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Western Digital Starts Shipping A 14 TB Hard Drive You Can’t Buy

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Western Digital has officially begun shipping the HGST Ultrastar Hs14, the world’s first 14 TB hard drive. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to purchase one anytime soon, because this one is only available for a select few.  ( HGST | Western Digital )

It’s no secret that there’s a massive demand for more storage nowadays as software, apps, and files become more complex and thus become significantly larger than a simple image or document from the ’90s.

Now, modern phones have storage capacities ranging from 16 GB to a whopping 256 GB, but neither of which are surprising anymore. In fact, 16 GB is extremely low for a modern phone, and a 256 GB phone would run out quick on devices that can record 4K footages.

Western Digital Outs HGST Ultrastar Hs14

So don’t be surprised to hear that Western Digital has created the world’s first 14 TB hard drive, called the HGST Ultrastar Hs14. It’s technically sold by HGST, but the company is a Western Digital brand. The hard drive is only being sold to data centers and enterprise customers, though, so regular consumers won’t get a hold of this high-capacity drive from stores willy-nilly.

It’s faster and more efficient than Western Digital’s 12 TB HGST Ultrastar HE12 hard drives released last year, according to the company. It also has plenty of helium, because that’s essential for any high-capacity spinning drives, ensuring there’s less drag on the platters.

To create a 14 TB hard drive, Western Digital made use of Shingled Magnetic Recording on eight platters. As a result, the drive tracks overlap each other like shingles and provide greater areal density. This also allows for improved power efficiency.

Western Digital HGST Ultrastar Hs14 Performance And Specs

As for performance, Western Digital says the 14 TB hard drive has transfer speeds of up to 223 MiB/s in both SATA and SAS formats. It has twice the sequential write performance of its predecessor and also has a mean time between failures rating of 2.5 million hours — meaning it won’t fail for an extremely long time.

Of course, it’s unfortunate that this drive will only be available to Western Digital’s enterprise customers and data centers, but the mere existence of the drive is a silver lining in itself, as it means mainstream storage companies, Western Digital included, have found a way to produce high-capacity drives that will last a long time, and it might not take long before those become available for regular consumers who crave for a lot more storage.

Maybe after several years down the road, the Ultrastar Hs14 will eventually find its way to the hands of mainstream consumers. Perhaps by that time, 14 TB will have become a tad too small for modern storage needs. Time will tell, of course.

The Ultrastar Hs14 is now shipping to select companies and comes with a five-year warranty.

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