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Seagate launches 60TB SSD, world's highest capacity solid state drive

Photo via @Seagate

At the Flash Memory Summit conference Seagate has today announced a 60TB solid-state-drive (SSD), the largest capacity SSD at this point in time. Seagate say the driver has four times the capacity and twice the density of the next largest competing unit and could store approximately 12,000 DVD-quality movies or 400 million photos.

Thanks to its enterprise HDD 3.5-inch form factor, swapping out and connecting drives is very easy, increasing data accessibility in data centers that have to estimate short term versus long term data accessibility and storage needs. And thanks to its flexible architecture, it also provides a way for data centers to easily grow from the current 60TB capacity to 100TB of data or more in the future, using the same form factor. 

The bad news is that the Seagate 60TB SSD is currently only available for demonstration purposes and will only make its debut some time in 2017. So you'll have to look for an intermediate solution if you current image storage is running out of capacity. Seagate has not given any information on pricing yet but says the drive will represent the lowest current cost per GB for flash memory once it is available. 

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maxnimo

How does data retention of this thing compare to a CDR or a hard drive?

Aug 13, 2016
msegel

Since this is a demo drive, its hard to say.
The issue is the amount of heat generated and how well its removed.
Normally not a problem for SSDs, except when they are packed at this high of a density.

CD-Rs are probably the most stable, assuming that you can get another drive to read the media without an issue. However, they are not really R/W drives, more used for write once, read many and are also slower to access. Slowest of the 3.

Spinning drives, are relatively stable. Stable enough. However with mechanical parts (spinning drive, moving head.... they are prone to mechanical failures over time.

SSDs have no moving parts. However cells do wear out over time (same with spinning rust too btw) However they are warranted to last at least several years where you ave writing and over writing the entire drive. They are the most stable and shock resistant of the three. Also the fastest.

Aug 14, 2016
MikeFairbanks

Remember the last "floppy" discs, the ones that were about 3.5 by 3.5 inches?

They were 1.3 mb. Crazy how far we've come in such a short time.

Aug 12, 2016
Toselli

At the time they were retired there were also 500 GB - 1 TB hard drives, for consumers (and this 60 TB is not). The 3.5" floppy were designed in the late '80s and didn't have evolution since then.
I am not saying that such a storage density isn't amazing, just that it would not be that amazing if it will cost as a small house!

Aug 13, 2016
FLruckas
FLruckas

The Samsung 16tb is about $10,300 so I wouldn't be surprised if this is under $20,000.

I'm not sure where you could by a small house for that price, or even a new car.

So it's not amazing that some medium format digital systems cost 2x as much as this?

Aug 14, 2016
MikeFairbanks

You can buy a real house in some parts of Florida for under twenty grand. Better bring your pit bulls, though, as those neighborhoods are rough.

Aug 14, 2016
madsector

The floppy disk form factor also evolved by time, in its end of life drives and disks with 120 MB were available, even downwards compatible to 1.4 MB disks...

Aug 14, 2016
tabloid

I see that you can get a LaCie 6TB Desktop Hard Drive with thunderbolt and USB 3.0 for about £300 ($450 US ?).

Would love that as a SSD.

Give it another year, and everything will be SSD.

I remember those mini hard drive for digital cameras....
Those were the days my friend (thankfully gone).
Roll on SSD.

Aug 12, 2016
E.J.

This is 60TB!!!!

Aug 12, 2016
Toselli

This one is 10 times the capacity! And SSD! So for common spinning disks you could expect 10 times what you mentioned, so about £3000 (€3500), but this one will surely cost a lot more, for being ssd and also a unique product. I would expect something like € 20000! The traditional hard drives won't go away for at least the next 5 years in my opinion!

Aug 13, 2016
Santosh Vijayan
Santosh Vijayan

I hope "SEAGATE" is providing free services also ?

Aug 12, 2016
rialcnis

When it is available for 129.95 it will mean true holographic storage is around the corner.

Aug 11, 2016
maxnimo

I'd like to see a storage medium that addresses reliability and long-term data retention so I won't have to always remember to make multiple backups of backups, and worry if it can still be read 10 years from now.

