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Seagate hybrid drive vs SSD with WDE

Created: 12 Aug 2012 | 3 comments

Hello,

Does anyone know if the Seagate Momentus hybrid XT drives have the same possible security problems as SSD? Do they need to be encrypted before sensitive data is written to them, and is there any hint of the wear levelling problem that causes the issues with SSD, or is it basically a normal HDD?

Of course, any idea of the performance once WDE has been performed on them? Better than SSD?

Many thanks.

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Alex_CST's picture

At the moment PGP WDE does not support drives in "4k native" mode, I am not 100% sure what mode that particular model is, but that is the current issue PGP WDE has with modern drives.  4kn support is being implemented I am aware.

Check on their website/tech specs to see what mode their drives run in.  If it can do 512e (emulation) then it will work because that is supported.

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PGP_Ben's picture

I haven't ever tested (myself) using a hybrid drive in Windows with PGP WDE. But I'm told that Hybrid drives are NOT as fast as an SSD or faster. They usually only have a limited amount of flash memory onboard and the rest is still stored on a spinning disk spindle. It always a good idea to encrypt the drive before storing sensitive data on it, but not necessarily required unless you are using the --fast mode which only encrypts used sectors on the disk.  I would expect that performance of a Hybrid drive will perform better than a regular 5400 or 7200 rpm spinning disk drive (probably even 10K for that matter unless it's SAS) but not better than most enterprise grade SSD  drives on the market today since those are purely flash based storage and the hybrid is a mixture of both.

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vaibhav_jain1's picture

As Ben has written, Hybrid drives are slower then SSD's.PGP WDE does not have any impact on any drive's performance once encrypted (or to say equal minimal impact due to encryption driver filter)

I'm not sure about the security issues for SSD's that you are talking about but while testing these drives(SATA, SSD, Hybrid) I didn't see any difference (apart from performance). They all worked just fine.