Special Report: Toshiba enterprise storage focus

Toshiba provides enterprise HDDs to support mission and business-critical applications

We expect to have even higher capacities in the near future with best in class reliability and endurance, Varghese said.
We expect to have even higher capacities in the near future with best in class reliability and endurance, Varghese said.

The modern business requires a storage environment that can cope with the extreme demands of modern applications.

Any generic hard drive will not do in such environments, requiring enterprises to invest in specialised storage platforms. 

Toshiba provides several classes of enterprise HDDs to support both mission and business-critical applications that demand reliable performance in 24x7 operating environments, explained Santosh Varghese, vice president and general manager, Digital Products & Solutions, Toshiba Gulf FZE.

This includes enterprise performance HDDs for high-performance server and storage systems that demand quick response and rapid data transfer.

Toshiba’s range of enterprise performance hard drives, the AL Series, delivers high storage densities with fast data transfer speed, backed up by a 5-year warranty. During periods of high traffic, the hard drives can perform simultaneous transactions smoothly and efficiently. Additionally, proprietary technologies like the Toshiba Persistent Write Cache Technology ensures data safety in the event of an interruption in power supply during a write to the hard disk. Data is saved in the large flash-based cache and written to the disk when power is restored.

Enterprise Capacity HDDs, on the other hand, have a large capacity and are designed for storage systems and data centres which require a large amount of data storage capacity.

Toshiba enterprise capacity HDDs MG08 Series - 16TB

MG Series

Toshiba’s enterprise capacity hard drives, the MG Series offers formatted capacities as high as 16 TB with interface options including SATA and SAS and delivers 24/7 operation at a workload of 550 TB/year. The MG Series is ideal for enterprise storage array and industrial server and storage systems for 24/7 operations. Regular hard disk drives can impact the performance of a multi-bay system by generating 'knock-on' vibration. The MG Series ensures high reliability by minimising vibration effects through advanced control and sensing technology. Multiple sensors detect the slightest shock and built-in RV (rotational vibration) sensors compensate for any rotational vibration detected, eliminating the possibility of 'knock-on' vibration in multi-bay server systems.

The MG08 and MG07 conventional magnetic recording (CMR) HDDs use a helium-sealed design, providing the power-efficient capacity and storage density needed by cloud-scale and enterprise storage solution providers to achieve their TCO objectives. The MG08 and MG07 Series also utilise Toshiba Group’s laser welding technology to ensure the helium remains securely sealed inside the drive enclosure. The MG08 Series features a 16 TB 9-disk model, while the MG07 Series features both 14 TB 9-disk and 12 TB 8-disk models.

The most important difference between a conventional HDD and an enterprise drive is the workload for each platform

The 3.5-inch form-factor integrates easily into cloud-scale storage infrastructure, business-critical servers and storage, and File and Object storage products. Toshiba’s precision industrial laser welding technology is put to use to seal helium inside the 9-disk mechanics. Available with either a SATA 6.0 Gbit/s or a 12.0 Gbit/s SAS interface, the MG08 Series models integrate easily into standard 3.5-inch drive bays to help reduce the footprint and operational burden of cloud-scale storage infrastructure, and business critical servers and storage systems.

The most important difference between a conventional HDD and an enterprise drive is the workload for each platform.

For one, an enterprise HDDs is built for 24 hours/day, 7 days operations whereas a general HDD would be designed for a normal 8 hours/5 day work week.

An enterprise hard drive would also be intended for 100% workload whereas a typical hard drive would handle 10-20% workload. Whereas a generic type of hard drive would only need to clock low-to-moderate performance and reliability, an enterprise HDD will require to register a high for both.

Finally, enterprise HDDs and general HDDs differ in the lifecycle of the respective drives. Whereas the MTBF (mean time between failures) for a generic hard drive is 700, 000 hours at a normal work week utilisation, it rises to 2.5 million hours for an enterprise HDD on a 24X7 duty cycle.      


With technology advances, the ability to fit higher capacity storage in the same form factor increases, with each year marking a new milestone for higher capacity drives. 

Varghese observes the ultra-capacity HDDs are a growing trend in the enterprise segment, with the Toshiba Enterprise Performance AL Series HDD available in up to 2.4 TB. The Enterprise Capacity MG Series HDD, on the other hand, is available in capacities of up to 16 TB. “For Toshiba, we expect to have even higher capacities in the near future with best in class reliability and endurance,” Varghese said.

Another trend is the growth of hybrid storage platforms for server, SAN and NAS environments, incorporating both HDDs and SSDs. A good example for a server storage/SAN environment is the banking sector where financial data is managed on SSDs while the archive data is stored in HDDs,” said Varghese.

 “Toshiba as a leading OEM manufacturer of enterprise SSD and HDDs, supplying hard drives to most of the leading storage brands,” Varghese said. “We work with value-added distributors and system integrators to bundle drives to cater to the storage requirements of data centres in the region. Most of the higher capacity drives are being used in NAS and server storage,” he added.

There’s also increased demand for storage analytics software which leverages artificial intelligence and predictive analytics, said Varghese. “Most of the storage vendors are already working or providing these advanced features,” he concluded.

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