What’s so different about Seagate’s new massive 60TB SSD? w/ @GilPhilbert

This week, Seagate announced their massive 60TB SSD drive, jumping far over the previous SSD capacity king from Samsung (15TB).  Phil Gilbert (@GilPhilbert) joins Marc Farley (@GoFarley) to speculate on what the drive will do and how it will be used.


MF: Hi I’m Marc Farley. this is a technology ridecast and our special guest today is Phil Gilbert.  How’re you doin’ Phil?

PG: I good thank you.

MF: And so you’ve got one of those confusing twitter handles, what is it?

PG: Yeah I have. It’s Gill filbert it’s my first name and my second name backwards. I do spell the same, my name is not Gilles. I get that a lot.

MF: Not Gilles.

PG: Yep.

MF:  Okay, so you were here at the flash memory summit in Santa Clara and the big news from this week here was the announcement of Seagate’s 60 terabyte flash SSD. So what do you see, what have they got?

PG: So the new drive is is a higher capacity than anything else on the market. I mean the highest actual production drive today is 16 terabytes vs 60, so it’s kind of massive from that perspective. But the really big problem with the drive is going to be it’s IO identity. Because it’s not gonna offer significantly more performance than the 16 terabyte, but it’s so much bigger that your kind of IOPS per gig is just through the floor.

MF: Ok, so it doesn’t have the traditional application support that other SSDs do, what do you think people will use it for?

PG: So, realistically? It’s probably going to be used for more for archival kind of uses, so it makes sense in an environment where you need lots of capacity but you really don’t need a lot of performance – that kind of starts to make a lot more sense with that drive.

MF: Yeah but the flash memory is going to be more expensive than spinning disk isn’t it?

PG: It is yeah, absolutely when you’re talking in capacities of 60TBs that’s, you know, it’s going to be expensive it’s going to be really expensive. But if you compare it to –  if it’s 60 terabytes and you compare that to ten 6TB  terabyte drives and even if it’s 10 times the cost of a 6TB drive it actually starts making commercial sense.

MF: Yeah, I suppose its power utilization would be a lot less than ten spinning drives.

PG: Exactly. And if you start taking into account that it’s a flash drive, we can use dedupe, we can use compression –  so one 60TB drive can hold more than ten 6TB drives – so it’s even better from that perspective.

MF: Ah, interesting. Do you think there’s gonna have to be software changes, operating system changes to be able to use it?

PG: Yeah I would have thought so because it’s, it’s the way that you’re going to interact with it’s gonna be so different from the way that you’re going to interact with, you know, what I’m going to call a general purpose SSD. SSDs now have replaced 10k and 15k spinning disks. We don’t operate those the same thing that we do, you know, spinning drives so this is like a new, almost like a new tier of SSDs and it’s going to have his own optimizations we’re gonna need to do to make it work for the kind of workloads we’re gonna want to see it in.

MF: Do you know if they’v e got test units available or when they might be available?

PG: No I have no idea, no. I would imagine when they unveil stuff like this they start partnerships with the OEM partners pretty quickly so I imagine those guys are gonna get their hands on it pretty fast.

MF: Thanks, this is good insight into that big drive. It will be interesting to see how it develops, how people use it yeah where it goes.

PG: Absolutely yeah, no problems.

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