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Intel Data Storage Upgrades Hardware Technology

Intel and Micron Partnership Soon To Launch 10TB SSD For Enterprise Market (hothardware.com) 94

MojoKid writes: Intel and Micron have been tag-teaming various storage and memory technologies and word on the web is that the fruits of that partnership is a 10-terebyte SSD that's right around the corner. The largest SSD in Intel's stable at the moment is 4TB, which itself is pretty large. However, both Micron and Intel are of the opinion that typical planar NAND flash memory has gone about as far as it can go, and that 3D stacked Flash memory is the future. They've also developed a "floating gate cell" design - a first for 3D stacked memory - resulting in 256Gb multi-level cell (MLC) and 384Gb triple-level cell (TLC) die that fit inside of a standard package. The two companies are targeting gumstick-sized SSDs reaching 3.5TB and regular 2.5-inch SSDs hitting (and even surpassing) 10TB. Apparently that's about to become a reality.
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Intel and Micron Partnership Soon To Launch 10TB SSD For Enterprise Market

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  • Density is now up to and surpassing "spinning rust" and durability is arguably as good or better. But price per gig is not quite there yet. However, I suspect it is coming!
    • What do you all want to make a bet all the items will still include mechanical disks to keep them slow so people keep on the upgrade treadmill?

      • No need. We will always need more space. If only for the constant Windows updates...
      • by sims 2 ( 994794 )

        Won't matter they will just make windows slower to compensate...

        • by Krojack ( 575051 )

          I thought the new method was to shorten the support forcing people to update or risk getting exploited from un-patched windows. Android phone manufactures (Samsung being one of the worse) have been doing it for a few years now.

          • by sims 2 ( 994794 )

            You can currently upgrade from the last two editions of windows to the latest one for pretty much free.
            Windows 7 will still get security updates until Jan 14, 2020.
            by upgrading to windows 10 you get another 5 years until Oct 14, 2025.
            Dropping the ability to install new versions on older hardware is mostly just a phone thing.

            As for samsung my samsung convoy 3 (a stupid phone) is still receiving updates nearly 2 & 1/2 years after release. From what I hear a lot of smartphones have no support after that am

          • I thought the new method was to shorten the support forcing people to update or risk getting exploited from un-patched windows. Android phone manufactures (Samsung being one of the worse) have been doing it for a few years now.

            This is one area I am in the minority and agree with Microsoft. Desktop support for an OS for 10 years is INSANE. Good luck trying to get NVME on 7 without issues.

      • I believe people still value 500GB or 1TB storage in a laptop instead of 32GB or 256GB.

        • by rsborg ( 111459 )

          I believe people still value 500GB or 1TB storage in a laptop instead of 32GB or 256GB.

          You know that Samsung and others sell 500GB SSDs (in several form factors) that are under $250? 1TB is like $580 (a deal I saw several times in the past month).

          I bought a 500GB Crucial m4 SSD a while back at $500, it's now less than half.

          Once you get to that size, most folks have no issues going full SSD.

          • I got a Crucial 960GB SSD for $270 at Newegg last April. Sub-$300 for around a TB was the price point I was waiting for. I'm a bit surprised I haven't seen much better since.

            • by rsborg ( 111459 )

              I got a Crucial 960GB SSD for $270 at Newegg last April. Sub-$300 for around a TB was the price point I was waiting for. I'm a bit surprised I haven't seen much better since.

              Is that a 2.5" form factor? That's pretty damn good.

              • Yep. I'd seen them sub-$300 once or twice before, but hadn't pulled the trigger. This time there was some sort of 10% off deal on top of everything else. I don't think I've seen anything quite that low since, but I do believe they still dip below $300 occasionally.

                Can't speak to performance relative to other SSDs, but for a laptop running an older version of OS X, it's been quite a step up from the 500GB 5400RPM drive it replaced.

                • by rsborg ( 111459 )

                  Yep. I'd seen them sub-$300 once or twice before, but hadn't pulled the trigger. This time there was some sort of 10% off deal on top of everything else. I don't think I've seen anything quite that low since, but I do believe they still dip below $300 occasionally.

                  Can't speak to performance relative to other SSDs, but for a laptop running an older version of OS X, it's been quite a step up from the 500GB 5400RPM drive it replaced.

