Seagate Demonstrates Humongous 60TB Solid-State Drive

The previous record-capacity SSD is a 2.5-inch, 16TB unit released a year ago by Samsung that costs $7,000. Seagate's SSD is in demo mode only at this time.

SANTA CLARA, Calif.–At the Flash Memory Summit conference Aug. 9, attendees were observed actually scratching their heads and wondering, "How is that possible?"

The object of their incredulity was a monstrous 60TB solid-state hard drive introduced by Seagate Technology. This is a rather precipitous leap in capacity, to say the very least, from the previous record-capacity SSD, which is a 2.5-inch, 16TB unit released a year ago by Samsung that costs $7,000.

Seagate said the drive, officially called the 60TB Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) SSD, is the largest-capacity solid-state drive ever demonstrated—and it would be impossible to argue that fact.

The 2.5-inch SSD is currently in demonstration mode only. Production and distribution of the drive isn't expected until sometime in 2017, Seagate said.

Holds 4X More Content Than Previous Record-Holder

Pricing, as one might expect, is undetermined at this time. Because it holds nearly four times more content than the 16TB SSD Samsung now markets, will Seagate price it at $30,000 or more? We'll find out at some point.

The 60TB SAS SSD features twice the density and four times the capacity of the next highest-capacity SSD available today—the aforementioned Samsung drive. Its capacity is theoretically enough to accommodate some 400 million photos on a typical social media platform, 12,000 DVD movies or at least a zillion text documents.

It will be interesting to see Samsung's answer to this. Hard drive and SSD makers typically hop over each other about once per year in the capacity category. But going from 16TB to 64TB or 72TB would be one rather lofty jump.

Seagate's 60TB SAS SSD also simplifies the configuration process of accommodating "hot" and "cold" data, enabling data centers to use the same enterprise HDD 3.5-inch storage form factor. This, Seagate said, eliminates the added step of separating different types of data for near-term availability versus long-term storage based largely on estimations or best-guesses of future data usage.

Instead, data centers can rely on an SSD that helps address their need to accommodate and ensure accessibility of ever-increasing large amounts of data without having to add servers or incorporate additional management steps. Because of the drive's flexible architecture, the company said, it also provides a pathway for data centers to grow from the current 60TB capacity to accommodate 100TB of data or more in the future—and all in the same form factor.

Seagate Also Debuts New Data Center Drive

Also on Aug. 9, Seagate unveiled a new drive aimed specifically at data centers: the 8TB Nytro XP7200 NVMe SSD. This one is designed to accommodate the hyperscale needs of new-generation data centers seeking to grow storage of data without losing the ability to quickly access and process it.

This 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.

The Nytro features a single PCIe interface for high-speed data transfers; it also has four separate controllers that provide processing power up to four times faster than comparable drives but without the higher cost, power levels and latency required from a PCIe switch or bridge.

Applications can process more transactions faster using the industry's highest bandwidth through one PCIe slot, without having to invest in more hardware. The Nytro integrates into all-flash system arrays, Seagate said.

The 8TB Nytro XP7200 NVMe SSD is slated to be available through channel partners in calendar Q4 2016. Availability of the 60TB SAS SSD is anticipated for 2017, Seagate said.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...