How AgileArray Hardware, Firmware and Software Enhances NAS Performance and Reliability

You know Seagate’s IronWolf hard drive — the specialized internal drive purpose-built for Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices — is “Tough, Ready, and Scalable.”

But do you know why IronWolf exceeds the abilities of other drives?

Watch our video below to see how Seagate’s AgileArray Technology helps make IronWolf drives work as a pack to support the most intense multi-user environments.


Purpose-built for NAS and RAID — what does that mean?

IronWolf hard drives are designed for NAS devices and other RAID applications in multi-user environments to handle the high-end workload rates in high data traffic networks.

IronWolf and IronWolf Pro are purpose-built to help small-to-midsize enterprises and creative professionals manage the massive amounts of data they create and consume. They empower SMEs to keep the right data ready for use with extreme workload rates of up to 300TB on IronWolf Pro, and blistering fast access.

As you’ll learn in the video, IronWolf is optimized for NAS with our unique AgileArray Technology for system agility and optimal reliability — to help enhance performance for file-sharing, backup and private cloud environments. AgileArray delivers drive balancing by using dual-plane balance and rotational vibration (RV) sensors, RAID optimization for increased performance and advanced power management.

AgileArray Technology enhances performance for file-sharing, backup and private cloud environments

What are the features of AgileArray that help my NAS work better?

AgileArray is a set of hardware, firmware, and software features that enhance in-system performance and reliability. It includes:

  • Error Recovery Control: Prevents RAID drop off and speeds up data retries
  • RAID Optimization Firmware: Improves system performance in RAID configuration
  • Advanced AcuTrac Technology: Vibration tolerance for multi-bay environment
  • Dual plane balance: Less vibration for quiet operation
  • RV Sensors (select capacities): Consistent performance in multi-bay environment
  • Streaming Support: Better video streaming performance
  • Advanced Power Management: Lower overall power consumption

IronWolf AgileArray Error RecoveryError Recovery Control maximizes responsiveness and uptime, allowing the drive to remain available, minimizing downtime.

RAID Optimized Firmware means that on an IronWolf NAS drive, the firmware is optimized for multi-drive RAID configurations, where the firmware on a standard PC desktop drive would be optimized for standalone single-drive configurations. This is important because unlike a single hard drive volume, a RAID volume generally has data distributed over multiple drives. So, large datasets such as video files reside over many drives, and without RAID optimization that can pose inconsistent performance issues.

Advanced AcuTrac Technology allows Seagate IronWolf drives to function even under an extreme vibration condition with minimal performance degradation. It prevents vibration from a neighboring drive or chassis fan from negatively impacting individual drive performance, which also prevents overall system performance degradation.

Dual Plane Balance ensures the drive is vibration-free and quiet during operation. The result is a consistent and reliable drive that provides consistent NAS system performance.

With extreme workload rates, Rotational Vibration (RV) Sensors reduce vibration in the multi-bay enclosures, to maintain fast and smooth data transfers.

AgileArray’s Streaming Support means every Seagate IronWolf drive supports the ATA-8 streaming command set, and the firmware is optimized to handle large sequential block transfers that are found in most video files.

Advanced Power Management balances power-saving and time-to-ready specifically for NAS applications — providing quick response time and excellent power consumption.

Many other features developed with NAS users in mind

Did you know Seagate IronWolf drives also feature IronWolf Health Management (IHM), an exclusive feature set designed to operate on popular compatible NAS systems to maximize the health and security of your data? Learn more about IHM here.

IronWolf Pro comes with 2 years rescue data recovery services which gives you access to a global team of world-class data recovery experts.

It’s everything you need for scaling up your NAS environment.

To learn in more detail about AgileArray and how it delivers enhanced NAS performance and reliability, and why it’s an essential ingredient for demanding, multi-user environments where 24×7 accessibility and snappy performance are mandatory — visit or download our technology paper Discovering a Better NAS Experience With AgileArray.

Seagate IronWolf with AgileArray Technology


About the Author:

John Paulsen
John Paulsen is a "Data for Good" advocate, with nearly 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.