Not too long ago, Seagate launched Mach.2 drives with dual actuators. We expected that WD (and eventually Toshiba) would have to do the same to increase the throughput of hard drives, and that's exactly what happened with the introduction of WD Dual Actutaor drives last week.
Dual Actuators mean Double throughputThe analogy is very simple: you have one drive with one actuator and you get about 220-250 MBps. If you run 2 drives in parallel, you get 440-500 MBps. This is nothing new, and integrators have used parallelism with RAIDs in the past. However, what is new is that a drive natively with two actuators works as one unit.
The future of EAMR drives is Multi Actuator
Seagate was the first to introduce dual actuator drives, WD was the second and Toshiba has yet to make an announcement. Toshiba will also have to use Dual Actuators at some point to keep up with the transfer speeds of the competition.
With the capacity of hard drives continuing to increase thanks to EAMR and no new technology on the horizon to increase throughput, it seems the only way forward is to use multiple actuators working in parallel.