Seagate wants to stuff 12TB of storage into your desktop and NAS boxes

If it is a single high-capacity hard drive you're after, you have options. Seagate just expanded its IronWolf and IronWolf Pro HDD families for NAS applications and BarraCuda Pro for desktops to 12TB. The capacious hard drives are response into the growing amount of data that is out there—according to a study by Seagate and IDC, data creation will swell to 163 zettabytes (ZB) by 2025. 

"Our storage hungry customers and partners continue to ask for our latest and greatest technology along with increased capacity and performance in our purpose built products," said Matt Rutledge, senior vice president of Business Marketing at Seagate Technology."With the 12TB Pro products, Seagate buyers are overcoming capacity constraints in their systems and can access vast amounts of digital data anytime, from anywhere."

The BarraCuda Pro is now available in six different capacities, including 2TB, 4TB, 6TB, 8TB, 10TB, and 12TB. Each one has a 7,200 RPM spindle speed and 256MB of cache. The 12TB model offers a maximum sustained transfer rate of 260MB/s.

Seagate's IronWolf now comes in eight different capacities ranging from 1TB to 12TB, while the IronWolf Pro family sports six models ranging from 2TB to 12TB. Both lines are intended for NAS boxes—the IronWolf targets home users, and IronWolf Pro takes aim at commercial and enterprise NAS solutions.

Reliability is always an important factor, though even more so when dealing with high-capacity HDDs such as the new 12TB models today. To that end, the IronWolf Pro and BarraCuda Pro are both backed by 5-year warranties, while the IronWolf is curiously only guaranteed for 3 years.

Seagate as a brand is sometimes the subject of heavy criticism in this arena. Much of it is anecdotal, though looking at a hard drive reliability report earlier this year by cloud backup provider Backblaze, one of Seagate's 4TB models (ST400DX000) high a relatively high annualized failure rate, albeit with a small sample size. Other models by Seagate fared much better.

Looking ahead, if Seagate sticks to its previously announced time frame, it will have 14TB and 16TB models within around the next 10 months, followed by a 20TB HDD in 2020.

There is still a big market for HDDs even as faster solid state drives have become commonplace. And for Seagate, HDDs are still proving lucrative—the company generated $2.4 billion during its fiscal fourth quarter that ended June 30, 2017, of which more than $2.2 billion came from HDD sales.