Seagate Ships World’s First 16TB HDD for Datacenters and Raises Bar for NAS Drives

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16TB Seagate Exos X16 provides solution for high-density storage supporting accelerated hyperscale demand

Seagate disclosed today it’s been actively shipping the industry’s first 16TB helium-based enterprise drive as part of the Exos X16 family, a product now unsurpassed in providing high performance and record capacity for hyperscale, cloud, edge and core data centers to efficiently and cost-effectively manage ever-increasing amounts of data.

We’re also rolling out new 16TB IronWolf and IronWolf Pro drives for Network Attached Storage (NAS) systems. These set new benchmarks in speed and capacity for multi-user NAS environments and support workloads up to 300TB/year. IronWolf Pro drives are the fastest and most robust drives for NAS systems in creative pro and small-medium business environments that demand heavy workloads to support their data needs. IronWolf is the ideal drive for small office and home NAS systems that deliver performance, low noise and low power consumption, making it efficient for everyday use such as back up, remote access and file sharing.

These products are the industry’s first 16TB CMR (conventional magnetic recording) drives to ship in volume.

Applications must manage and analyze a lot of data in real-time

“As an IT architect, whether you’re supporting the retail industry, finance, healthcare, media and entertainment, or government and security — you’re contributing to the development of the new IT 4.0 infrastructure that supports AI, heavy data analytics and data modeling, deep learning and countless emerging applications at the edge,” notes Sharmistha Mallik, global product marketing manager at Seagate. “These applications are now consuming, managing and analyzing a lot of data in real-time.”

Most readers are familiar with the recent IDC paper that revealed how quickly demand for hyperscale, cloud, edge and NAS storage infrastructure is rising, because of the rapid growth of data being created, captured or replicated across the globe. Seagate’s Exos X16 hard drive helps IT architects address this need by delivering the highest storage density available, and also provides Seagate’s award-winning field-proven reliability and continuous high performance — recognized by IT professionals as best in the industry — to support a broad range of workload requirements and high-availability use cases.

Major cloud providers deploy X16 to solve immense data demands with innovative IT architectures

16TB Seagate Exos X16Seagate’s partnering with our cloud/enterprise customers to bring the X16 product to the market to fulfill this pent-up exabyte demand in data centers. Major cloud providers like Inspur Group and Tencent Cloud concur.

“Seagate’s 16TB Exos X16 hard drive has been incorporated into our cloud solution, significantly improving its storage density and performance, while cutting down the cost. Not only does this solution fulfill the ever-increasing demand of data centers for storage, but it helps us to efficiently address the emerging scenarios, applications, and challenges,” agrees Zheng Yafeng, vice president at Tencent Cloud. “For the data lifecycle, from generation to capture, storage and application, we are working seamlessly with Seagate to understand how to cope with the exponential rise in data volumes, with new innovative architectures, from edge to cloud. At Tencent Cloud, we are committed to creating a ‘digital ecosystem’, by boosting the Industrial Internet sector and serving various industries as a ‘digital assistant’.”

“Inspur and Seagate are working together in multiple fields, including cloud computing, big data and artificial intelligence, all to drive enterprise digital transformation. For Seagate’s 16TB helium-based Exos X16 enterprise drive, we have completed a series of joint tests, which indicate it delivers high performance with support for varying workloads, allowing us to increase system capacity and reduce deployment complexity, whilst considerably lowering total cost of ownership,” says Peng Zhen, vice president at Inspur Group. “In the future, we will continue to partner with Seagate to drive industries to transform further, and empower customers to embrace the upcoming era of artificial intelligence. The era of smart computing is coming, and at Inspur we are striving to create a converged, open, and agile AI industry ecosystem so that we can provide customers with integrated solutions.”

Data-intensive workloads need proven, best-in-class technology

“When you have these highly data-intensive environments with a lot of random workloads, choosing the best-in-class hard drive is really crucial,” says Mallik. “With an industry-best 550TB workload rating, plus a 2.5 million-hour MTBF, the Exos X16 is the best choice.”

