Toshiba sets a new record with its conventional magnetic recording hard disk (CMR) which increases its maximum capacity to 20 Terabytes. What are the characteristics of the new hard drive, which we put to the test.

CMR (Conventional Magnetic Recording) is a type of data logging technology that uses a single magnetic layer. We have seen the main differences between hard drive technologies: CMR, SMR, MAMR, HAMR and HDMR – until the advent of the technology SMR (Shingled Magnetic Recording)which uses partial trace overlays in order to achieve higher storage density, the CMR approach has always been the gold standard.

Il advantage The main reason for using CMR technology is that it allows for higher reliability and higher performance than SMR technology. In particular, CMR allows the hard drives to record data more accurately and consistently, which reduces the likelihood of errors or data loss. Also, CMR delivers write performance more convincing and faster data access times than SMR technology, especially when dealing with applications that perform particularly demanding random write tasks.

In general, CMR technology is still preferred over e.g. SMR for demanding hard drives performance e reliability high, such as those used in corporate servers, NAS and backup systems.

Toshiba strikes with a new solution for the data storage intended for professionals and businesses: the innovative 20 Terabyte MG10ACA20TE hard disk is striking precisely for its specifications: it is in fact a unit that does not use tricks and does not look for “shortcuts”. The spearhead of the series hard disk Toshiba MG10 in fact, it uses CMR technology, a 10-plate design separated by helium and the innovative solution Flux Control Microwave Assisted Magnetic Recording (FC-MAMR) from Toshiba to increase storage capacity.

Toshiba MG10 20 Terabyte Hard Drive: 10 helium platters and FC-MAMR technology to increase capacities

Toshiba MG10ACA20TE uses 20 heads that take care of reading and writing on the 10 magnetic plates which are rotated at 7,200 RPM. The use ofelioa gas that has a lower density than air, has made it possible to mount thin and light plates in the hard disk as well as reduce energy consumption and improve performance.

Thanks to the choice of helium, it was possible reduce friction thereby diminishing theusury of components and ensure a longer life and overall reliability of the hard drive. The air resistance that usually occurs inside the hard disk is overcome with tangible benefits also in terms of disc heating which can operate at acceptable temperatures.

Equipped with 512MB cache, SATA III interface, Toshiba MG10ACA20TE hard drive retains the classic form factor 3.5-inch while looking down on his 20 Terabyte of capacity.

Toshiba MG10 20 Terabyte Hard Drive: 10 helium platters and FC-MAMR technology to increase capacities

The company mentions one maximum data transfer rate equal to 268 MB/s for the MG10ACA20TE unit while, as regards energy consumption, it ranges from 8.11W in 4K random read/write mode to 4.38W in idle. As a workload, Toshiba states that the drive can withstand up to 550TB/year and provides a 5 year warranty.

The technological solutions used by Toshiba in the MG10 series

As the conventional data storage technology hard disk is pushed to the extreme, problems arise that require the use of some innovative technologies. As the density of data on disk increases, the potentials also increase magnetic interference between tracks (ITI), which causes problems in data management and the appearance of errors.

Toshiba MG10 20 Terabyte Hard Drive: 10 helium platters and FC-MAMR technology to increase capacities

As for the operations of readingtechnology TDMR (Two-Dimensional Magnetic Recording) adopted by Toshiba uses two elements in the head that has been designed precisely to counteract potential problems. In writing, the aforementioned FC-MAMR significantly improves head stability by more precisely directing the magnetic field between the magnetic recording pole and the recording medium. Two magnetic layers are embedded in the writing space of the head and one is applied bias current which reverses the magnetization of one of the layers, an effect known as spin-transfer torqueimproving the recording range and the performance of the writing head.

Lo spin-transfer torque (STT) is a physical phenomenon that occurs when an electric current (the use of low currents is required) passes through a magnetized material: the electrons moving in the current interact with the spins of the magnetized electrons, generating a magnetic force known as torque. The spin-transfer torque is precisely used to control the magnetization of a magnetic material and write bits, represented by regions of magnetized material with a magnetization oriented in a specific direction.

To maintain maximum performance during various activities, the MG10 unit also leverages technologies Stable Platter e Dynamic Cache di Toshiba. Stable Platter reduces vibration by stabilizing the motor shaft at both ends while Dynamic Cache optimizes the way cache is allocated thanks to an intelligent algorithm and built-in buffer management.

In the end, Persistent Write Cache protects data by avoiding any loss of information, possible with other products. If apower outage while the drive is writing to the disk, data is cached and written to the drive when the hard disk gets power again.

The performance

In terms of performance, a hard disk like the Toshiba MG10ACA20TE is convincing: put to the test with a tool like CrystalDiskMarkthe hard drive recorded – in our tests – approx 3,400 MB/s reading nel test 4K QD32 T1.

Toshiba, as we highlighted earlier, refers to 268MB/s as sustained transfer rate: this is easily confirmed by running a test, for example, with ATTO Disk Benchmark, a Windows-compatible software tool that performs a wide range of tests to estimate the performance of the unit storage in the “real world”: it is possible to customize the queue of activities to be disposed of, the overlapping of I/O operations, request continuous execution of the test.

ATTO Disk Benchmark returns one data transfer rate understood as sustained transfer rate equal to about 265 MB/s, both in reading and in writing, exactly as declared by Toshiba.

With expression sustained transfer rate this refers to the data transfer rate that can be sustained continuously on a hard disk drive. In other words, it represents the average speed of reading or writing data to a hard drive when transferring large amounts of data, such as when copying a large file.

Il sustained transfer rate is an important measure of hard drive performance, representing how quickly a drive can transfer large amounts of data. It can be affected by various factors such as the rotational speed of the disc, the data density and the recording technology used. This figure does not represent the theoretical maximum speed of a hard disk drive, but rather the effective speed which can be sustained continuously while transferring large volumes of data.

Also in terms of throughput medio, the performances reported by Toshiba are confirmed in field tests: even the peak speed goes almost up to 300 MB/s and then drops to around 260 MB/s. On average, however, it is about 265 MB/s.

Posted in a NASin this case a four-bay QNAP TS-451D2, the Toshiba MG10ACA20TE hard drive scored a measured data transfer rate of approximately 273 MB/s in sequential reading and 192 IOPS in writing.

Toshiba MG10 20 Terabyte Hard Drive: 10 helium platters and FC-MAMR technology to increase capacities

Tested with large file transfers (we used both TeraCopy That FastCopy), the hard drive of the series MG10 ensured stable performance by recording around 285MB/s. By “pushing” the drive with a large number of very small files, the Toshiba hard drive exhibited underperformance that did not exceed 160 MB/s for both read and write.

Being addressed to business segmentIt’s no surprise that the 20TB model we tested has what it takes to work 24/7/365. Because the data growth continues at an impressive pace, Toshiba’s innovative 20TB MG10 hard drives with FC-MAMR technology will help service provider cloud-scale and the designers of storage solutions achieve higher storage densities for cloud, hybrid cloud, and rack storage on-premise.

More information about the Toshiba MG10 series can be found on the official website of the manufacturer.


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