Seagate has produced a 60 terabyte solid-state drive, four times bigger than any current models. However, it won’t be appearing for a while and most certainly will not be a consumer unit.
Unlike many such drives, the new model is a 3.5 inch format, making it much easier to use in data centers without needing to redesign enclosures. Apart from the sheer size, one of the big selling points is that it could overcome the need to distinguish between hot and cold data.
While not precise terms, “hot” data refers to information that needs to be accessed more frequently than “cold” data. Usually data center operators try to find a financial balance by using faster but more expensive storage for the hot data and cheaper but slower storage for cold data.
Exactly how much the Seagate drive will cost has yet to be confirmed – an existing Samsung 15TB drive goes for $10,000 – but the idea is that it should bring so much economy of scale that it’s viable for all forms of data. Seagate says the new model will offer “the lowest cost per gigabyte for flash available today.”
At the moment it’s only available as a demo model, with a retail launch possible for next year.
Huge as the capacity is, to put things in context Seagate says it could store around 400 million photographs for a social networking site. Even back in 2013 Facebook said its users were uploading around 350 million photos every day.