Wednesday, September 4th 2019

Western Digital to Deliver 18TB CMR and 20TB SMR HDDs in the First Half of 2020

Addressing the TCO requirements of data center customers, Western Digital announced its nine-disk mechanical platform, which includes energy-assisted recording technology and maintains the company's areal density leadership while delivering the highest capacity available. The company will sample the 18 TB Ultrastar DC HC550 CMR HDD and the 20 TB Ultrastar DC HC650 SMR HDD to select customers by the end of 2019 with production ramp expected in the first half of 2020.

This rapid ramp and availability of the 20 TB SMR drive following a technology preview in June 2019, supports a growing ecosystem and the continued industry adoption of SMR. Western Digital estimates that 50 percent of its HDD exabytes shipped will be on SMR by 2023. "At Dropbox, we are constantly looking for ways to improve efficiency and power in our data centers," said Akhil Gupta, vice president of engineering at Dropbox. "We're excited to see SMR drives reach a 20 TB capacity point, which will enable us to power collaboration and deliver long-term value to our customers."
Western Digital will offer a unique and full portfolio of Capacity Enterprise HDDs, with cost-optimized configurations for every important capacity point: six-disk 10 TB Ultrastar DC HC330 air-based HDD; eight-disk 14 TB Ultrastar DC HC530 helium-based HDD; nine-disk 18 TB Ultrastar DC HC550 helium-based HDD; and a nine-disk 20 TB Ultrastar DC HC650 helium-based HDD. The company's strong execution has resulted in a rapid ramp and majority share at its capacity point for the Ultrastar DC HC530 HDD3, the industry's only available eight-disk 14 TB CMR drive. According to TRENDFOCUS, 14 TB will continue to be the industry's dominant capacity point through the first half of 2020.

"Western Digital continues to innovate to deliver efficient, purpose-built storage with excellent TCO with the optimal combination of industry-leading areal density, mechanical innovations and materials advancements," said Christopher Bergey, senior vice president and general manager of Data Center Devices, Western Digital. "Leveraging our success in bringing energy-assisted recording to market with our expertise in mechanical design, we can deliver this scalable HDD platform with significant capacity increases to our customers, particularly in the transition from 14 TB to 18 TB."

John Chen, vice president at TRENDFOCUS, said, "As data continues to pour into the data center, there is an appetite for meaningful capacity increases that ultimately achieve better TCO. Western Digital has chosen capacity points of 10 TB/14 TB/18 TB built around six-, eight- and nine-disk platforms to provide sufficient segmentation for the increasingly complex workloads driving the next wave of hyperscale growth."

Rick Kutcipal, product line manager, Data Center Solutions Group at Broadcom, said, "We continue to collaborate with Western Digital to deliver host-managed SMR and traditional CMR HDD high-capacity solutions across a broad ecosystem. Broadcom is a leading supplier of enterprise storage infrastructure. Our goal is to enable customers to create optimal infrastructure designs that reduce risk while lowering total system cost. By continuing to deliver the highest capacities, Western Digital and Broadcom will enable customers to reap both time-to-market and TCO benefits for generations to come."

Availability
Western Digital's 10 TB Ultrastar DC HC330 and 14 TB Ultrastar DC HC530 are available now. The company will sample the 20 TB Ultrastar DC HC650 SMR HDD and the Ultrastar DC HC550 CMR HDD in 18 TB and 16 TB capacities to select customers by the end of this year, with qualification and volume shipments beginning in the first half of 2020.
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25 Comments on Western Digital to Deliver 18TB CMR and 20TB SMR HDDs in the First Half of 2020

#1
Wavetrex
Sweet mother of storage...

Too bad they cost a few arms, legs and kidneys.
Currently the sweet-spot is still in the range of 8 and 10 TB.

But good that they push the tech forward !
Posted on Reply
#2
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
Wavetrex, post: 4110347, member: 182738"
Sweet mother of storage...

