Ultrastar HC DC530, offering as much as 14 TB capacity.
Ultrastar HC DC530 comes in two HD interface versions: SAS and Serial ATA III. Its power use ranges from 8.5 W for SAS to only 6 W for ATA III and does not exceed 6 W when idle. The model is up to 55% more efficient than its air-filled predecessor. Watch more:
Your questions are welcome!
If you want to learn more about helium drives, or need assistance in choosing a suitable model, contact our specialists at 020 3666 5800, or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.