SEAGATE IS NOT ready to throw in the towel on high performance magnetic drives yet, and to show they are serious, Seagate just launched a line of 600GB SAS-6 drives. Take that SSDs, your puny SATA interface is no match for SAS-6 or Fiber Channel.
The new models are in the Cheetah 15K.7 family, the 7th generation of 3.5″ 15K RPM hard disks. There are 9 variants, 300, 450 and 600GB capacities with Fiber Channel or SAS-6 interfaces. The final three are all SAS-6 too, but have Self-Encrypting Drive (SED) functionality. If you controller can do SED, you can now get a 600GB drive that will do it too.
All of the drives come with a 16M cache, have a 1.6M hour MTBF and support power saving technologies. Sadly none of them taste like chocolate. Sequential read time is 171MBps, very good for a magnetic drive, but behind the best SSDs. When you get into random reads, SSDs leave magnetic in the dust. Seagate needs to do something to catch up, maybe that chocolate idea would help?
No prices were given, and the 15K.7 drives haven’t hit etail yet, so who knows what they will cost. Given the speed issues, I would guess the new Cheetahs will slot in a bit under an equivalently high end enterprise SSD for the vanilla 15K.7s, and go up from there.
SAS-6 has a great feature set, SED is in high demand, and magnetic media has no write lifetime. All these pluses are still enterprise ‘killer apps’, but how long can those features hold off SSDs? I guess we will know when the 2nd gen SSD controllers come out, if they have SAS-6 interfaces, magnetic media in the enterprise could quickly become an endangered species. For now though, all is sunshine, kittens and chocolate at Seagate.S|A