back to article Viking storms storage monastery wielding 50TB SAS SSD

Viking Technology is shipping a 50TB SAS SSD. Yes, you read that right. The UHC-Silo SSD is claimed to be the highest-capacity drive of its kind shipping today, and has a 3.5-inch form factor that comes in two capacity points – 25 and 50TB. It uses planar SK Hynix MLC (2 bits/cell) flash and not the 3D TLC (3bits/cell) NAND …

  1. Ragarath
    Joke

    No pricing...

    *Trembles*

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: No pricing...

      They're having to cast some more 0s to fit in the printing frame so they can produce a catalogue.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: No pricing...

        Maybe it's simply a case of, "If you have to ask, you can't afford it."

  2. Haku

    50TB! I'll take twelvety.

    How would I like to pay?

    Would sir be interested in some magic beans?

    1. 2460 Something

      Re: 50TB! I'll take twelvety.

      The good news is that with these sizes entering the market in a few years it will be the norm and smaller SSD's should hopefully start dropping down to reasonable prices per TB for SME/Home use.

      1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: 50TB! I'll take twelvety.

        The SSD prices have been kept high due to chip shortages.

        For SOHO / Consumer, you'd need to have at a minimum 2 drives mirrored per machine and more likely a set of 4 in RAID 10. 50TB should be enough to store 20 years of data (docs, photos, movies, music, etc ... ) for the normal family.

        Very cool and looks like a spinning rust killer.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: 50TB! I'll take twelvety.

          What about packrats, though?

      2. Jonathan 27 Bronze badge

        Re: 50TB! I'll take twelvety.

        Here's hoping, wake me when I can replace the 4 2TB drives I use for file storage with SSDs for a reasonable cost. I imagine they'd last functionally forever, because they don't see many writes and SSDs don't generally age much by being read.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 50TB! I'll take twelvety.

      This could be a game changer. The IOPS thing isn't that big of a deal. How many people have workloads pushing over 60,000 IOPS?... Not many, worst case you may have to buy a few drives. Most people just need low latency. I wonder what the cost is for one of these... it almost has to be much lower than what is currently on the market. Storage is getting crazy inexpensive.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm guessing, but the lack of outright performance is probably related to the general rule of thumb that 1TB of NAND in an SSD requires 1GB of DRAM to manage the FTL and caching. I seriously doubt that there's close to 50GB of DRAM in this device, or is that why there's no price given ?

  4. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

    Why write bandwidth matters

    Given write speed of 350MBps (large "B" implies that's megabytes right?), one would need 50e6 / 350 = 143e3 seconds = ~ 40 hours to fully populate a new drive, in case it needs to be replaced in a RAID(Z) array. Quite a significant time, so perhaps RAID6 (RAIDZ2) would have to be used rather than RAID5 (RAIDZ1). Making the cost of ownership even higher. Of course the same applies to HDDs, but the cost per device is much higher here.

    Still, I'd love to be able to put these puppies in my arrays!

    1. 2460 Something

      Re: Why write bandwidth matters

      But you can then take into consideration that if your swapping out 12TB SAS drives then your increasing your capacity by four. You could choose to have three quarter less drives, or remortgage the UK and fully populate the arrays.

      It would look so pretty....

    2. DavidRa

      Re: Why write bandwidth matters

      40 hours to write - that means you can't actually reach its wearout limit in the warranty period. So basically the warranty is back to time-based - 5 years.

      Round and round we go...

  5. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    Yay!

    Finally! All my pr0n in one place!

    But seriously..."The endurance is one drive write per day for five years." - what exactly does that mean? Completely rewrite the drive every day for five years? Rewrite one bit a day for five years?

    1. WonkoTheSane
      Headmaster

      Re: Yay!

      The first one: Completely rewrite the drive every day for five years.

      See http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/DWPD-device-drive-writes-per-day

      1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

        Re: Yay!

        @Wonko

        Ta. But does that imply that individual bits/cells/sectors/whatever they are on SSD will start to fail after about 5x365 writes? Which would be okay for some sort of WORM type application, (log file archives) but not great for something that gets hammered.

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: Yay!

          Which would be okay for some sort of WORM type application, (log file archives) but not great for something that gets hammered.

          It's not designed for front-line storage - more for the 2nd or 3rd line teir in a heirarchical storage system.

          The sort of place where all you data that hasn't been accessed in 2 years can sit. Low speed, slow access but BIG.

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: Yay!

            As the previous poster noted, WORM (or what I'd rather call WIRE, Write Infrequently, Read Extensively) is another valid use for a big drive with OK reads and lousy writes. Things like media archives where they often don't get changed once they get in but can get hammered a lot in the playback department. Reliability is a plus in that department.

        2. DougS Silver badge

          Re: Yay!

          The DWPD warranties are just a way to reassure people concerned about SSDs. If that's the warranty, you can be sure it will last much longer than that. Besides, using SMART you can tell how it is doing as far as its rated write lifetime.

