Many analysts believed that 2.5-inch hard drives in the future should have disappeared altogether, as in the corporate segment they would not find space between 3.5-inch drives and ultra-fast solid-state drives of different types (NVMe, SSD). But if you carefully examine the model range of the same SuperMicro, it is clear that more than half of the models of rack servers have 2.5-inch slots for HDD, and platforms for GPU computing generally come with only 2.5-inch compartments occupying less space. At this stage, analysts ’ forecasts did not come true - customers still have a demand for a large amount of local data on the server, which requires a large amount of storage.
Last year, Seagate rebranded its hard drives, combining and combining enterprise models into a series of Exos, including both 3.5-inch and 2.5-inch HDDs with different volume and different spindle speeds. The 2.4-terabyte 2.5-inch hard drive Exos E102400 (P/N ST2400MM0129) we are considering was previously called Enterprise Performance 10K v9, but the name change did not affect the technical characteristics or even the firmware, even the SKU number remained unchanged. As you can see from the previous name, we are dealing with the ninth generation of drives, of which the first six belonged to the Savvio 10K-10K series.6, seventh and eighth - to Enterprise Performance 10K, and ninth - to Enterprise Performance 10k and exos. Since the eighth generation, these drives have been added NAND-cache reading (TurboBoost Technology), so it is correct to call these drives hybrid.
Key features of Exos 10e2400 (Enterprise Performance 10k v9)
- Volume - 2.4 TB
- Interface - SAS-12
- Native 4K sector support
- Spindle speed - 10500 RPM
- Typical access time is 2.9 MS
- Buffer - 256 MB
- NVC-cache - 8 MB
- Flash read buffer - 16 GB
- Size - 2.5 inches
- 4 plates, 8 heads
- Record type - PMR
Test bench configuration:
- CPU - Intel Xeon E5-2603 v4
- Motherboard: ASRock Rack EPC612D4U-2T8R
- 32 GB of RAM
- Debian 9 “stretch” (VDBench)
- Seagate Savvio 10K.6 600Gb for comparison
Distinctive features of Exos 10E2400
One of the distinguishing features of the 9th generation 10K series is support for 512E (Advanced Format) and 4Kn formats. At the physical level, the sector size is 4 KB, but by default, the disk presents a 512-byte sector to the operating system through simple emulation. To date, not every operating system and not every program supports a 4-kilobyte logical sector. For example, even in VMware ESXi support for 4-kilobyte blocks appeared only in version 6.7, released in mid-2018, and still 4-kilobyte drives can not be forwarded to the guest OS via RDM. So, when you make sure that all your programs work properly with 4-kilobyte sectors, you will just need to reformat the hard drive to the new block size. Seagate promises that if the partitioning program supports Fast Format, the conversion will take seconds.
If you install the hard drive in the storage system, the storage system itself should be aware of the support for Fast Format, that is, these drives should be in the compatibility list. And of course, by default the disks come with a sector size of 512 KB in emulation mode (512E mode).