Seagate introduced just one 60TB SSD. Wow. As Backblaze scares about upgrading from 2TB to 8TB hard drives in our storage pods, we just have to stop and consider what the 3.6PB storage pod will look like and how much it will cost.

What we know about Seagate 60 TB SSD

Several sources (Engadget, Computerworld, Mashable, and Tom’s Hardware, to name a few) covered the news. From the point of view of the backblaze storage pod, here are some important things to know.

The Seagate 60TB SSD comes in a 3.5-inch form factor. It uses a 12 Gbps SAS interface and consumes 15 watts of power (on average while active). There are some other fun facts in the articles above, but these will work for now as we design our imaginary 3.6PB storage pod.

What we don’t know today

We do not know the price. Seagate is calling this enterprise storage, which translates into spending more money for the same thing in BackBlaze Vernacular. Let’s see if we can underestimate the list price so that we can do our math later. We will start with the recently introduced Samsung 16TB SSD drive. As they make their way to the market, they cost around $ 7,000.

Using that number, simple math would give us a price of $ 26,250 for a Seagate 60TB drive. It also takes more for enterprise storage, so let’s give us a 25% discount for scalability, bringing us to $ 19,687.50 each. Applying marketing math, I would round up to $ 19,995.00 on each Seagate 60 TB SSD. As good as any WAG, use it for the price.

Our 3.6PB Storage Pod Design

The most economical way for us to move forward would be to use our current 60-drive chassis (Storage Pod 6.0) with minimal modifications. On the plus side, the Seagate 60TB drive has a 3.5 ”form factor, meaning it will fit very well into our 60-drive storage pod chassis.

On the minus side, we currently use the SATA backplane, cable and board, so there is little work to switch to SAS with the hard part of the 5 part SAS backplane.

In a very quick search, we could only detect a 5-port SAS backplane and we were not sure that it was being built anymore. In addition, we need to update the motherboard, CPU, memory, and may possibly convert to a 100 GB network card, but since all of these are readily available, this is absolutely straightforward (someone who is not a designer). .

We have time to redesign the entire storage pod to work with SAS drives, given that Seagate is not expected to deliver 60TB drives until 2017, but before we do anything radical, if If it’s worth it, let it be known.

Drive math

Currently, the Seagate 8TB drive we use (model: ST8000DM002) today lists for $ 295.95 on Amazon. It is $ 0.037 / GB or $ 37 / TB. Using our $ 19,995 price for the Seagate 60 TB SSD, we get about $ 0.333 / GB or $ 333 / TB. This is nine times the cost, meaning that a 60-drive storage pod full of Seagate 60TB drives would cost $ 1.2 million each.

Let’s look at it another way. The Seagate 60TB drive gives us 3.6PB in a storage pod. How much will 3.6PB of storage cost to us using just 8TB of hard drives in a storage pod? To begin with, it takes about 7.5 Storage Pods filled with 8TB drives to give us 3.6PB.

Each 8TB of storage pods cost us $ 20,000, or for $ 150,000 we need 3.6PB for 7.5 storage pods. Since we may not own half of the storage pods, let’s run with eight storage pods at a total cost of $ 160,000, which is still slightly less than the $ 1.2 million price tag for 60TB units.

What about increasing storage density? In simple terms, one rack of storage pods filled with 60TB SSDs will replace eight racks of storage using 8TB pods. I did not go into the math details here, but the cost does not work well for storage eight times the cost. Other factors, including a 70% increase in electrical draw per rack, rob the storage density presently.

Seagate 60TB drives have one more thing to consider when building a storage pod: backblaze vaults. As a reminder, a backblaze vault has 20 storage pods that serve as a single storage unit. The data is spread across 20 storage pods to improve durability and overall performance.

1,200 drives are required to populate the Backblaze Vault. About $ 24 million to populate a backblaze vault, using our $ 19,995 price per drive. Of course, this would give us 72PB of storage in a vault.

At the moment we are accumulating about 25PB of storage, this will provide us with three fourths of storage runway. Then we want to do it again. On the brighter side, the people of our ops have to deploy only one backblaze vault every eight or nine months.

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