Too bad they cost a few arms, legs and kidneys.
Currently the sweet-spot is still in the range of 8 and 10 TB.

But good that they push the tech forward !
High capacity storage is expensive because the industry wants you to store all your stuff on the cloud, and get content on a subscription basis.
Posted on Reply
#3
GlacierNine


Price vs capacity doesn't appear to actually move on much of a curve to be honest.

What's really the problem is that a 1TB drive now, still costs more than a 1TB drive did before the floods in thailand in 2011...
Posted on Reply
#4
Chrispy_
Is CMR the term for non-shingled? I hate shingles!

GlacierNine, post: 4110416, member: 174559"
Price vs capacity doesn't appear to actually move on much of a curve to be honest.
What's really the problem is that a 1TB drive now, still costs more than a 1TB drive did before the floods in thailand in 2011...
Stop buying 1TB drives in 2019! :)
I buy 6TB WD Elements external drives and shuck them for the WD Blues inside at <£20/TB
Posted on Reply
#5
AnarchoPrimitiv
I love the density, almost wish my Hgst 14TB drives in my home server weren't indestructible so I'd have an excuse to try these out for my RAID 60 long storage/"cold" data tier.... Then again, I wouldn't look forward to migrating or building such a huge RAID array all over again.

Either way, I'm beginning to see and enjoy the improvements to HGST's (my favorite and "go to" HDD manufacturer) line up after that buy out by WD.
Posted on Reply
#6
yakk
Good to finally see at least a little competition from WD for Seagate at the high storage end.

Yeah 10TB is a nice sweet spot right now for consumer use.
Posted on Reply
#7
GlacierNine
Chrispy_, post: 4110423, member: 185623"
Is CMR the term for non-shingled? I hate shingles!


Stop buying 1TB drives in 2019! :)
I buy 6TB WD Elements external drives and shuck them for the WD Blues inside at <£20/TB
Plenty of people simply have no use whatsoever for a drive large than 1TB, and will buy whatever meets their needs.

Am I one of those people? No. But in 2011 I bought a 1TB drive for less than I can buy one for today, 8 years later.

That shouldn't be acceptable in tech.
Posted on Reply
#8
Chrispy_
Chrispy_, post: 4110423, member: 185623"
Is CMR the term for non-shingled?

I hate shingles.
GlacierNine, post: 4110455, member: 174559"
Plenty of people simply have no use whatsoever for a drive large than 1TB, and will buy whatever meets their needs.

Am I one of those people? No. But in 2011 I bought a 1TB drive for less than I can buy one for today, 8 years later.

That shouldn't be acceptable in tech.
1TB drives aren't the capacity that's being focused on any more. If they're even still being made it's likely low-volume production to satisfy contractual obligations to OEMs or similar reasoning.

Your complaint that 1TB drives aren't cheap today is the same as complaining in 2011 that 60GB drives (a common capacity 8 years before 2011) isn't good value too.

Economies of scale and popularity drive the market. Currently 4-10TB are popular capacities in high-volume production. That's where the improvements in cost/TB are going to be, year-on-year.
Posted on Reply
#9
GlacierNine
Chrispy_, post: 4110463, member: 185623"
1TB drives aren't the capacity that's being focused on any more. If they're even still being made it's likely low-volume production to satisfy contractual obligations to OEMs or similar reasoning.

Your complaint that 1TB drives aren't cheap today is the same as complaining in 2011 that 60GB drives (a common capacity 8 years before 2011) isn't good value too.

Economies of scale and popularity drive the market. Currently 4-10TB are popular capacities in high-volume production. That's where the improvements in cost/TB are going to be, year-on-year.
By that logic, either drives above the 1TB mark should be less expensive than 1TB drives were in 2011, or higher capacities should be the same price. I literally posted a chart showing you that isn't the case. The entry level for hard drives at any capacity is higher than it was in 2011.
Posted on Reply
#10
Chrispy_
Well that graph looks dated and/or inaccurate. I just looked up the drive costs on Ebuyer, they're UK-based and a large retailer.

