“The industry’s first enterprise solid state hybrid drive (SSHD), the Enterprise Turbo SSHD combines the capacity of a hard drive with solid-state flash enabling high-speed performance for mission critical data.” – Seagate press release.

I hinted about the coming of such a drive over the past several months:

Then, just a few weeks ago, IBM unveiled a solid state hybrid drive for their Series X servers which we highlighted in my post titled: World’s fastest enterprise hard drive debuts (and it’s a Hybrid).

The difference between the IBM SSHD and the new Enterprise Turbo SSHD…MORE SPEED.

The original SSHD shipping from IBM is based on a 10,000 RPM platform. The new Enterprise Turbo SSHD is based on a 15,000 RPM platform providing a much needed boost in IOPS (Input Output Operations per Second) for performance rich applications and tiered storage environments. You can learn more about the drive via the press release and product overview page (datasheet coming soon).

With the addition of the Enterprise Turbo SSHD, Seagate’s enterprise lineup gets a bit more crowded – begging the question: when to use what drive?

When determining what enterprise device to use, you have to take into consideration tradeoffs. First, consider what your priority metrics are at the system level. Each and every system designed, built, and deployed takes into consideration three variables: storage or performance density, cost, and workload. The devices you choose will force you to make certain tradeoffs in each of these areas.

In terms of storage or performance density, ask yourself, are you designing for the highest possible Terabytes per system, or IOPS per system. At the same time, what are your expectations or target metrics for cost per IOPS and cost per Terabyte? Finally, what workload does the application demand? Is it a low workload or an extremely high workload? Answering these questions from a system perspective will put you on a path towards the right enterprise storage devices to choose. Here is how Seagate’s enterprise drives line up on the decision matrix.

The goal here is not to pinpoint the exact storage device you need, but to align a subset of devices to your system level requirements and metrics. Once you have a subset of drives selected, you are in a better place to benchmark, qualify, test, integrate, and deploy the optimum device mix.

What you will notice from this alignment is with the rise of flash based storage. Traditional enterprise class 15K and 10K products shift from providing the highest IOPS/system towards to the middle of the matrix. This indicates that these drives offer the best balance of capacity, performance, and cost for a given workload.

Another thing to keep in mind is the grey areas of the matrix. There is not a single drive solution that meets low $ per IOPS and high TB/system, or low $ per Terabyte and high IOPS per system, but it does open the door to mixing storage devices in a single system to meet these demands. For example, adding an SSD drive to a JBOD of 7,200 RPM drives could deliver the low $/IOPS but high Terabytes per system. The same could be said for adding multiple SAS based SSDs or Hybrid drives to an array or JBOD of high capacity drives to achieve high IOPS/system at a relatively low cost per Terabyte.

The point here is that depending on where your requirements fall, Seagate can help you mix and match storage devices to meet such requirements, and the Enterprise Turbo SSHD is yet another device to add to your arsenal.

Related Posts:
World’s fastest enterprise hard drive debuts (and it’s a Hybrid)
Over-paying for over-performance?

Is there a market for a faster enterprise hard drive?
Can hybrid drives bring added value to the data center?


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