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Finally! Toshiba launches its first 22TB hard drive — while Seagate and WD race towards 30TB

Toshiba has announced a new 22TB model, the MG10F, almost a year after it unveiled its last flagship 20TB hard drive. The release comes almost half a year after Seagate’s own 22TB drive and more than a year after Western Digital. 

As expected, it is an incremental improvement on the previous product, increasing the platter capacity from 2TB to 2.2TB; the design still uses conventional magnetic recording (CMR) HDD with the company’s mature 10-disk helium-sealed technology.

Aimed at the enterprise market, it offers a whopping 512MB cache, is available with SAS and SATA interfaces and comes with a five-year warranty. According to Blocksandfiles, the drive should perform similarly to its rivals, offering a sustained data rate transfer of 284 MB/s compared to 291 MB/s for Western Digital’s 22TB Gold and 285 MB/s for Seagate’s 22TB IronWolf Pro drive.

No pricing has been announced yet but given that that the 20TB model retails for around $350 in the US and 22TB models from Seagate and Western Digital can be had for as low as $410, I can’t see Toshiba charging a significant premium for its product. Expect Toshiba to offer this higher capacity in its external hard drives and in its X300 and N300 product ranges for PC clients and NAS devices respectively.

As for the future, all three storage companies have plans to move to shingled magnetic recording (SMR) in the future, something that makes sense for enterprise/data center/hyperscale/nearline but not really for consumers. Western Digital already launched a 26TB drive, the Ultrastar DC HC670, but end users can’t buy it as it is host-managed SMR (more on that in our interview with WD’s Ravi Pendekanti, SVP of HDD Product Management).

Seagate has confirmed that it has shipped samples of 32TB hard drives that use HAMR technology (heat-assisted magnetic recording) with Western Digital confirming that 28TB HDD are already in the hands of customers, albeit in the testing stage. Beyond this, we’d be looking at 50TB hard drives by the end of the decade

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