August 11, 2016

Seagate's Behemoth 60 TB SSD Could Mean Big Things for Filmmakers

The world's highest capacity solid state drive shows enormous potential for the future of video storage.

How does having the ability to hold up to 400 million photos or 12,000 movies sound? This week at the Flash Memory Summit (yes there is such a thing) in Santa Clara, California, things got as exciting as they could possibly get for a convention exhibiting storage systems. That's because Seagate unveiled a "demonstrative" version of a 60 TB SSD that quite simply blows all other SSD's storage capabilities out of the water.

The largest unit currently available is Samsung's PM1633a drive which has holds "only" 15.36TB of data. This is the best that money can buy on today's market, and it costs around $10,000 per unit. While it isn't slated to hit the market for at least another year, Seagate claims that their 60TB Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) SSD has twice the density and four times the capacity of Samsung's flagship storage unit. Pricing isn't available yet, but Seagate promises the drive will provide the lowest cost per gigabyte for flash memory today.

Seagate's new SSD.

What does this mean for filmmakers then? With 4K footage quickly becoming the norm, and 8K not far behind, we need more digital storage for editing and backups than ever. One hour of ProRes 4K footage takes up over 300GB of space, or roughly 15 times the amount of space used by one hour of 1080p footage shot by, say, the Canon 7D. Of course, this type of product is not really made for the consumer market, more so for data centers etc., but the sheer power of the machine is enough to get anyone who deals with large files, like video, excited for what the future may hold. 

Both Seagate and Samsung have claimed that, thanks to advancements in flash storage, we could be seeing storage drives tipping the scales at 100TB by 2020. It's only a matter of time before these technologies are translated into smaller spaces and consumer devices.      

Your Comment

5 Comments

I'm curious as to the endurance of these drives. Sure 60TB is awesome and could mean great things for 4k and beyond, but if the drive fails only after 1 PB or '17 cycles' I don't think it would be that good.

August 11, 2016 at 3:33PM

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Even simple consumer SSDs have made it over the 1PB barrier in extreme endurance tests (a Samsung 830 made it to something like 1.5 PB as far as I can remeber) and these tests were conducted by 24/7 writing to the drives at full speed.
An SAS enterprise drive will surely take a little more than that, and given it has 60TB of flash memory inside, the amount of data you can write to it until it fails will certainly be almost incomprehensible!

August 12, 2016 at 5:43PM, Edited August 12, 5:52PM

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I just found this endurance test by techreport, were a Samsung 840 Pro with only 256GB made it to the 2.4PB mark before it died!
http://techreport.com/review/27909/the-ssd-endurance-experiment-theyre-a...

August 12, 2016 at 5:52PM

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Wow, even I would really use that drive. Graphics take a lot of memory and my 3TB isn't enough even now.

August 12, 2016 at 8:19AM

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Whaaa?? 3.5"? How's that gonna fit in my Atomos recorder?

August 24, 2016 at 3:42PM

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Dan Horne
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