Toshiba debuts 600GB 2.5-inch hard drive

The small hard-disk drive has optional self-encryption and is designed to meet the demands of businesses dealing with high volumes of data

Toshiba is moving into selling small hard-disk drives for enterprises, with the introduction of a high-performance 2.5-inch drive with capacities of up to 600GB.

The MBF2600RC hard-disk drive, announced on Wednesday, provides both 6Gbps SAS and 4Gbps Fibre Channel interfaces, making it the highest-capacity SAS-interfaced drive available in the 2.5-inch form factor.

The 10025 RPM device is aimed at key, data-intensive storage applications such as midrange volume servers, storage arrays, and blade-mounted and rack-mounted servers, Toshiba said.

"The generation of high volumes of data is increasing in pace, and businesses are under immense pressure to accurately and securely back up this information...It is therefore vital that HDD manufacturers continue to develop first-rate solutions that are agile and robust enough to support their storage needs," Martin Larsson, vice president of storage for Toshiba Europe, in a statement.

Toshiba plans to offer self-encrypting versions of the product, which it said will make data protection transparent and therefore improve security and legislative compliance.

The 2.5-inch drive will also be launched in a 450GB version (MBF2450RC) and a 300GB version (MBF2300RC). The MBF line of small hard-disk drives will arrive in April, Toshiba said, but the company was unable to provide pricing details.

The company's 2.5-inch drive forms part of a trend towards the smaller form factor, which is becoming more widely adopted in servers and storage arrays for its improved space and power efficiency.

Disk drive market leader Seagate has recently launched a similar drive, the Savvio ST9600204SS, with similar specifications, also with encryption variants.

Seagate claims its product consumes less power than Toshiba's, as the drive's spin rate slows down when not under load.

Toshiba quotes a higher media transfer rate of 216Mbps against the Seagate's 142Mbps, but a slightly lower average access time of four milliseconds against the Seagate's three milliseconds. Toshiba offers more capacity choices, with devices available in 300GB, 450GB and 600GB capacities, while Seagate offers 450GB and 600GB variants only.

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