Seagate launches 10-platter 20TB video surveillance disk drive

Seagate has added a 10th platter to its SkyHawk product line, resulting in a 20TB video surveillance drive.

Update: Exos and IronWorld Pro 20TB drives are 10-platter designs. 30 March 2022.

The prior SkyHawk generation, announced in October 2020, maxed out at 18TB and had a nine-platter configuration inside their helium-filled enclosures, using conventional (perpendicular) magnetic recording (CMR). Now Seagate has squeezed an extra platter in to reach 20TB without recourse to any energy-assisted magnetic recording such as HAMR.

Seagate’s existing 20TB drives, the Exos X20 and the IronWolf Pro, were announced in December. They also have ten CMR platters, meaning a 2.0TB platter density, with an areal density of 1,146 GB/sq in.

SkyHawk drives spin at 7,200rpm and have a 6Gbit/s SATA interface. Their capacity range is 8, 10, 12, 16, 18, and 20TB, with a pair of 8 and 10TB versions in air-filled cases. They have a 256MB cache and their maximum sustained data transfer rate is 260MB/sec, falling to 245MB/sec for the 8 and 10TB air-filled drives.

The 20TB Exos X20 and IronWolf Pro have sustained data transfer rates of 285MB/sec and come with either 6Gbit/sec SATA (IronWolf Pro, Exos X20) or 12Gbit/sec SAS (Exos X20) interfaces.

Seagate SkyHawk

These SkyHawk drives support support multi-bay NetWork Video Recorders (NVR) and AI-enabled NVR, with up to 64 HD video streams and 32 AI streams running concurrently. Seagate says they can operate up to 120 real-time capture events/sec and 96 real-time compare events/sec. They can endure a workload of 550TB/year workload, have a 2 million hours MTBF rating and a five-year limited warranty. The previous generation had a three-year limited warranty.

Western Digital’s Purple Pro range of video surveillance drives tops out at 18TB. We expect WD to up its capacity to 20TB in the next few weeks and months as it already has 20TB Gold and Red Pro disk drives, using OptiNAND technology and nine 2.2TB platters.

Toshiba has not reached the 20TB drive level yet, also being at 18TB maximum capacity, but we are expecting an imminent 10-platter, 20TB drive announcement from the company.