Aug 11, 2016
cgarrard
cgarrard

Nothing can stop degradation, its a natural law ;).

Aug 12, 2016
maxnimo

True, everything will someday degrade, but I'm not asking for 100 million year data retention ... only 5000 years. Even a measly 100 years would be a good start.

Aug 13, 2016
cgarrard
cgarrard

I hear ya.

Aug 13, 2016
Toselli

A long time ago someone was designing a memory in the SD form factor that was only write, so that the pictures couldn't be removed, but it was designed also to be readable after 100 years or more! That project would be really interesting nowadays that the SDs are so cheap, but nothing was really released... If I recall correctly there were 128 MB and 256 MB sizes in development, just to give a reference of how much time is passed since then!

Aug 13, 2016
dialstatic
dialstatic

Hiëroglyphs and tubes held up pretty well. Maybe carve the ones and zeroes in stone?

Aug 13, 2016
dialstatic
dialstatic

Tubes=runes. I need an edit button for my posts :(

Aug 13, 2016
maxnimo

If you could etch binary code into a crystal with a laser, that should last at least a whole bunch of centuries.

Aug 15, 2016
Mssimo
Mssimo

Does it work in a raid 5 config?

Aug 11, 2016
FLruckas
FLruckas

I'm sure this would work in a raid 5.

But it would be better if it were raid 1 where the 2nd drive is spinning raid 5 array.

This assumes you don't want to spend the money on multiple copies of this 60TB ssd.

You'd only need 7 of their 10TB hdds to mirror this ssd. And the street price of the 10TB is $450 or less.

Aug 11, 2016
oysso

if the raid driver support that large drives.

Aug 12, 2016
FLruckas
FLruckas

If the raid controller can support larger than 2TB drives it will most likely support 60TB drives.

Aug 12, 2016
graybalanced

In more immediate news, 2TB SSDs can now be found for under $600 on a good day, or just above $600 on most days. Which is awesome considering they were $1000 not long ago.

Aug 11, 2016
Fujica
Fujica

True, but the problem is 2TB is not much when you have a large photo catalogue.

I am currently on 8TB - You still need at least two systems for redundancy so that is 16TB in total. For my system it would mean 8 x 600 = 4200 dollars.

On good days you can get a 4TB WD RED for $150 = 600 dollars for 16TB.

Which is the price of one 2TB SSD

Aug 12, 2016*
graybalanced

Man, it's just like the NBC coverage of the opening ceremonies...some people have to find the most negative angle of any good news.

Aug 12, 2016
Midwest Camera Guy

So I guess what we have here is a double negative.

Aug 13, 2016
dbo
dbo

This 60TB is made to show what's possible, and will be price wise in the area where the use case is worth the (in our eyes) likely insane price level.
And it maybe helps to further lower the price of "our" SSDs in the area of 500GB to 4TB.

SSDs with such density will be needed for the upcoming 8k broadcasting.

Aug 11, 2016
skanter
skanter

I bought a 9G HD in the 90's (for video editing) for $4500.

Aug 11, 2016
MariusM

Couple of these and you might be able to back up your brain.

Aug 11, 2016
Rob Neill

In my case, I can do that using the 32GB SD card from my camera...

Aug 12, 2016
JordanAT
JordanAT

Gosh, this would be perfect. I could not only store all of my images and media in one place, but it would have enough for both live backup AND be able to take the place of my two offsite backups all in one place!!

(I'm kidding)

Aug 11, 2016
falconeyes
falconeyes

This is a test of feasibility (only).

Server farms will use what is most cost-effective, including power consumption, I concede. Large RAID arrays with 6-10TB HDDs have all the bandwidth. And the storage density is 1/6th.

As of today, server farms need a certain amount of CPU power and IO bandwidth to make use of the data, like searching thru it or serving requests over the network. Therefore, beyond some point, shrinking the storage doesn't make the computing center shrink.

Which means that cost/TB still is the driving force.
Which today is about $30 for HDD vs. about $300 for SSD.

1:6 in volume vs. 10:1 in price.

Still a long way to go for SSD technology to be adopted in server farms.

BTW, at $300/TB, this SSD would be $18,000. I guess it will sell for like $9,900 in 2017.

