Toshiba was the first maker of hard drives to announce a PMR-based 14 TB HDD last December and apparently it is the first company to start their commercial shipments. As of this week, Supermicro has qualified Toshiba’s MG07-series HDDs with 12 TB and 14 TB capacities for use on select storage server platforms and is now offering the appropriate systems to customers. In addition to servers, the drives will be available from Supermicro’s online store eventually.

Toshiba’a MG07 enterprise-grade helium-filled HDDs featuring 14 TB and 12 TB capacities rely on nine and eight PMR platters respectively from Showa Denko, with ~1.56 TB capacity per platter. The drives feature a 7200 RPM spindle speed, a 256 MB cache buffer, and a SATA 6 Gbps interface, which is in line with other HDDs for nearline storage applications. Power consumption of Toshiba’s 14 TB hard drive does not exceed 7.6 W, so it is drop-in compatible with virtually all backplanes and servers, but makers of such equipment still need to qualify the drives with their products to ensure their fine operation. Just like other enterprise-grade HDDs, Toshiba’s 12 TB and 14 TB offerings feature enhancements to improve their durability and reliability, including top and bottom attached motors, RVFF, environmental sensor, and so on.

Supermicro has qualified Toshiba’s MG07-series drives with a number of its SuperStorage (SSG) systems, including its top-of-the-range SSG-6049P-E1CR45H/SSG-6049P-E1CR45L 4U machines based on two Intel Xeon Scalable processors with up to 56 cores in total and supporting up to 45 hot-swap 3.5-inch HDDs and up to six NVMe SSDs (connected to PCIe lanes). When fully populated with Toshiba’s 14 TB hard drives, such servers can store 630 TB of data on HDDs and terabytes more on flash drives. Customers interested in maximum HDD storage density can now order SuperStorage machines equipped with Toshiba’s 14 TB HDDs from Supermicro.

Brief Specifications of Toshiba's MG07ACA HDDs
Capacity 14 TB 12 TB
P/N 4K Native MG07ACA14TA MG07ACA12TA
512e MG07ACA14TE MG07ACA12TE
Platters 9 8
Heads 18 16
Recording Technology Perpendicular Magnetic Recording (PMR) / Conventional
RPM 7200 RPM
Interface SATA 6 Gbps
DRAM Cache 256 MB
Persistent Write Cache Yes
Helium-Filling Yes
Sequential Data Transfer Rate (host to/from drive) 260 MB/s ~250 MB/s
MTBF 2.5 million
Rated Annual Workload 550 TB
Acoustics (Seek) unknown
Power Consumption Random read/write 7.6 W ? W
Idle 4.6 W ? W
Warranty 5 Years

Toshiba’s MG07-series hard drives are rated for 550 TB average annualized workloads, 2.5 million hours MTBF, and are covered with a five-year warranty. With this level of reliability, it is not surprising that the drives are rather expensive. German retailer charges €619 w/VAT ($725) for a 14 TB version and at press time was the only company in the world to offer this HDD (this does not mean it has the drives in stock). Meanwhile, per-drive prices from Supermicro will depend on volumes and other factors.

Related Reading

Source: Toshiba

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  • Marlin1975 - Friday, July 13, 2018 - link

    Isn't the Cache on the small size for that large a drive? There are 3tb drives with 256mb of cache.
  • DanNeely - Friday, July 13, 2018 - link

    dram caches haven't ever appear to be size correlated. They tend to increment up on a generational basis; but have always been small enough I've assumed it came down to whatever the smallest chip size on the market was.

    SSDs need a lot of dram for their capacity to hold mapping tables, HDDs just use it to buffer unwritten data to optimize write patterns. You don't want a really large one there because it increases the data loss risk from a power failure.
  • wumpus - Thursday, July 19, 2018 - link

    Micron lists the following sizes (converted from Mb to MB. Chips are sold by the bit):
    DDR2: 64MB-512MB (note that plenty of consumer devices still use 64MB. Also all chips are available in 4x, 8x, and 16x wide).
    DDR3: 128MB-2GB
    DDR4: 512MB-2GB

    DDR4 has a significant price premium over DDR3 (for now). If it takes a new controller, they may have switched to DDR3 along the way, it is impossible to tell.

    Remember, this is more a read-ahead buffer than anything else. Hard drives work better the longer the read length is, and the point of diminishing returns is somewhere around 64-256k. Playing with the numbers a bit, I'm guessing the thing reads whole tracks at a time (in the MB range) until given a different sector to read (in which it might only read ahead 64k).

    Hybrid drives used to be a thing (I think I saw one on sale recently, so they aren't quite dead), and had 8GB of flash NAND storage. This is purely for the consumer market (and then only for the laptop market, mainly for those with only one drive bay and no m.2 slot), I'm sure that anyone in the enterprise market wanting a "real cache" for these will build a cache out of SSDs.
  • CaedenV - Friday, July 13, 2018 - link

    The cache is just buffer, so the amount needed has more to do with how active the user (or rather, workload) is rather than how large the drive is. I would hope that 256MB would be plenty to keep up with most workloads out there lol.
    Large drives like this will be mostly used for archive purposes rather than 'hot media', so this is probably an overkill amount.

    Man... I have ~14TB in my home server with all 3TB HDDs in a RAID 6... to think I could replace it with 2 drives in a RAID 1 now hahaha
  • saratoga4 - Friday, July 13, 2018 - link

    Cache should scale with platter size, not drive size IIUC. There are 3TB Seagates with 256MB cache, but they also use the same platter size (but fewer of them).
  • takeshi7 - Friday, July 13, 2018 - link

    Saying a drive is PMR is extremely unnecessary and uninformative. Every HDD made in the last decade uses PMR. You may as well mention that the drive has a spindle and read/write heads.
  • c4v3man - Friday, July 13, 2018 - link

    The reason why it's important to note this is a PMR drive is because other manufacturers with this level of capacity typically employ SMR, which comes with a set of drawbacks that many consider unacceptable. This drive being PMR should lead to more consistent read/write speeds, possibly reliability improvements, etc.

    Would you prefer if the article referenced the drives as being "non-SMR" instead? Stating that they're PMR is cleaner, and easily understood by the type of people interested in this drive.
  • takeshi7 - Friday, July 13, 2018 - link

    The term for a non-SMR drive is CMR, or conventional magnetic recording.

    SMR drives are still PMR, that's why PMR is an irrelevant term. The tech press really needs to learn that.
  • romrunning - Friday, July 13, 2018 - link

    I am happy to see a writer use "SMR" to distinguish them from other PMR-based drives because of the performance decrease of SMR drives. I personally would never buy a SMR drive, even for my cold/near-line storage.

    Insisting they should all be written as "PMR" is just being pedantic.
  • Lolimaster - Friday, July 13, 2018 - link

    Maybe you need to learn than being simple sometimes is best than trying to be overly formal.

    PMR simply stick after the change to PMR recording then with new tile based arranged SMR for the sake being easy to get it.

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