          Given that it would take 40 hours to write the whole drive, you can "hammer" it all you like you won't hit the write lifetime warranty! I'll bet you could write it 24x7x365x10 before you started seeing flash sector remapping begin...

          1. Paul J Turner

            Re: Yay!

            Hmm, not sure about that 'x7' factor, typo?.

    2. 2460 Something
      Thumb Up

      Re: Yay!

      This was my thought when I saw it as well. Little ambiguous so thank you for the additional link.

  6. Tezfair

    My first thought..

    How long would it take to backup that much data

    1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: My first thought..

      ... to a remote location, over regular Internet connection

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Bronek Kozicki, re: internet speeds.

        Even worse would be over a 300Baud dial up acoustic coupler attached modem via a bad POTS line through a wonky international call.

        1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

          Re: @Bronek Kozicki, re: internet speeds.

          @ac

          Even worse would be over a 300Baud dial up acoustic coupler attached modem via a bad POTS line through a wonky international call.

          Ah.Sir has experience of living in mid-Wales (and parts of Central London) then?

          1. Alistair Silver badge
            Windows

            Re: @Bronek Kozicki, re: internet speeds.

            @Pen-y-gors:

            Umm. DId that in the mid-80's in downtown T.O. At work. Weekly. For 4 months.

            *sigh*

            still more evidence I've been doing this @#$% too #$%#$@$ long.

    2. 2460 Something

      Re: My first thought..

      Should be some more LTO editions out soon ....

      I really do think capacity is getting to the point where you cannot feasibly backup to tape, so you would just have to multiple sites with multiple copies of the data.

      1. Korev Silver badge

        Re: My first thought..

        We gave up trying to back up most data (~30PB of genomics and imaging data) a few years ago and now replicate.

      2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: My first thought..

        Should be some more LTO editions out soon ....

        Yeah - but that involves using tape. Which was designed by Mephistopheles Himself to give the illusion of security, but to dash your hopes in the most cruel way possible when you absolutely have to get that backup restored immediately 1/2 an hour after your previous set went offsite and your current set keeps saying "tape error".

        Not that I'm bitter or anything.

        1. Alistair Silver badge
          Windows

          Re: My first thought..

          @CoCM

          No, even *my* cats agree with your opinion on tape.....

          1. moiety

            Re: My first thought..

            ...and if it's a set it always seems to be that last one that's fucked. So you don't know you're hosed until you've had 2 days of listening to "the tape-streamer song"

  7. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Happy

    50TB in a single disk

    <speechless>

    Wow. My workhorse PC has no less than 5 disks (including 2 180GB SSDs) for a total of almost 9 TB and I am quite happy with all that.

    This puppy ? I stick in two 25TB disks and I have not only SSD performance for everything, but over 5 times more space to store stuff.

    Looking forward to the HDD/SSD scene in a few years' time, when I will need to replace stuff. It'll be a dime a TB dozen.

    <Snoopy happy dance>

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: 50TB in a single disk

      This isn't intended for home use, and probably costs as much as a car. It will take more than a few years before this is what you would consider buying for your home!

  8. JakeMS
    Thumb Up

    Nice

    With drives like these entering the market I might finally consider switching as these should bring down lower-capacity prices (over time) which means that a drive with a reasonable storage amount (6TB+, anything lower is a waste of money really) should be quite affordable and hopefully within the same price bracket as the mechanical equivalents.

    When it comes to storage (for home usage) mechanical still has the best price/space ratio. Once I can pick up a 8TB SSD for the same price as a 8TB Mechanical drive, I'll be buying them for my desktop, and probably more than one.

    But for now, it'll have to be mechanical as I need the storage space without paying thousands (I work on lots of business work and stuff like, well, you know, stuff that takes storage).

    1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      Re: Nice

      which means that a drive with a reasonable storage amount (6TB+, anything lower is a waste of money really)

      I think that's a bit extreme. Spinning rust is fine for files that aren't heavily accessed - which I suspect is most of the data on most laptops/desktops. My new lappie has 256GB SSD for OS files, web server directories, DB etc, but then the general stuff sits happily on 1TB of rust. Works fine for me, but others no doubt have different requirements.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Nice

        But their reliability when they're mothballed can be hit or miss. Sometimes you spin up a drive that hasn't been used in a while and it...doesn't. Solid state drives can't suffer mechanical failures the way rust drives can, and controller failures can happen to ANY drive, so it's a wash there. One good question is the rate of bit rot between them. I try to address this by keeping error codes with my backups to deal with it if it pops up on occasion.

        1. Jonathan 27 Bronze badge

          Re: Nice

          SSDs can fail for no reason, I have one that died sitting on a shelf. Hadn't been used in years and then I plugged it in and the system wouldn't even boot (off its existing OS install on another drive).

