back to article 128TB SSD by 2018? Toshiba promises much, delivers ... a little

"By 2018, SSD technology including 3D Flash could reach up to 128TB", Toshiba storage product manager Paul Han Lin told The Register today at IFA in Berlin. Toshiba has announced two new SSD drives this week. The Q300 Pro has a capacity from 128GB to 512GB and is aimed at the professional market, with fancy features like QSBC …

  1. Rumournz

    Dear SSD manufacters

    Here's a idea:

    1. take your chips, and shove as much as you can into a 3.5" drive

    2. pillage my bank account (I'll take 7 now, more later)

    3. ???

    4 profit

    Seriously, why is there no love for the 3.5" form factor?

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Dear SSD manufacters

      Because it is on the way out. Enterprise vendors (both arrays and servers) are moving to 2.5" form factors because the density is better. The same is true for PCs, where smaller form factors have become more and more popular (look at the selection of mini-ITX boards and cases today, versus a decade ago)

      You might as well as where's the love for the 5.25" form factor. Such drives were common in the early 90s, but had disappeared by the late 90s for similar reasons. By 2020 a 3.5" drive will be as rare as a 5.25" drive was by 1995.

      1. phil dude

        Re: Dear SSD manufacters

        Indeed, and as I look at probably my last spinning rust collection, I realise there is probably a fair bit of heat as well.

        HDD's are dead for just about anything enterprise (although I have heard opinions that they might replace tape, I doubt it).

        SSD's are going to be dominant because they will follow the remaining "Moore's" scaling, and possibly allow storage to reach PB's or EB's and still be deployable in 2.5" form factor.

        "There's plenty of room down there...". R. Feynman

        P.

      2. Swarthy Silver badge

        Re: Dear SSD manufacters

        Ooohh... a 5.25" SSD: that's what I would call a Quantum Bigfoot. Just imagine a 5.25" full-height SSD, and think about how many chips you could shove into that.

        My god, it's full of stars!

        1. Annihilator
          Thumb Up

          Re: Dear SSD manufacters

          "My god, it's full of stars!"

          Upvoted just for that

      3. Crazy Operations Guy Silver badge

        Re: Dear SSD manufacters

        Indeed, I've seen a lot of 2U, 3U and 4U servers that could've easily been 1U if they used 2.5" drives. A 2.5" disk takes up a mere eighth of the space as a 3.5" disk. The only reason 3.5 disks are still around is there price / GB advantage they have over their smaller counterparts.

      4. Hans 1 Silver badge

        Re: Dear SSD manufacters

        >You might as well as where's the love for the 5.25" form factor. Such drives were common in the early 90s, but had disappeared by the late 90s for similar reasons. By 2020 a 3.5" drive will be as rare as a 5.25" drive was by 1995.

        Ever heard of Bluray drives? 5.25" and pretty recent ...

        I think he is right ... give us 3.5 or better 5.25" full of flash, insane capacity, our computers have the slots for it ... though I guess the price would be incredibly high, too.

    2. Lee D Silver badge

      Re: Dear SSD manufacters

      Because if you design a case, and chips to go inside it, as 2.5", you can use the same parts to sell as a server drive, a laptop drive, an embedded tablet drive, a portable drive, AND a desktop drive.

      All you need to do is put it in a small adaptor. To be honest, they're not even using the "tall" 2.5" drive factor that many laptops use. Sometimes you just have to pad or buy a caddy.

      The size of a product is not determined by how many chips you can cram in. It's affected by costs, temperature, density, etc. As such, one medium-size that can be used in all circumstances with the cheapest of adaptors and all the design effort put into just ONE shape of product is beneficial for everyone.

      It's not just the case that you could shove, say, four of these into a normal 3.5" and have it work the same. You'd need more controllers, more ventilation, etc. to keep it in spec.

      TBH, I just bought a disk storage module for some IBM BladeCenters. I wish I'd chosen the 12-drive 2.5" version for the first module because I now am forced to use another 6-drive 3.5" version in the same space. I could have got double the capacity (or double the redundancy) in the same area while still using standard drives that I could get almost anywhere.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There is no need for hybrid if SSD is cheap enough

    And there is the stumbling block - price. Until SSDs become price and capacity comparable with standard hard disks they will be the thing of data centres and a few enthusiasts looking for speed in such things a gaming.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Until SSDs become price and capacity comparable with standard hard disks they will be the thing of data centres and a few enthusiasts looking for speed in such things a gaming.

      … or those who want to eliminate some fragile moving parts.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "and a few enthusiasts looking for speed in such things a gaming."

