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Demartek Evaluation: Seagate TurboBoost™ Enhanced Cache HDDs

May 2017

Advanced Format Hard disk drives have traditionally used a 512-byte sector architecture. Significant increases in storage capacities have required the industry to update to an Advanced Format (AF) architecture which increases the native sector block size to 4096 bytes (or “4K” blocks). In order to maintain compatibility with existing hardware and software systems, 4K (“4Kn”) sector size disk drives also support 512-byte emulation known as “512e.” Seagate’s Enterprise Performance 15K HDD v6 drives support the Advanced Format (AF) architecture. The AF drives include not only a boost in performance over a standard 512 Advanced Format 4Kn native drive, but also a new Seagate feature entitled “FastFormat” that can easily upgrade installations from 512e ↔ 4Kn in seconds allowing the user to future-proof their system with a single drive purchase. Seagate’s combination of increased performance and greater flexibility on Enterprise Performance HDD with enhanced cache assists IT professionals making the transition to Advanced Formats.

Seagate’s Enterprise Performance 15K HDD v6 Advanced Format configuration supports enhanced caching to improve random reads and writes. The performance improvements require no changes from the system side and increases random write small block transfers and decrease the response times on localized random reads. Seagate’s Advanced Write Cache feature improves random write performance by using Non-Volatile cache and mirrored DRAM. Localized random reads are improved with TurboBoost by moving the hot data to just the right amount of flash on the drive for an overall performance gain on average of 3X.

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