Seagate 20TB IronWolf NAS and EXOS X20 Review
Published: 11th May 2022 | Source: Seagate | Price: |
If you've ever spent some time messing about with video or sorting out photographs of your loved ones you'll know how quickly even a big capacity hard drive can fill up. When you step away from the single-user desktop and instead move in to the world where you're perhaps running a website, or even small business, then the data requirements sky rocket.
Large drive arrays fall in to two main categories. On the one hand you have a NAS, which means Network Attached Storage but in general is more usually applied to home bays of between 2 and 6 drives. In the business world you have arrays which can have dozens of drives installed for petabytes of storage capacity. Seagate, the masters of storage for as long as we can remember, have two high capacity drives which are very similar in a lot of ways, but have different intended audiences.
The IronWolf NAS drive is a 20TB model that can push 300 TB/Year and still be within the warranty, and is aimed squarely at those of you with a voracious data appetite and perhaps a 4 bay NAS to keep your data stored for whatever purpose you're using it. The Exos X20 is a big step up from that, designed to fuel the needs of Enterprise customers who might have 20 or more of these drives in a rack. What really steps the Exos X20 up from the IronWolf is the inclusion of a helium sealed unit, keeping temperatures low whilst also stabilising the drive for the kind of hard life that Enterprise drives are expected to have. With 500 TB/Y throughput and twice the Mean Time Before Failure (MTBF) - 2.5 Million hours on the Exos compared to 1.2M on the IronWolf - it's clear the Exos is for those who are very serious about their storage.
When dealing with good old mechanical HDDs we're not expecting the performance between the two to be massively different, but that's the great benefit of testing hardware such as this, which lives at the upper end of its segment, you never know. Is the step up to the Exos worth the extra outlay, or will the IronWolf be all the storage you're likely to need?