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Hitachi Marks Its 'Tera Era' With Green Drives

Green tech

Responding to customer demand for big storage that's more energy efficient and secure, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies today announced its next generation of 1 terabyte hard drives, which offer data encryption in a more compact form factor.

Hitachi GST's Deskstar 7K1000.B product line features a three-disk design that requires less power and cooling. In addition, it has an optional security feature, Bulk Data Encryption, based on the Advanced Encryption Standard certified by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Hitachi also announced the Deskstar E7K1000, offering the same low-power characteristics and optional encryption, designed for deep data archiving.

By using green technologies, enterprises promise to cut rising utility costs in light of growing storage demands related to regulatory issues and business mandates.

"We knew from the response to our first 1TB product we had to address several needs," Larry Swezey, director, consumer and commercial hard drive marketing and strategy, told InternetNews.com.

"One was to provide TB capacity in a more affordable way. The three-head design is more power efficient and offers the same reliability of the five-disk design," Swezey said.

Research house IDC reports an annual average increase of 19 percent in storage power and cooling costs, and enterprise storage costs are predicted to spike from this year's $1.3 billion to more than $2 billion by 2009. The big culprit? Storage is growing at a annual rate of 50 percent.

Hitachi GST said its new products align with what it views as "a new age" in storage that the vendor has dubbed the "Tera Era." Going forward the focus will be on storing heavy data content and dealing with spiking capacity needs, Swezey said.

The product's energy focus is tied to meeting emerging developments such as Energy Star rating systems for storage appliances, similar to what's in place already for consumer appliances.

Right now the EPA's Energy Star 4.0 specifications are used to identify energy-efficient PCs and other computer equipment. There is movement to produce similar specs for storage devices.

According to Hitachi, most enterprises deal with storage security by adding software that can introduce management complexity and hinder performance by as much as 15 percent,. By providing the built-in encryption option, Hitachi is making security easier, Swezey said.

Swezey adds that because the storage is hardware-based, no performance impact results.

The 3.5-inch drives range in capacity from 160GB to 1TB, offering a maximum of 375GB of storage per disk. Hitachi debuted its first 1TB hard drive, the Deskstar 7K1000, in January 2007. In the earlier five-head design each drive had a 200GB capacity. One TB is equal to 1,000GB.