1TB £38 - £38/TB
2TB £54 - £27/TB
3TB £68 - £23/TB
4TB £88 - £22/TB
6TB £118 - £20/TB

So it's definitely not linear, there's serious value degredation below 3TB

~£20/TB is the going rate for mass-market sizes right now, and you won't get that in a 1TB drive because there's no such thing as a modern 1TB 3.5" drive platter. Hard drive manufacturers focus on areal density production lines much like semiconductor foundries focus on process node. Currently the 3.5" disk production lines range from 2TB per platter at the older/cheaper end up to around 3TB per platter for the bleeding edge, high-capacity stuff.

The cheapest disk they can produce is using a single 2TB platter, of which half is wasted and much of the retail cost ends up being the fixed costs of a chassis, spindle motor, controller, DRAM, PCB etc.
A modern 1TB and 2TB drive are likely to be near-identical internally - it's just that one is programmed to provide only 1TB to meet the limited market demand for 1TB drives.

Based on current market prices, it would seem that 3TB might be the first capacity that isn't a single-platter drive, and cost/TB should stay at roughly that level, scaling with number of platters until you hit the next technology hurdle, which is where >5 platters are involved. At that point, costs go up because you run into physical space issues fitting 6+ platters into a 3.5" enclosure, and things like air friction become a problem so you need to pay another premium for helium and sealing instead. This is partly why the largest, newest capacities are expensive. The other reason is premium tax. ;)
Posted on Reply
#11
Totally
GlacierNine, post: 4110455, member: 174559"
Plenty of people simply have no use whatsoever for a drive large than 1TB, and will buy whatever meets their needs.

Am I one of those people? No. But in 2011 I bought a 1TB drive for less than I can buy one for today, 8 years later.

That shouldn't be acceptable in tech.
In 2011, 1tb HD cost about $150, they're half that today. 6tb hdds are closing in on the $200 mark. Do you want the drives to be free or something?
Posted on Reply
#12
GlacierNine
Chrispy_, post: 4110532, member: 185623"
Well that graph looks dated and/or inaccurate. I just looked up the drive costs on Ebuyer, they're UK-based and a large retailer
That graph was literally created today by me keying in the prices of every drive on OverclockersUK. Its a screengrab from excel. Each point is the average price of all drives at a given capacity.

Totally, post: 4110535, member: 90126"
In 2011, 1tb HD cost about $150, they're half that today. 6tb hdds are closing in on the $200 mark. Do you want the drives to be free or something?
That was after the tsunami hit and prices shot up. Hell, it sounds incredibly high even for then. I paid £50 for a 1tb external earlier that year.

Also confirmed here: https://www.dealnews.com/features/Todays-Hard-Drive-Deals-Feature-2010-Prices-So-When-Might-They-Stabilize/557979.html
Posted on Reply
#13
Chrispy_
Totally, post: 4110535, member: 90126"
In 2011, 1tb HD cost about $150, they're half that today. 6tb hdds are closing in on the $200 mark. Do you want the drives to be free or something?
The other thing I think he's forgetting is that a 1TB drive was cheap in £ in 2011 because the £ was strong against the $US. Tarrif increases from Asia, inflation, and mianly Brexit mean that IT costs are almost 40% higher than they were back in 2011.
GlacierNine, post: 4110539, member: 174559"
That graph was literally created today by me keying in the prices of every drive on OverclockersUK. Its a screengrab from excel. Each point is the average price of all drives at a given capacity.
Fair enough, I'll give you points for effort but in 20 years of spec'ing out machines in the UK, I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times OCUK have been the best pricing. The other thing that probably upset your graph is that the consumer market shifted away from internal drives because laptops outsell desktops. Older capacities like 500GB-3TB are still cheaper to buy as bare drives but 4TB to 10TB external drives are waaaaay cheaper. That's why people shuck them! The 6TB WD I mentioned is popular because it contains a WD Blue 60EX model - yet to buy one as a bare drive costs 40-50% more. It's madness when you think about it, but WD sell far more external models than bare drives, so that's where the competitive margins and economies of scale kick in best.
Posted on Reply
#14
Wavetrex
GlacierNine, post: 4110416, member: 174559"

That chart is completely false for stuff between 2000 and 12000.