      I think you'll find that despite the extra cost, SSDs have hit the mainstream, big time, and it's not just speed freaks and gamers (in fact I'm not sure how many games are even visibly improved by SSD) any more. As far back as around five years ago, Acer were putting (crappy) SSDs into some of their lower-specced netbooks. These days we've got hybrid drives that seem to represent reasonable value for money, and with things like Facebook's "flashcache" on Linux, ordinary users can effectively make their own hybrid drives.

      The biggest use of SSD outside of the speed demons, though, seems to be as an upgrade to older machines (after upgrading RAM). In that scenario, if the choice is between dumping the machine and buying a replacement and installing an SSD to extend the old machine's usable life for another year or two, then the SSD option will often be cheaper.

      The other thing about SSD price (roughly 4x that of HDDs?) is that you don't have to have a huge SSD to get 90+% of the benefits. Most data on people's hard drives isn't accessed enough to make access time even an issue for the most part. I guess that the biggest space hog on many users' machines will be media files and it just makes no sense to put them on flash if they're only ever being accessed for real-time playback.

      I'm pretty sure that right now the majority of users' needs can be satisfied with a 120Gb/250Gb SSD if it's set up correctly. Such a system should probably last most people a couple of years at least before it begins to feel subjectively slow, so I feel that we shouldn't be complaining too much about price capacity so much today as looking forward to what the state of play might be in two years time.

      1. Ammaross Danan

        Re: "and a few enthusiasts looking for speed in such things a gaming."

        "Most data on people's hard drives isn't accessed enough to make access time even an issue for the most part."

        Yes, but it's Windows and program files that matter. Picture folders benefit substantially too. If you think putting media on an SSD is a waste of bits, try explaining to an "older person" how to use a "D" drive...

        1. Steven Jones

          Re: "and a few enthusiasts looking for speed in such things a gaming."

          You don't need to explain to an older user how to use a "D" drive. You simply map the HDD partition to be used as MyDocs, or if you want something more sophisticated, keep MyDocs on the SSD and map HDD partitions or folders for bulkier data like videos or photos. Personally I always create a separate data partition on the SSD for MyDocs folders anyway as I prefer to be able to do an image restore of a systems/programs partition without impinging on data files.

          Then, of course, there's the use of libraries. If you do all this properly, you never need to see a "D: partition".

          A lot of people seem to be wholly unaware that with NTFS it's very easy to map partitions into the file system or use symbolic links. Personally I prefer to use partitions as it fits my backup strategies better.

          1. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

            Re: "and a few enthusiasts looking for speed in such things a gaming."

            You don't need to explain ... <snip>

            In other words, "use junctions"

    3. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Other SSD users

      might simply be wanting to run things just a whole lot quicker.

      For example VM's. Frankly when I have to run a VM from a spinning rust drive, I feel that it just crawls alone like a snail.

      I've bitten the bullet and relaced the spinning HDD's on my home kit with SSD's over the past two years.

      HDD's are for backups only these days. I know that I'm not alone with this approach.

      Some of my Photos are more then 70Mb in size on disk (.PS format). Opening them from an SSD is just... faster.

    4. Steven Jones

      Price isn't everything

      SSDs don't need to reach the same price per GB level as HDDs. They just need to be cheap enough. A bicycle beats a car hands down on price per seat (at least at the utility end of the market), but people still buy cars as they do things that cycles can't.

      An SSD just has to be "cheap enough" and its overwhelming advantages in terms of throughput, latency, IOPs, ruggedness, power consumption and the generally much more responsive nature of applications and systems takes over. I for one will never, ever buy another computer with an HDD as the system disk, and I can see the days when I use them for bulk storage approaching. At a certain point I won't care that I'm paying more per GB as the cost will be outweighed by the utility.

      1. TeeCee Gold badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Price isn't everything

        A bicycle beats a car hands down on price per seat

        There's a functionality chasm there. A similar comparison would be between an SSD and writing ones and zeroes on a piece of paper, by hand, in crayon.

  3. Joe User
    Unhappy

    A 128TB SSD in 3 years

    Making the drive is one thing; being able to afford it is a different story....

    1. PleebSmash

      Re: A 128TB SSD in 3 years

      http://www.tomshardware.com/news/toshiba-tsv-technology,29851.html

      This is why Toshiba can make 128 TB SSD claims. Stacks of stacks.

