IBM's storage division claims that its new hard disk drive outperforms Seagate's, which is currently the fastest in the industry, but analysts believe this achievement may be short-lived.
Seagate's drive currently performs at 15,000 revolutions per minute (rpm), which is considerably faster than the standard 1000rpm. But Big Blue claims that its new offering, the Ultrastar 36Z15, is the first 15,000rpm hard disk drive to also provide 36Gb of storage capacity.
The device transfers media at up to 647Mbps and has a seek time of 3.4 milliseconds. IBM attests that this is up to 25 per cent faster than existing 15,000rpm drives and up to 50 per cent faster than existing 10,000rpm models.
But Dave Reinsel, an analyst at IDC, said that even though IBM's drive now matches Seagate's, the situation may be short-lived. "Seagate is expected to improve its own 15,000rpm drive in the coming months, and companies like Fujitsu and Hitachi plan to move into the 15,000rpm drive space as well," he claimed.
Bill Healy, vice president of IBM's storage technology division, said: "The drives were designed to respond to today's performance needs, from customers interfacing with internet applications to partners accessing an extranet or a proprietary company intranet."
Big Blue has also come up with an 18Gb version of the Ultrastar 36Z15 and this is due to ship this quarter alongside the 36Gb version. A 2Gbit fibre channel interface version is scheduled to appear in the second quarter.
The Ultrastars are targeted at applications such as online transaction processing, online analytical processing, ecommerce transactions, customer relationship management and high-performance database servers.
IBM supplies drives to original equipment manufacturers such as Compaq, EMC, Hewlett Packard and Sun Microsystems.
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