That's much more interesting for field recording (RAID1) than for server farms!

At 986 MByte/s (uncompressed 60fps 4.5k REDCODE RAW), the 60TB are good for 17h of movie or one working day. Perfect ;)

Aug 11, 2016*
Daryl Cheshire

I don't trust RAID, I had a motherboard die with on board RAID controller.
Also RAID cards can fail or have driver issues.
A single disk drive can still be accessable from another computer.
Yes backup, but still a PITA if a boot disk.

Aug 11, 2016
FLruckas
FLruckas

If you knew RAID you would know that the raid structure is on the disk and the disks could have been moved to another raid controller, imported, and you'd have been back online.

Someone implementing this 60TB drive wouldn't use mother board RAID anyway!

I never use motherboard RAID. Only 3rd party raid controllers.

Aug 11, 2016
paper4482

You're somewhat wrong about SSD not being used in server farms, in Enterprise storage they are; *most* of my retail sales customers use SSD based database platforms to speed up searches, remember, where the value of performance is more critical than just the cost/TB SSD is still the best option.

Aug 11, 2016
falconeyes
falconeyes

I agree with the database use case. Actually, the current trend goes beyond that (in-memory databases). However, that's not what I would consider a server farm scenario. That's more the enterprise data center use case with a few mission-critical applications.

Aug 11, 2016
TomasCZ72

You would be surprised how many SSD drives are already used in the server farms. The HDD coupled with SSD make a perfect pair to address speed, reliability and cost per byte in the same time. The objective is not replace HDDs with SSDs in a short or medium term, perhaps not in the next two decades.... That is not aim of SSD suppliers either. They are very smart. They know the customer will pay for the top class latest technology. No point to flood the market with lower capacity cheap SSDs. They always bring the new ones and pull the lower capacities out of the market.

Aug 12, 2016
bobbarber

Raid can be done in software, without a hardware controller. That's how it works in Linux, anyway. You just buy the number of disks you want. An extra component like a hardware controller just reduces your time to failure.

Aug 14, 2016
sh10453
sh10453

Obviously this is not intended for consumers.
The amount of data is beyond huge, and redundancy/backup/RAID is a must for such data.
Therefore, it is not affordable, or even a wise approach for consumers unless they can afford 2 of them in their server.

The 2TB SSD is becoming relatively affordable (but is still expensive at around $500, (which is what I had paid for a 500MB drive back in mid 90s), and probably many consumers can afford to chain a number of these, including redundancy, in an external configuration.
Ten of those in a RAID configuration (5 for storage, and 5 synchronized for backup) would cost about $5,000 (plus some pocket change for enclosure, etc.).
This is not much for someone who makes a living out of photography, but may not be affordable, or justified by many hobbyists.

Aug 11, 2016
Edac2
Edac2

However large the drive is, you'll want to buy two so you can use the second one as a backup. And it would probably take days to backup 60TB, if the drive doesn't melt into a pile of silicon goo first.

Aug 11, 2016
Michael Fryd
Michael Fryd

Backups can be on traditional spinning media.

In fact, there are advantages to storing backups on a different type of media. It reduces the chances that a firmware error could cause the loss of both the primary and the backup.

Aug 11, 2016
Danny
Danny

Imagine that some day we will find this thing, covered with dust, at someone' garage sale, making fun of it's capacity.

Aug 11, 2016
biggercountry

Cool that SSD data density has leapfrogged magnetic disc density by so many orders of magnitude. (This now makes it 6:1.) That happened faster than I thought it would. Shows how much I thought I knew.

Aug 11, 2016
Sannaborjeson
Sannaborjeson

God only knows how badly I need this! :-)

Aug 11, 2016
zodiacfml

I will not be able to imagine how much this thing will cost considering the Samsung 15TB is already at $10,000. Yet, this thing will be able to find buyers with data centers located in expensive locations.

Aug 11, 2016
junk1

I recall we paid a lot (perhaps $10k) for a very small (100MB?) solid state drive (not sure what they were called back then!) 10-13 years ago for a military application.

