Seagate Readies 'Cheetah' 3.5-Inch Hard Drive - InformationWeek

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Seagate Readies 'Cheetah' 3.5-Inch Hard Drive

The device offers an overall sustained data transfer rate of 164 MB per second and is built for transactional processing and Internet applications.

Seagate Technology on Tuesday said it plans to ship this month its highest-performing 3.5-inch hard drive for enterprise storage environments.

The Cheetah 15K.6 drive, available in capacities of 450 GB, 300 GB and 147 GB, comes with a choice of Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) or Fibre Channel interfaces, Seagate said in a release from the CeBit technology show in Hanover, Germany. The drive has a mean time between failures (MTBF) of 1.6 million hours, and is sold with a five-year warranty.

Cheetah, which offers an overall sustained data transfer rate of 164 MB per second, is built for transactional processing and Internet applications. Compared to the previous generation of Seagate's 3.5-inch drive, Cheetah lowers idle and operational power requirements by as much as 61% in watts per gigabyte, while increasing data transfer rates by 28%.

Hewlett-Packard is planning to use Cheetah in HP's storage area network systems. "The improvements in performance, reliability, power savings, and capacity will collectively help enable our own EVA (enterprise virtual array) systems to deliver greater overall value to our customers," Kyle Fitze, SAN marketing director for StorageWorks, said in a joint statement with Seagate.

Other systems builders planning to offer Cheetah include Super Micro Computer, which expects to offer the drive in its SuperServers.

Matt Bryson, storage analyst for Avian Securities, said Seagate's release of Cheetah has "some significant industry ramifications," because rival Fujitsu is not planning to offer a 450 GB drive. Instead, Fujitsu has chosen to wait until it can develop a 600 GB drive, before refreshing its enterprise class line.

"In our view Seagate's early roll-out of the new enterprise class product and Fujitsu's seeming decision not to play at this capacity point will at least solidify Seagate's market leading share position with the potential for Seagate to even see some share gains," Bryson said in a research note.

In December, Seagate bought MetaLincs, which makes software for search corporate archives. The acquisition gave Seagate Services Group a "starting point" for helping companies make better use of their electronic archives, Seagate said. Finding information related to litigation or regulatory issues can be a problem for companies, so MetaLincs developed patent-pending software to make that process more successful.

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