          1. Tezfair

            Re: Nice

            As far as I know, the memory on an SSD still requires a power source, usually a bank of internal capacitors. But once they go flat, yes, everything is wiped. So they are not suitable for long term archives like HDDs

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Nice

              That's probably because the ones you describe are not designed for archival use. An external SSD-based drive would have to be built with cold storage taken into consideration. Thus why most thumb drives and SD cards aren't build around that kind of design IINM.

      2. Jonathan 27 Bronze badge

        Re: Nice

        Form factor is an issue, my laptop can't accommodate anything more than one m.2 drive for storage. This isn't a real issue for me because I have USB drives, a NAS box and a desktop computer. But if you want a lot of storage in a thin and light laptop, NAND density is the only real solution.

    2. aDEMCSE

      Re: Nice

      I really can't see these bigger drives lowering the cost of the smaller drives since it's essentially more of the same chips packed into the device. The only thing that will lower SSD costs is higher volume NAND manufacturing.

  9. Emmeran

    Eyes glazed over

    My eyes glazed over regarding storage size and speed a long, long time ago. I still shudder when I think of what I spent on my first "high-speed" modem.

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Eyes glazed over

      I still shudder when I think of what I spent on my first "high-speed" modem.

      Happy memories of lording it over the peasants with their old 9600 modems with my shiney new Zoom 14.4K modem.

      It even had the capability (via back-end software) to do voicemail! I was soooo cool!

      (In my defense, I was young and foolish. I'm not so young anymore).

      1. Bryan Hall

        Re: Eyes glazed over

        Graduating from the 300 baud acoustically coupled modem all the way up to 1200 bps modem was the big deal. No longer could I read the text at the same speed it arrived on my screen...

  10. Permidion

    never going to go to consumer market

    please folk, dont forget these kind of drives will probably never go to common consumer market:

    companies rely on sales to make a living, so they need to either sell a lot of (relatively) small capacity devices at a (relatively) low price, or sell a few gigantic capacity devices at a gigantic price to keep making enough profit.

    meaning we will *never* see such capacity drives on consumer market, simply because:

    a) most consumers *dont* need such kind of storage space and,

    b) most consumers would never pay a pay the gigantic price of professional hardware and,

    c) even if consumers would in total irrationality buy one of these device at a gigantic price, they would only buy one for their whole life (or at least very very few) because thats plenty enough to store all your instagram pictures for a lifetime.

    so entering the consumer market with such capacity drives is simply economically *not* interesting for storage companies,

    they will stay in professional market, with corresponding pricing

    1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

      Re: never going to go to consumer market

      I almost agree, with the exception of "never". There may come time when, due to availability of chips (production of which was paid previously by "enterprise" customers), it will be difficult to buy smaller capacities. For closest analogy, see availability and prices of 4GB or smaller SD cards on the market.

      It will take a long time to get there, for tens-TB sized SSDs . But I would not bet on "never"

    2. Alistair Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: never going to go to consumer market

      "There will never be a need for more than 5 computers....."

      "640Kb is more than enough"

      "For $100 Billion you could buy ...."

      a) I have an 11 year old that has somehow managed to accumulate 430Gb of oddball crap games in just over 2 years. Never mind the goofy videos the middle and youngest have put together.

      b) Our Familial Photo Archive is just a hair over 2Tb, SWMBO is a photography nut (yes a good chunk of those were scanned -- most twice , once from images on photopaper and again when I acquired a scanner with the capacity to scan negatives)

      c) the eldest and their mate, in 36 hours after christmas gorged the PS4 to "Full" on junk games.

      Data consumption is flying up a VERY steep curve in the retail space. Yes, these *will* make to consumer space. Just not any time soon I don't think, but considering they're built for cold storage in enterprises and designed to be arrayed, they'll do just fine even in small arrays. 5 of these in a zfs array sitting in my nas? YES GODDAMNIT.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Replicating up to 50TB of data over SAS when even one of these fails? Something like 40 hours? You've got to have a seriously big array for that level of repair time to be acceptable.

    1. James12345
      Facepalm

      Er, yes it is a big array - it's an array packed full of 50TB drives......

  12. Sil

    SOHO needs these capacities + replacement for RAID

    If the price is right, these could be very interesting for SOHO.

    Then one needs to forget about RAID and enter in the modern age of erasure coding and object storage: any one of you aware of an affordable solution ?

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: SOHO needs these capacities + replacement for RAID

      RAID will still be needed because there remains a risk of a sudden catastrophic failure (like a controller failure). Erasure codes are meant for bit rot, not catastrophic failures.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Slooow ??

    That's 300 write IOps per TB. Surely that's slower (or close to) 10K/15K spindles?

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Slooow ??

      And how much does 50 TB worth of 10K/15K drives cost, plus the array to put them in? Thought so...

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    too big, too slow

    A solution in search of a problem. Scratch that niche.

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