      It would seem likely that a 128 TB 2.5" SSD would at least be cheaper in $/TB terms, even it uses both layers of 3D NAND and TSV stacked dies. 4 bits per cell seems uncertain; 33% more capacity than TLC in the same space, at the cost of endurance, which is in turn balanced by the extreme 3D overprovisioning.

  4. Vector

    Do consumers need that much storage?

    Let's just say I remember a time when 100MB seemed huge and a Terabyte was the awe-inspiring total storage of the datacenter I worked in.

    1. Storage_Person

      Re: Do consumers need that much storage?

      And with an average UHD film coming in at around 500GB 128TB doesn't seem like quite so much after all.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A lot of data

    To loose when it fails without warning, followed by the other one in the RAID 10 pair.

    1. Ancient Oracle funkie
      Joke

      Re: A lot of data

      "A lot of data

      To loose"

      Nah mate, it'll all be backed up on floppies ...

      ... or USB2 sticks

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A lot of data

        Floppies? That's pretty loose.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A lot of data

      To loose when it fails without warning, followed by the other one in the RAID 10 pair.

      Depends on which one that fails. RAID 10, as it is by definition, a RAID-1 of two RAID-0 sets, can theoretically survive two drive failures before data is irrecoverably hosed. (It might require some low-level analysis to do so depending on the implementation.)

  6. Woodnag

    Media race

    When CDs were released, copy protection was unecessary. When DVDs came out, people backed up to one or two SVCDs or single layer DVD. With 8TB drives available, it will be a race for the studios to render home media unavailable by popularising streaming, before people start building up movie collections on HDDs.

    1. PleebSmash

      Re: Media race

      What race? Ordinary folks don't bother with torrents. Very few customers (rich folks) will want 4K by 100-200 GB Blu-ray disc. Some people will back up their old DVDs, others will just sell them, trash them, give them away.

    2. chris 17 Bronze badge

      Re: Media race

      @Woodnag

      the funny thing is the cost of computers, disks & internet to acquire and store collections might actually be more than simple fair usage (sans media) licenses for the movies in the first place.

      4 x 2tb disks @ £70 = £280 plus 1 replacement = £350 + nas enclosure + ram + electric + time = ~ £700 in year 1. Do the studios get £5 per movie (after distribution markup and tax)? if so £700 is 140 movies, thats a lot of new films to download and watch in a year, especially as most of the movies released are crap anyway

      I think Most people would be happy to pay a reasonable amount of £5 for perpetual right to watch a movie, not so pleased to pay that amount to rent for a day.

      1. Woodnag

        perpetual right to watch a movie

        But the streaming catalog from such as Netflix varies by their agreements. So you may be able to watch Delicatessen today, but perhaps not next year.

  7. Ben Burch

    How long would such a drive take to fill?

    Let's say we have 12GB/s SATA available, Depending on copying overhead, you could load up that drive in around 24 hours.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How long would such a drive take to fill?

      Really, wouldn't it take 48 hours because you've got to be writing it somewhere?

  8. Conundrum1885 Bronze badge

    Re. perpetual right to watch a movie

    The simplest answer is for the big copyright houses to "agree to disagree" and modify copyright to permit format shifting of movies you have a physical media of, provided you agree to retain said physical media readable or otherwise thus overcoming issues with disk rot.

    Setting a sensible limit of the copy, backup and low density mobile copy similar to ITunes would be a fair compromise and recover the royalties lost from the resulting sales of backup media and memory cards over an agreed size (say 16GB)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Re. perpetual right to watch a movie

      So tell me why my Raspberry Pi's root filesystem needs to pay royalties again?

      1. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

        Re: Re. perpetual right to watch a movie

        So tell me why my Raspberry Pi's root filesystem needs to pay royalties again?

        Because you made an inexplicable decision to format it as FAT with long filenames instead of ext[234]?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Re. perpetual right to watch a movie

          Because you made an inexplicable decision to format it as FAT with long filenames instead of ext[234]

          Errm… no. They usually ship with FAT, exFAT or NTFS.

          Why they can't just come blank like a hard drive does and we partition it and format it as we require, I do not know.

          1. Conundrum1885 Bronze badge

            Re: Re. perpetual right to watch a movie

            You can buy memory cards for the Pi/2/B+ ready formatted with a basic OS on them, typically Raspbian.

            I've also found that some of the cheaper noname cards work just fine on the Pi whereas an uber fast 60MB/sec screamer won't.

            Maybe the fix would be to underclock the card somehow, using a micro to fudge the card detect routine so it sees the card as a low speed?

  9. earl grey Silver badge
    Trollface

    and pron

    there's never enough storage for pron.

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