June, 2022

Western Digital Announces First 26TB Server Hard Drive

Hard Drive Recovery WD

Western Digital is set to launch its highest capacity hard drive, offering 26 Terabytes of storage space. To reach this milestone, the company relied on a technology called Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR), which overlays neighboring data tracks on the disk platter on top of each other, like roof shingles. This approach helps increase capacity at the expense of writing speed, making the new hard drives especially suitable for long-term storage in cloud environments.

WD is also launching a 22TB conventional server drive and a new family of high-capacity NVMe SSDs for cloud applications that leverage the higher bandwidth PCIe 4 interface. These announcements were made at the What's Next Western Digital conference in San Francisco in May, 2022.

The 26TB Ultrastar DC HC670 features ten disk platters at 2.6TB each, achieving an industry-first in data density. Like other high-capacity hard drives, the WD 26TB Ultrastar DC HC670 HDD is filled with helium rather than air, since the inert gas offers less resistance. This simple property enables HDD manufacturers to reduce power requirements, weight, disk vibration, mechanical wear, and internal temperature. WD started putting helium in some of its hard drives in 2013.

Another trick used in the new hard drives is Western Digital’s energy-assisted perpendicular magnetic recording (ePMR) tech. This applies an electrical current to the element of the write head, enabling it to write individual bits of data closer together. ePMR first appeared in commercial products in 2020, with Western Digital taking the lead.

And finally, the new server hard drives leverage OptiNAND, a feature that replaces a small chunk of DRAM typically used in hard drives for a variety of caching operations with a larger chunk of flash memory that has the added benefit of keeping data intact in case of a power outage.

Both the 22TB Ultrastar DC HC570 HDD and the 26TB Ultrastar DC HC670 HDD will begin shipping in the summer of 2022. ACE Data Recovery team is excited about this news. ACES are looking forward to develop new WD enterprise hard drives recovery solution and are ready to help the owners of the 26TB Ultrastar DC HC670 and the 22TB Ultrastar DC HC570 HDDs with their data recovery needs.