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Dear diary, new twirling models, $630m from WD, v. good day - Seagate

And only a 'leaked' roadmap to spoil it

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Seagate has announced its 2.5-inch enterprise drive with added flash steroids is now available to all. IBM uses this hybrid disk in its System x servers.

Meanwhile, Seagate has also won $630m from rival Western Digital in a battle over allegations WD misused Seagate's trade secrets: an arbitrator awarded Seagate the nine-figure sum in 2011, but a district court threw the case out. On Thursday [PDF], the Court of Appeals in Minnesota reversed that lower court's decision. WD's lawyers may attempt to overturn this week's ruling; it's a huge amount of cash.

Today, Seagate is calling its new product the Enterprise Turbo Solid-State Hybrid Drive (SSHD). Its 600GB disk spins at 10,000RPM and has a 16GB flash cache onboard. The company claims that, "based on preliminary performance testing [PDF] using standard system benchmarking tools, a 10,000RPM version boasts IOPS over 2X better than a standard 600GB 10,000RPM hard disk drive [PDF]". That's 1,027.76 SPC-1C IOPS versus 448.46 IOPS; 2.3 times faster. Both drives in the test used Seagate's 10,000RPM, 6Gbit/s SAS, 600GB 2.5-in disk drive components.

Seagate also claims its Enterprise Turbo SSHD is up to 3X faster than standard 15,000RPM drives at random data access.

We have not yet seen nor heard of similar enterprise-class hybrid drives from Toshiba or WD-owned HGST. Watch this space.

Disk-drive 'roadmap' leak

Lastly, online storage community MyCE claims it's got its hands on a Seagate drive roadmap chart, although the diagram appears to be about six months old.

There are three categories of enterprise drives covered; performance, capacity and value, according to that leaked chart.

In the performance area, the 3.5-inch Cheetah 15K.7 15,000RPM drive lasts until the end of the year but with no product refreshes scheduled. Then focus switches completely to 2.5-inch drives with today's Enterprise Turbo SSHD identifiable as the codenamed Ironman. There's also a 1.2TB 6Gbit/s SAS product which is the Enterprise Performance 10K.7 disk product.

In the enterprise capacity area we have a 2TB 2.5-inch Constellation due in late 2014, and a 6TB Constellation 3.5-in drive due in mid-2014. There appears to be an intervening Constellation ES.3 Megalodon due in mid-to-late 2013 and on the scene until the 6TB drive's appearance. That's possibly the current Constellation ES.3 or newer Terascale product, both at 4TB

The value sector has a 5TB Constellation CS also due in mid-2014, before the 6TB drive arrives.

It's reported that Seagate has refused to comment about the chart; the standard practice in such situations. ®

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