Updated Hitachi GST is taking on Seagate by launching a fast and small hard drive that matches the Savvio's capacity and SAS 2 interface but has four times the cache.
In the enterprise 2.5-inch drive market Seagate has a 15,000rpm Savvio 15K.2 drive - two meaning second generation - that offers 73 and 146GB capacity points and has a 16MB cache.
Hitachi GST, the ambitious number three in the hard drive industry, has launched its Ultrastar C15K147, also spinning at 15,000rpm. You get 147GB, 1 more than Seagate, and a 64MB cache with the SAS 2 (6Gbit/s) interface. There's an encryption option and the usual stuff about efficient power management and vibration cancelling and so forth, but the gist of it is that HGST has got a drive that matches Savvio 15K.2 speed and capacity and quadruples its cache.
HGST has also been busy with its Ultrastar brand in the 3.5-inch form factor space. There's a 600GB 15K600 product, which also spins at 15,000rpm and has a 64MB cache. It has either an SAS 2 or a 4Gbit/s Fibre Channel interface.
HGST's target is Seagate's equivalent product, the Cheetah 15K.7. It offers 600GB from its 15,000rpm platters, has a 4gig FC interface and a 16MB cache. So what HGST is bringing as extras to the table are the 6gig SAS interface and a much bigger cache.
Hitachi GST is continuing to develop and extend its product range. It has a solid state drive coming, courtesy of a deal with Intel, and developments like these two Ultrastar drives increase its strength as a drive supplier. If it manages to keep up with Seagate and WD in the coming transition from perpendicular magnetic recording to bit patterning or heat-assisted magnetic recording, then it will have strengthened its credibility as a supplier enormously.
Update: This story has been updated to include a discussion of Seagate's 15K.2 146GB Savvio drive. ®