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Seagate sets Constellation above Barracuda

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Seagate has launched its much-expected 2TB drive under the Constellation brand, which includes 2.5-inch small form factor (SFF) drives, for nearline storage needs.

The Constellation ES 3.5-inch drive replaces the Barracuda ES and comes in 500GB, 1TB and 2TB capacities with 500GB platters and SATA and SAS interfaces. It spins at 7200rpm with user and OEM-selectable boundaries for rpm reductions. Seagate brands this Power Choice and provides four levels:-

1 - Up and spinning at 7200rpm
2 - Head parked away from the platters
3 - Partial spin down
4 - Drive stops spinning

The drive can be set to enter the various power-saving levels after or for definable periods. Xyratex is quoted by Seagate as making approving noises about the drive which will ship in Q3. The Barracuda desktop drive remains available.

Western Digital announced its 2TB Caviar Green SATA drive, spinning at up to 5400rpm, just a few days ago, ceding the 2TB, 7200rpm and SAS 2.0 slot to Seagate which can say its drive has a faster data response and delivery time while still offering settable power-saving levels.

The new Seagate drive also has full disk encryption, now re-named SED for Self-Encrypting Drive, so forget the FDE (Full Disk Encryption) term.

The Constellation is a 2.5-inch drive in 160GB or 500GB capacities and with 3Gbit/s SATA and 6Gbit's SAS 2 interfaces, and it has the SED and Power Choice features. Seagate says this is the first nearline SAS 2 drive and Dell will ship arrays using it. The nearline status marks its differentiation from the Savvio enterprise performance SFF drive range and its data centre use separates it from Seagate's Momentus lap top drive range. The SFF Constellation will ship this quarter.

Seagate is positioning the Constellation products as data centre storage array drives. Assuming that the Barracuda quality problems are sorted then we can expect array vendors to start shipping products using the drives from Q2 for the 2.5-inch model and from Q3 or 4 for the 3.5-inch one. ®

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