Aug 11, 2016
bwana4swahili
bwana4swahili

I have the $4,500 receipt for a 5 MByte harddrive back in 1980 and the 300 MByte disk pac out of a Prime computer's harddrive; the size of a washing machine, driven by a 1/2 HP motor and $25,000 a unit!

Isn't the the leaps and bounds of technology fun to watch...?

Aug 11, 2016
Adam Palmer

Want one so bad! I bet mere mortals can afford one in 5 years. My current batch of HD is 1 million times bigger than the first one I ever owned. 20mb vs 20th. It could happen.

Aug 11, 2016
lauarvic

Now I can store all my porn in one HD, thanks Seagate

Aug 11, 2016
Debankur Mukherjee
Debankur Mukherjee

Very impressive but what will be the price..........

Aug 11, 2016
Julian

Expensive, this one is for server rooms only... $10000 for Samsungs 15TB SSD so a few multiples more...
http://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2016/8/1/12342696/samsung-pm1633a-ssd-15tb-storage-drive-specs-price

Aug 11, 2016*
ScapingFeet
ScapingFeet

I can only hope the price of the smaller 1TB SSD's will come down now?

Aug 11, 2016
J A C S
J A C S

It may seem a lot but it is not good even for cat photos. There are 60+ million cats in the US. This drive would fit only one 1Mb photo of each one, and 1Mb is too low for a good IQ cat photo.

Aug 11, 2016
OpenandShutterCase
OpenandShutterCase

You need a good RAID array for cats. In any case, tech like 3D NAND might make rotational storage obsolete even under a pure $/GB basis. This particular drive is meant for servers though...I can't think of many workstations or consumer builds with SAS controllers.

Aug 11, 2016
Zdman

1MB cat photos borders on sacrilege. Cat photos must be stored with lossless compression or the fine details of the whiskers will be lost making them worthless. This won’t even cover 5% of the cats available. Segate will have to try harder.

Aug 11, 2016*
skanter
skanter

"Launches"? What does that mean? "Available sometime in 2017".

This is misrepresentation. "Announces" would be more accurate.

Aug 11, 2016
randalusa
randalusa

Launches an announcement maybe. Hey, writing copy for publication is difficult stuff. I've done it. Human beings, you know. We make a lot of mistakes and overlook things.

Aug 11, 2016
skanter
skanter

Yes, my 3TB WD "backup" drive died suddenly - no warning. Obviously, one needs to backup the backup, ad infinitum until it is an Escher drawing.

This is the weak link in modern computers - safe, automatic backup. Is this not possible?

Aug 11, 2016
PeaceKeeper

Uh... yes? Easily...

I can't even count the number of alternatives...

Aug 11, 2016
Richard Murdey
Richard Murdey

A working copy and a backup copy is usually sufficient. For extra safety you have your backup RAID1 or make a separate archive copy or buy cloud storage. In this case your backup failed but your working directory is ok so just get a new backup drive and copy again from your working directory... no big deal.

Aug 11, 2016
Mike FL

skanter;

Other than backup, here is what I did for one of my PC:
- Add one more HDD configured as RAID 1 for redundancy,
- Add 32GB M.2 SSD Cache card for accelerating the HDD by "Intel RST" utility

I did this after my WB "backup" drive died.

Anyway, the benefits of by configuring PC as above are:
- The PC is booting up as fast as my other PCs with SSD, so does launching APPs,

- HDD has much much higher TBW than SSD

- In expansive as you only need to add a HDD and a M.2 SSD Cache card

- More reliable as it is does not hurt the system too much if the M.2 SSD Cache card died b/c I configure the HDD has copy of Cache card data.

BTW, as far as I can see, Windows is kind of reliable for telling you that HDD is about to die.

Aug 11, 2016*
guest2015

i just waiting for fast reliable 250gb ssd "deals"

Aug 11, 2016
jyw5

What's the deal with photographers and cats?

Aug 11, 2016
Jamesbond6668
Jamesbond6668

It was a joke meaning people have all this data HD space but probably wasting it on saving internet junk. IMO

Aug 13, 2016
(unknown member)

1-4 TB is fine for now, I'm more interested in bringing the cost of SSD's down

Aug 10, 2016
PanoMax
PanoMax

http://petapixel.com/2015/05/24/365-gigapixel-panorama-of-mont-blanc-becomes-the-worlds-largest-photo/

Now I tell you, soon 60 terabytes won't be enough when we create images like this 46 terabytes file

Aug 10, 2016
ProfHankD
ProfHankD

There is never enough storage. The camera I've been working toward in my research would generate ~1TB/s of raw image data... and that's just one camera.

