Seagate recently introduced their 18TB flagship IronWolf Pro hard drive for SMB/SME NAS units. Today, the company is unveiling the Exos enterprise version of the same drive. The Exos X18 goes head-to-head against the Western Digital WD Gold 18TB EAMR-based drives introduced in July. Seagate is also taking the opportunity to expand their application/storage server lineup with a 2U 12-bay model - the Exos AP 2U12 Compute and Storage System.

The Seagate Exos X18, like the IronWolf Pro 18TB, is a 7200 RPM CMR (conventional magnetic recording) drive with a 256MB multi-segmented cache. It contains additional reliability features, and firmware tweaks to provide features geared towards data centers and enterprise storage arrays. These include caching tweaks to optimize the drive for low-latency large data transfers, and a power balance feature that allows customization of the power consumption for the best possible watts/TB given a particular set of workloads. The MTBF increases from 1.2M in the IronWolf Pro to 2.5M hours for the Exos X18.

The maximum sustained disk transfer rate also increases from 260 MBps to 270 MBps. Seagate quotes maximum operating power of 9.4W, with idling average at 5.3W. The IronWolf Pro 18TB idles at 5.2W.

Seagate also has a lineup of products under the Exos Systems tag - these include multi-bay rackmount storage enclosures falling under three different categories - the AP series for compute and storage with an in-built x86 server CPU, the X series RAID enclosures, and the E series JBOD enclosures. Today, the company is introducing a 2U12 AP model - as the name suggests, the 2U rackmount server supports up to 12 3.5" drives and comes with two 10GBASE-T ports and two gigabit ports. The server board is based on the Xeon v5 v4 family, and CPUs with TDP of up to 85W are supported.

Coming back to the Exos X18, Seagate offers it in both SATA and SAS versions. The SATA version has a MSRP of $562, undercutting the WD Gold by $30.

Source: Seagate

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  • melgross - Thursday, September 17, 2020 - link

    No, but possibly the ones that Newegg has are problematic. Why take a chance?
  • PeachNCream - Thursday, September 17, 2020 - link

    I'm eager to see these models featured in the next Anandtech "consumer" hard drive recommendation article!
  • ganeshts - Thursday, September 17, 2020 - link

    If you can buy it on Amazon or Newegg, and it works on consumer equipment -> it is a 'consumer' hard drive :)
  • PeachNCream - Thursday, September 17, 2020 - link

    Good grief! I mean I suppose that's a fair argument, but you can also buy professional workstation GPUs from Amazon so are those consumer graphics adapters at Anandtech recommends for gaming? I'd suggest that it may be better to align consumer recommendations with products the manufacturers market at consumer segments rather than what you can get Amazon to conjure up at your front porch.
  • Reflex - Thursday, September 17, 2020 - link

    I think the reason these show up is that they are competitively priced against the consumer drives and have much better warranties. As a consumer I'd want to know I could get enterprise grade storage for the same price with better support.

    How Seagate markets the drives does not matter much to me.
  • PeachNCream - Thursday, September 17, 2020 - link

    Better warranty support and price per capacity are both perfectly valid reasons to make an enterprise drive purchase as a consumer. I would not begin to refute that because it's a totally sensible thought process with which I agree completely.

    However, I disagree that enterprise hardware should be presented in the periodic article that makes consumer drive recommendations which is what I was alluding to previously. In fact, in recent consumer hard drive recommendation articles, most of the drives recommended were not consumer targeted hard disks so the title simply doesn't align with the contents. Why not strip out the word "consumer" from the title and just recommend mechanical hard drives or run two articles wherein one covers consumer targeted products and the other captures enterprise equipment? Either option would make more sense and neither would call into question the value or rationality of individual purchasing preferences.

    So you see, it's got everything to do with article title versus content and nothing at all to do with the thought process behind an individual's personal preference when shopping for and purchasing computer components.
  • Reflex - Thursday, September 17, 2020 - link

    While I get your concern, I just don't think it's an important distinction to make. If you are a consumer right now, these are the drives you should be getting. If it's a consumer targeted article they should be pointing it out.

    If these drives were somehow more complicated to use, or more difficult to warranty or performed in unexpected ways, sure, I get your point. But there is literally no reason a consumer should be passing these over at this time, and as a consumer I would prefer to know this is an option and that it is a better value.

    Again, as a consumer, Seagate's marketing practices are completely irrelevant to me. I just want to know what the best deal for my money is. And these are at the moment the best deal.
  • PeachNCream - Friday, September 18, 2020 - link

    That's cool. I just think that it would work out better to omit one word - consumer - from the consumer hard drive recommendations article. For someone that doesn't care about the distinction at all, the omission should hardly matter to you and for others like me that find the mismatch strange, it would actually be somewhat helpful.
  • bigboxes - Thursday, September 17, 2020 - link

    Gave up on Seagate a long time ago. I've got four 10TB HGST enterprise drives in my home server. They were quite expensive when i got them in 2017. Worth it.
  • ravib123 - Friday, September 18, 2020 - link

    HGST has good running numbers, we’ve got a lot out in the field.

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