I bought several 8 TB drives with under 170 Euro, much lower than this price in Pounds.
Even now a 10 TB drive can be found with 199 Euro.

12 TB drives start to get expensive at 270, but nowhere near the 420+ implied by this chart !

Even 14 TB is cheaper than what's in the picture.

Wherever you got it from, it's plain wrong !
Posted on Reply
#15
GlacierNine
Wavetrex, post: 4110543, member: 182738"
That chart is completely false for stuff between 2000 and 12000.

I bought several 8 TB drives with under 170 Euro, much lower than this price in Pounds.
Even now a 10 TB drive can be found with 199 Euro.

12 TB drives start to get expensive at 270, but nowhere near the 420+ implied by this chart !

Even 14 TB is cheaper than what's in the picture.

Wherever you got it from, it's plain wrong !
No it isn't. I literally keyed the data into excel myself from overclockersuk, and then averaged the price for each size tier. You can go there yourself and do the same thing if you're interested in confirming that these really are overclockersuk's prices.

https://www.overclockers.co.uk/pc-components/storage/hdd-hard-disk/3tb-to-4tb

Add all the 3tb drives to a list and average them. You'll get exactly the same as the chart.
Posted on Reply
#16
Wavetrex
Then it only means OverclockersUK are a bunch of lying scammers.

https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B01LZHJ77Q/ - 101 Euro for 4TB
https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B01M0SH124/ - 131 EUro for 6TB
https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B01LWVT81X/ - 159 Euro for 8TB
https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B07CRZK9BX/ - 236 Euro for 10TB
https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B07W7YBB9H/ - 374 Euro for 12TB (It's nasty now but I've seen it much cheaper)

Your prices when converted into Euro are freaking double !!

P.S. And all of these are actually even cheaper in USA.

-- Edit, checked on your OcUK, they don't even have WD MyBook on sale, AT ALL, just old Elements and Passport drives, which have been outdated for years:
https://www.overclockers.co.uk/pc-components/storage/external-drives?ckSuppliers=659&ckTab=0&sSort=2
WTF kind of website is that ?
Posted on Reply
#17
GlacierNine
Wavetrex, post: 4110553, member: 182738"
Then it only means OverclockersUK are a bunch of lying scammers.

https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B01LZHJ77Q/ - 101 Euro for 4TB
https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B01M0SH124/ - 131 EUro for 6TB
https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B01LWVT81X/ - 159 Euro for 8TB
https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B07CRZK9BX/ - 236 Euro for 10TB
https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B07W7YBB9H/ - 374 Euro for 12TB (It's nasty now but I've seen it much cheaper)

Your prices when converted into Euro are freaking double !!

P.S. And all of these are actually even cheaper in USA.
Alternatively, it means that you dont know how averages work. You dont just take the lowest number when you average something. You, you know, take all of the numbers and average them. Try doing that.
Posted on Reply
#18
Xx Tek Tip xX
GlacierNine, post: 4110558, member: 174559"
Alternatively, it means that you dont know how averages work. You dont just take the lowest number when you average something. You, you know, take all of the numbers and average them. Try doing that.
Yes take the overpriced 1tb drives that drive up an average to make it completely unrealistic and irrelevant.
Here's what a basic google search brings up:

Some drives are even had for £34~ new like the P300 1tb.
Posted on Reply
#19
Wavetrex
GlacierNine, post: 4110558, member: 174559"
Alternatively, it means that you dont know how averages work. You dont just take the lowest number when you average something. You, you know, take all of the numbers and average them. Try doing that.
Yeah, I'll average the price of Lada, Toyota and Ford and add some Maseratti, Ferarri, Koenigsegg and Bugatti and decide that the average price of a car is half a million Euro.

