"Hitachi is hitting the need for data centers struggling with capacity growth … they are definitely in the lead with a 1 TB drive," said John Rydning, research manager for hard disk drives at IDC Corp. "But you can't keep a lead forever, Seagate is about two quarters away," he added. Rydning says virtual tape libraries (VTL) are a good place for this technology, or anywhere with sequential I/O.
Hitachi also announced the 15K300, the next generation of the 15K147, a 300 GB, 3.5-inch, 15,000 rpm drive that supports Ultra320 SCSI, 3 Gbps SAS and 4Gbps Fibre Channel interfaces. The third and final product, a 2.5-inch SAS drive, called the C10K147, is Hitachi's first small form factor (SFF) enterprise drive, aimed at high-speed servers. It supports 10,000 rpm and up to 147 GB of capacity.
On both the 15K300 and C10K147 Hitachi is playing catch-up to Seagate Technology and Fujitsu Ltd., according to Rydning. "Hitachi is the third supplier in that [2.5-inch SAS] segment … there's good growth there and it's important they participate." According to IDC, the industry is expected to experience a fast ramp in shipments from 2.4 million SAS drives in 2006 to 9.4 million in 2007 as cost, space and low power considerations in data centers drive the need for a transition to SFF.
All three new products will ship in volume by the end of June, according to Doug Pickford, director of marketing at Hitachi.