Seagate arrives at the 22TB disk capacity level

Seagate has announced its first 22TB hard disk drive, nine months after Western Digital’s 22TB drives started shipping.

The IronWolf Pro 22TB was revealed by Seagate along with a QNAP partnership involving Seagate’s IronWolf Pro drives, Exos E JBODs and Lyve Cloud offerings.

Seagate’s new 22TB spinner uses conventional, non-shingled, non-HAMR, magnetic recording and is targeted at NAS, direct-attach and RAID disk drive environments. The drive has 10 x 2.222TB platters encased in a helium-filled enclosure. That additional platter, compared to the previous nine-platter 20TB model, is reflected in the increased weight – 690g/1.512 lb compared to 680g/1.499 lb. 

Power consumption has risen as well. Average operating power is now 7.9W compared to 7.7W for the prior 20TB drive. Idle power is 6W; it was 5W.

Seagate 22TB IronWolf Pro

The new drive has substantial advances in reliability and workload compared to the prior 20TB product: 2.5 million hours MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures) rather than 1.2 million hours, and a 550TB/year workload limit compared to 300TB/year. Upgraded 20TB IronWolf Pros share these new capabilities.

But the sustained transfer rate of up to 286MBps is the same as before, as are the 7,200rpm spin speed and 6Gbps SATA interface.

The new drive features dual-plane balancing and time-limited error recovery, both said to help in RAID array deployments, as will the rotational vibration sensors. They also come with three years of complimentary Seagate Rescue Data Recovery Services to help recover data if the drives fail.

This 2TB incremental capacity addition of the IronWolf Pro comes as we wait for Seagate’s big capacity jump with HAMR (Heat-Assisted Magnetic Recording) technology. We might see 30TB HAMR drives next quarter.

We expect Seagate to announce 22TB Exos and SkyHawk variants soon as 20TB versions of these were announced along with the 20TB IronWolf Pro in 2021.

Toshiba is now the only HDD manufacturer without a 22TB model; its range tops out with the 20TB MG10. We expect an MG11 model to be announced in a few weeks or months to fill that hole. WD has been sampling 26TB shingled drives (with overlapped write tracks for increased capacity) and it would be no surprise for Seagate to announce a 24TB version of the IronWolf Pro using shingled recording.

QNAP will use the IronWolf Pros in its NAS products. QNAP’s enterprise ZFS-based QuTS hero NAS systems will support select models of Seagate Exos E series JBOD systems. The QNAP NAS systems will use Lyve Cloud’s HybridMount and Hybrid Backup Sync to store backups in the cloud.

The integration of QNAP NAS and Seagate Exos E Series JBOD systems will be available soon. The integrated Seagate-QNAP cloud and NAS offerings are available now, as are IronWolf Pro 22TB disks plus other variants with 20, 18, 16, 14, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4 and 2TB capacities. 

Download an IronWolf Pro 22TB datasheet here.