Aug 11, 2016
lauarvic

the 100% crop is a bit soft..

Aug 11, 2016
Nukunukoo
Nukunukoo

Now where can I get $19,000?

Aug 10, 2016
lauarvic

ask the real question

Aug 11, 2016
mosc

So this is the beginning of the end for HDD. You can now forcast with relative certainty when the last useful (beyond legacy applications) HDD will be manufacturered. Now it's just $/GB reductions until death. 60TB 3.5" HDD's we will never see.

Aug 10, 2016
marc petzold
marc petzold

Well, just a few mins raw data recording at LHC into Cern....before "disk full" notice...nothing more, nothing less... ;-))

Aug 10, 2016
Barty L
Barty L

I dunno, my sources tell me that the actual particle accelerator only occupies a few hundred metres of the ring, with the rest being full of banks of 3.5" floppy drives.

Aug 10, 2016
Barty L
Barty L

As far as I know, the LHC is the most technologically complex thing ever built by humans. It is a striking example of modernity. I was employing a humorous device we humans refer to as irony.

Aug 11, 2016
Chris Noble
Chris Noble

What does "launch" mean, when the product will only be available "some time in 2017"? Very misleading title.

Aug 10, 2016
PanoMax
PanoMax

Just what I need for my Gigapan panoramas.

Somewhat higher capacity than floppy disks.

Aug 10, 2016
Aug 10, 2016
Pat Cullinan Jr
Pat Cullinan Jr

It's a tease.

Aug 10, 2016
Barty L
Barty L

Seems like the endurance will be fine for the average non-commercial user. From the article, "All of the drives surpassed their official endurance specifications by writing hundreds of terabytes without issue." Most died only after approaching a Peta-byte of writes, one even made it past 2PB.

Aug 10, 2016
Lan

What about endurance of HDDs? I've had far more spinning rust boxes fail than I have SSDs/flash cards. As an added bonus, when a memory card has gone south, it's generally only a few bits that have gone wonky. When my HDDs fail they usually destroy all the data at once.

The key is, whichever route you choose, make sure you have robust and tested backups.

Aug 10, 2016
Mike FL

The OP' link for Endurance testing shows the Samsung 250GB SSD (which I uses) has almost 10 times " surpassed their official endurance specifications".

The Samsung 250GB is guaranty for 75 TBW only as far as I can recall.

I think SSD has better MTBF than HDD, but HDD has much much higher TBW than SSD for sure.

Aug 11, 2016
Pat Cullinan Jr
Pat Cullinan Jr

"HDD has much much higher TBW than SSD for sure." —Mike FL

Profitable insight. (TBW = terabytes written.)

Check out this backgrounder/plug by Intel —http://itpeernetwork.intel.com/ssd-endurance-what-does-it-mean-to-you/

Aug 12, 2016
steelhead3

These I am sure are for server farms like Facebook and Apple (in my backyard, they are huge)

Aug 10, 2016
RedFox88

Unlikely. Disk drives have far more durability and reliability than SSD.

Aug 10, 2016
FLruckas
FLruckas

Durability and reliability are irrelevant.

With RAID and wear reporting these will be replaced long before they fail.

They easily meet their write guarantee.

They're light years faster than a spinning drive.

How many new 1/8 thick laptops have spinning drives?

Welcome to the future.

I agree we will never see a 60TB spinning drive.

Aug 10, 2016
Music Hands

Of course we'll see 60TB spinning drives. These two media will coexist for years to come.

Aug 11, 2016
FLruckas
FLruckas

60 TB spinning drives.
Yeah.
Right.
They're already filling them with helium to get 8 or 10TB.
What are they gonna do, put hydrogen in them?
We'll call them Hindenburgs.

Aug 11, 2016*
Bassman2003

It all depends upon how much they can get the cost down in manufacturing SSDs. The drives are mainly memory chips which get faster and cheaper in every other area of the computer world. If you could make SSDs for the same cost as today's spinners, why keep the spinners?

