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Seagate Debuts Massive 60 TB SSD, World's Largest
Posted August 10, 2016
Seagate Debuts Massive 60 TB SSD, World's Largest
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By Shirley Siluk. Updated August 10, 2016 1:25PM

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Storage technology company Seagate Technology yesterday took the wraps off a solid-state drive it says is the "largest ever demonstrated" -- the 60 terabyte SAS SSD (serial-attached SCSI solid-state drive).

With a 3.5-inch form factor, a drive with that storage capacity holds more bits per square inch of disk space than there are number of stars in the Milky Way, according to Seagate. With storage twice as dense and four times as large as the highest capacity SSD on the market today, the 60 TB drive could hold 400 million photos or 12,000 DVD movies, it said.

Unveiled during the Flash Memory Summit taking place this week in Santa Clara, California, the 60 TB SAS SSD (pictured above) is "currently a demonstration technology" that's expected to be released sometime in 2017. Another drive spotlighted at the summit, the 8 TB Nytro XP7200 NVMe SSD, is set to become available in the fourth quarter of this year.

Storage for 'Hot' and 'Cold' Data

The two new drives "represent the high performance end of Seagate's Enterprise portfolio -- a complete ecosystem of HDD, SSD and storage system products designed to help customers manage the deluge of data they face and move the right data where it's needed fast to meet rapidly evolving business priorities and market demands." the company said in a statement.

Beyond its sheer storage capacity, the 60 TB SAS SSD will eliminate the need for data centers to separate data based on whether it needs to be available in the short term ("hot" data) or held for long-term storage ("cold" data), Seagate said. With the new drive's capacity, IT teams can "quickly accommodate and ensure accessibility of ever-increasing large amounts of data without having to add additional servers or incorporate additional management steps," the company said.

Data centers are under pressure to store and manage ever-larger volumes of data, primarily due to the rapidly growing demand for cloud services. Revenues from public cloud services alone are expected to skyrocket over the next several years, from $12.6 billion last year to $43.6 billion by 2020, according to a recent report from the analyst firm IDC.

High-Performance Computing's Growing Demands

Seagate's new 8 TB Nytro XP7200 NVMe SSD will also help data center operators manage and process growing volumes of data more easily, the company said. The need for fast access to large amounts of data, is "a scenario commonly seen in applications involving high performance computing, scale-out databases and big data analytics, such as scientific research and weather modeling," according to Seagate.

The first hints of a 60 TB drive were offered by Seagate more than four years ago, when the company announced it had achieved a milestone storage density of 1 trillion bits per square inch. Seagate said it was able to achieve that with the help of a "next-generation recording technology" called heat-assisted magnetic recording, as opposed to the current method of perpendicular magnetic recording technology.

Phil Brace, Seagate's president of Cloud Systems and Silicon Group, was scheduled to speak at the Flash Memory Summit today about ways to use flash and hard disk drives (HDD) to enable more design-efficient storage systems.

"Designers must combine the latest flash and HDD technologies to produce optimized storage systems with the best cost per TB and per IOP," Brace noted in his keynote abstract. "The end result will be better ROI for such applications as real-time data analysis, big data processing, and hyperscale data centers."

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