Tosh's new workhorse drive: Not too desktop, not too enterprise

Need a 24/7 NAS disk? Mmm, maybe the MN series is just right

Toshiba has a new desktop and low-end NAS disk drive, the MN series.

It comes in a 3.5-inch enclosure, with 4, 6 and 8TB capacities, is air-filled, spins at 7,200rpm, has a 6Gbps SATA interface, and a 1 million-hour mean time before failure rating. We can view it as an update on the MC04, MD04 and MG04 series drives.

The MN series is intended for 24/7 operation, and up to 300,000 load/unload cycles. The average latency is 4.17ms and the drives have rotational vibration sensors to help mitigate its effects. Sequential data transfers operate at up to 230MiB/s.

Toshiba says it bridges the value gap between top-end enterprise capacity HDDs and entry-level desktop HDDs. We might compare it to Seagate's BarraCuda desktop drives with their 500GB-4TB capacity range, 7,200rpm and 6Gbps SATA interface, and also to Seagate's larger BarraCuda Pro version with its 6, 8 and 10TB capacity points. Both product types are air-filled.

Looking over WD's disk drive range for similar products, we alight on its Purple surveillance drives and Gold data center nearline drives. These are air-filled at the 4 and 6TB capacity points but helium-filled for the 8 and 10TB levels. Toshiba has not yet added helium-filled drive technology to its products, and thus suffers from a high-end capacity problem, being unable to progress beyond 8TB as of now.

It introduced its X300 8TB desktop drive in May last year.

Toshiba says these new MN04ACA/MN05ACA series products deliver "the performance and reliability needed for file and object storage workloads that typically utilize sequential data transfer operations."

Toshiba_MN_series_HDD

Toshiba MN series drive with lid off

The target market is basically one needing cost-effective drives for moderate (not data center) workloads with suggested applications being:

  • Mid-level, entry-level and SOHO NAS storage enclosures
  • Remote-office backup and archival storage
  • Home multimedia data archive
  • Fixed-content object storage

You can inspect a data sheet here. The drives are available now but we have seen no pricing information. ®

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