“On top of that, we also have PowerBalance power/performance optimization technology and our PowerChoice idle-power features, which make these drives more cost-efficient in the field,” Mallik explains. “That means you, as the datacenter expert, have the flexibility to adjust the drives’ power consumption based on the power and performance requirements of your own application workloads. Over the long term this helps enormously to achieve the best TCO you can. When we’re talking about stacks of 20, 40, or 100-plus drives, your control over power efficiencies really adds up.”

“The drives are also available with our industry leading Seagate Secure Self-Encrypting Drive (SED) FIPS-validated options,” says Mallik. “So if you are looking to serve government agencies and other organizations who have very strict security requirements, we have the options you need to provide solutions to support that.” FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standard) 140-2 is the benchmark for validating the effectiveness of cryptographic hardware. When a product has a FIPS 140-2 certificate, that means it’s been tested and formally validated by the U.S. and Canadian governments. FIPS 140-2 compliance has been widely adopted around the world in governmental and non-governmental sectors as a practical security benchmark and best practice.

Seagate’s new Exos X16 16TB drive delivers 33% more petabytes per rack compared to 12TB drives while maintaining the same small footprint for a reduced overall total cost of ownership. It’s designed to solve challenges by enabling hyperscale, datacenter, OEM and distribution channel businesses to maximize storage capacities, provide customer flexibility, and reduce complexity with uses in multiple workloads with increased I/O and enhanced caching capabilities. And it offers built-in data protection, including Seagate Secure Instant Secure Erase for safe, affordable, fast, and easy drive retirement. The new line also implements our next-generation helium side-sealing technology for added handling robustness and leak protection.

The Exos X16 16TB HDD is available now.

NAS makers adopt 16TB IronWolf and IronWolf Pro

Seagate has also boosted storage capacity for NAS applications with the new 16TB IronWolf and IronWolf Pro hard drives. Seagate’s new 16TB IronWolf drives are built for multi-user NAS environments, enabling workloads of up to 300TB per year.

Seagate IronWolf Pro 16TB“IronWolf is ideal for home and small-office NAS needs, such as backup, remote access and file sharing,” says Jason Bonoan, Seagate’s product marketing manager for IronWolf. “IronWolf Pro is geared for creative professionals and small and medium-sized businesses that have heavier workloads and need to do more with their data.”

The higher-capacity IronWolf drives have been pre-qualified by leading NAS manufacturers such as ASUSTOR, Synology, QSAN and Thecus, which all put the drives through rigorous testing.

“Our NAS customers demand consistently high quality in the storage they’re putting into their NAS enclosures,” Bonoan says. “We have a long history of working with these partners to ensure that our IronWolf lineup meets their expectations every step of the way. Seagate engineers work very closely with our partners’ engineering teams to make any needed adjustments to both the hardware and software features with the IronWolf family.”

The drives are tuned with Seagate’s AgileArray firmware for optimal reliability and scalability, along with rotational-vibration sensors for consistent performance, advanced power management and error-recovery control. The IronWolf Pro offers a 250MB per second data- transfer speed, while the IronWolf is rated at 210MB per second.

The latest IronWolf drives further expand Seagate’s deep lineup of NAS solutions. In January, Seagate launched the IronWolf 110 SSD, the industry’s first NAS-optimized solid-state drive.

To learn more about the new Seagate Exos X16, IronWolf 16TB, IronWolf Pro 16TB, IronWolf SSD and other Seagate products, visit


About the Author:

John Paulsen
John Paulsen is a "Data for Good" advocate, with more than 20 years in the data storage industry. He's helped launch many industry-firsts including HAMR technology, 10K-rpm and 15K-rpm hard drives, drives designed specifically for video and for gaming, Serial ATA drives, fluid dynamic HDD motors, 60TB SSDs, and MACH.2 multi-actuator technology.