No dude, that's not how it works.

8TB is 8TB and if 8TB can be found for 160 Euro, that's the price of 8 TB.

It doesn't matter if some company decides to make some "magic sauce" HDD that costs 10000 Euro for 8TB. As Tek Tip above said, that is completely unrealistic and irrelevant.
Posted on Reply
#20
Chrispy_
Yeah. OCUK do not price competitively for anything non-gaming, in my experience.

I picked ebuyer because they're the UK's biggest computer etailer with the smallest margins and worst customer service; That's the closest us Brits will ever get to the actual product cost.

Digging a bit deeper, ~£20/TB (that includes tax at 20%) is the going rate for non-shingled storage. and holds for 3TB internal, 4TB internal OR external, and 6TB, 8TB, 10TB external drives. It's the first time I've really paid attention to the obvious shift from internal bare drives to external drives. Laptops really are what 90% of people are using these days and laptop stuff is obviously what manufacturers are making in volume.
Posted on Reply
#21
Xx Tek Tip xX
I'm guessing these were included in your "average"

Well how about a search for a 3tb drive and let's see how these compare to it.

As you can see, the most expensive 3tb is similarly priced to that 1tb drive, hell you can even get a low end 4tb barracuda drive for that kind of money, see why averages generally mean little when you include outliers that screw over the average cost per item? It's generally not how it works.
Posted on Reply
#23
JAB Creations
A friend of mine who is scrapping by just purchased a 2TB mechanical drive; there are plenty of people out there who purchase what we here would generally consider low-end stuff. Thankfully he knows me and I try to make sure he gets the best bang for his buck. He kept having his rig shut down when starting No Man's Sky - 400 watt PSU so helped him pick a decent 620 watt 80+.

Storage is about space, space is for the most part these days about video though there are some other types (e.g. texture packs for games though that is more for primary storage than mass storage). I think if you top out at 1080p for video storage as a regular user then you'll keep your storage needs under control.

What is going to happen with the mechanical hard drive industry is that as SSDs continue to become increasingly economically viable mechanical drives are largely going to be used for cold mass storage.

I would agree with anyone who would suggest that the manufacturers are gauging the markets. They don't want prices to drop and they know they're quickly losing market share to SSDs. The best strategy is to buy your hardware like it's the only part for that item that you're going to buy/use for the next five to 10 years.
Posted on Reply
#24
Totally
GlacierNine, post: 4110539, member: 174559"
That graph was literally created today by me keying in the prices of every drive on OverclockersUK. Its a screengrab from excel. Each point is the average price of all drives at a given capacity.


That was after the tsunami hit and prices shot up. Hell, it sounds incredibly high even for then. I paid £50 for a 1tb external earlier that year.

Also confirmed here: https://www.dealnews.com/features/Todays-Hard-Drive-Deals-Feature-2010-Prices-So-When-Might-They-Stabilize/557979.html
$50[2011]*1.02^10[Inflation]=$61, Fine they are $9 more expensive than they we're then.
Posted on Reply
#25
lexluthermiester
Wavetrex, post: 4110347, member: 182738"
Sweet mother of storage...
Agreed!
Wavetrex, post: 4110347, member: 182738"
Too bad they cost a few arms, legs and kidneys.
Currently the sweet-spot is still in the range of 8 and 10 TB.

But good that they push the tech forward !
You're missing a critical point though, these new drives will push the cost of smaller drives down. This is still a win for anyone who wants mass storage.

btarunr, post: 4110412, member: 43587"
High capacity storage is expensive because the industry wants you to store all your stuff on the cloud, and get content on a subscription basis.
That might happen for certain people, but for some of us, never gonna happen.
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