No doubt we will get there. Consumers and prosumers mainly do not need drives over 10TB. I think we will see 10TB SSDs in an affordable range for those who need them within a few years.

Aug 11, 2016*
AshMills

Will wait for the 120TB

Aug 10, 2016
Max Iso
Max Iso

I will settle for nothing less than 480TB...

Aug 10, 2016
pburness

I can remember when 10Megabyte hard drives were considered high tech... How far technology has moved on.....

Aug 10, 2016
webrunner5
webrunner5

Yeah I had a IBM XT computer with a state of the art 4mb hard drive. It had 64k memory and cost me like $4,000.00 with out a monitor in around 1983.

Aug 10, 2016*
PowerG9atBlackForest
PowerG9atBlackForest

Yeah I remember having paid the sum of $400 for a 15k PCMCIA card.

Aug 10, 2016*
Eric Hensel
Eric Hensel

...and a blazing Hayes 1200 baud modem.

Aug 10, 2016
FLruckas
FLruckas

Penniless Mr Hayes.

Ended up as a bartender I believe.

And you had 1200?

I only had 300!

And a 110 baud TTY.

(No respect for baudot)

;-)

Aug 10, 2016
Music Hands

Oh yeah, I paid 1000 dollars (not a misprint) for a 10 MB hard drive. And it had value then.

Aug 11, 2016
Edmond Leung

I still have two 8 inch IBM floppy disks of 80KB capacity.

Aug 11, 2016
Edmond Leung

.... and I still remember the first computer I used was a Nixdorf computer with two removable 13MB hard disk. At that time, 13MB was "huge".

Aug 11, 2016
PorscheDoc
PorscheDoc

I can top all of you! I used 8 inch floppy disks with 64 kB capacity to store data from a $100k NMR spectrometer. This was much more advanced than walking back and forth to the computer center carrying a box of computer (cardboard) cards.

Aug 11, 2016
webrunner5
webrunner5

I did RTTY as a Ham Radio operator for years. Man I had a blast with old surplus stuff back then. That was in the Seattle Worlds fair time. 2 meter and 20 meter stuff. 6 meter mobile stuff in my car.

Aug 11, 2016
Music Hands

PorscheDoc,
That is a good one. I remember punching 80 character IBM cards for an IBM 360 / 70 and having the programs in Fortran IV blow up on line 17, so we resubmit the next night and get the results in the next day, and now they blew up online 23.
Long before a cathode ray tube, or "real computing."

Aug 13, 2016
FLruckas
FLruckas

@PorcheDoc
8 inch floppy drives were LONG AFTER front loading minis using switches for binary and Wang's that loaded using cassette tapes.
:-)

Aug 13, 2016
FLruckas
FLruckas

"Seagate say the driver"

Huh?

Typo or two there?

How did they fit so many 2TB Samsung SSDs into that 3.5 inch form factor?

Just kidding.

I still have a few IBM micro drives laying around.

This is the future of hard drives.

(The same thing that happened to the Microdrive)

We'll all be using tablets to access the data on this SSD HDD in the cloud.

Welcome to the future.

Almost.

Aug 10, 2016
Aug 10, 2016
leifurh

... but of course it should then have been "Seagate launch 60TB SSD", shouldn't it? :-)

Aug 10, 2016
FLruckas
FLruckas

I didn't see that DPR had a .uk

My bad!

:-)

But me things it should have said "Seagate says the drive" vs "Seagate say the driver"

Aug 10, 2016
Caledonia

That doesn't bother me . . . but I gotta point out [pun intended] that there are no "points" in time -- there are *moments* in time, and there are points in space. No moments in space . . . and no points in time.

Aug 11, 2016
Paul B Jones
Paul B Jones

That's a lot of cat photos.

Aug 10, 2016
(unknown member)

You may even think about getting an extra cat :)

Aug 10, 2016
Henry Alekna Photography
Henry Alekna Photography

Extra cat- or five!

Aug 10, 2016
Stephen McDonald
Stephen McDonald

Invest in cat farms, not electronics.

Aug 10, 2016