                  Yeah, I have a 2010 MBP running a fusion drive with a 1TB drive and 500GB SSD, and was looking to replace spinning rust with a 1TB SSD (or replace both with a 2TB SSD).

                  Fusion drive is great since I grew past 500GB, but El Cap is a bit slow now so I'd like to get back to pure SSD.

        • With Windows 10, 32GB is very inadequate - the OS alone eats up 12GB, and if one was actually upgrading - either voluntarily or automatically by Microsoft's updates - it requires twice the space, or 24GB. That's a whole lot right there. So I'd say 64GB is a bare minimum, and once one is >100GB, one is comfortable w/ all applications that are downloaded, as well as all files.
        • I believe people still value 500GB or 1TB storage in a laptop instead of 32GB or 256GB.

          You can get a 256 GB for just $116 these days [newegg.com]. It is approaching quite rapidly and for a higher end laptop there is no reason to go mechanical unless the OEM wants to make them start slow so they can sell you a new one in 2 years

      • What do you all want to make a bet all the items will still include mechanical disks to keep them slow so people keep on the upgrade treadmill?

        Won't happen. While semiconductors are getting to a point where process shrinking is no longer less expensive, the densities are catching up. Except for Comp Sci applications - taking logs of all computer activity forever, there is nothing that will fill up 10TB of space - even all the movies in the world won't fill it. In the meantime, NOR flash will reach those densities - they are typically 3 orders of binary magnitude below NAND, so chances are that there will be 1TB of NOR flash for applications whe

        • by khelms ( 772692 )
          "there is nothing that will fill up 10TB of space - even all the movies in the world won't fill it." Ahem. A blu ray disc holds 25-50GB of data. 10,000GB (10TB) is only enough to hold 200-400 blu ray discs.
        • I can burn 10 TB of disk just installing VMs for a test environment (say, a couple of clusters). I snapshot at pre-install, post-install and pre/post test. And that's for simple things like a db cluster, some test data, a couple of servers/clients and an application or three. If one of the VMs is my dev desktop, a reasonable gross rate of churn is probably in the neighborhood of 20 GB/day on that VM alone; when I start running Docker, the disk space just burns.
    • by epine ( 68316 )

      But price per gig is not quite there yet. However, I suspect it is coming!

      Mostly because you don't read much. Flash has particularly severe scaling limits and we're already up against it.

      We might break through by surprise, or we might not. Bear in mind that we already had a 3.8 GHz Prescott back in 2004. It actually sucked shit, but that's another matter. There are several developments in the spinning rust pipeline that will likely keep it well ahead on the $/GB axis. Most of these developments will m

      • by Cramer ( 69040 )

        And "spinning rust" (which is a bad analogy as they don't use iron oxide anymore) scales very well... just stack more platters. That's how we did it back in the good old days.

        • it's not economical to go past 4-5 platters these days, and the manufacturing sweet spot will likely be a 2-platter 4-head drive for a long time

        • I have two words that should explain why this is not such a great idea: IBM Deathstar.
      • > It might even suck so bad that no-one gives a shit about $/GB any longer, for 95% of all applications. Perhaps, minus all those cat pictures, we're almost there already.

        Right. At some point it's enough for most people. I repair laptops as a side business for non-computer-savvy who have gotten fed up with offshore "support", and one thing I've noticed is that most people don't even begin to touch the capacity of the original drive. I on the other hand, as a photographer, can't get enough storage (my

        • by dgatwood ( 11270 )

          Unfortunately, the average user doesn't need much at all, but probably 5–10% of users want/need way more space than is currently available. So the options are either making radically different models with radically different capacity and annoying the high-end users with the price difference or using larger capacity everywhere so that economies of scale drive the price down for everyone. Hard drive manufacturers have always done the latter. For some reason, with flash, everybody is doing the former

          • > Now, I'm sitting here with disposable income, telling Apple "take my money!", and I still can't buy a new computer with enough storage to meet my needs at any price.

            I know the feeling. My understanding is that you're supposed to put everything "in the cloud" now. How that's supposed to work on location with no network connection is anyone's guess.

            For applications like this, a desktop unit is still somewhat necessary. On location, my laptop is a place where I can sort through the day's shots and get

            • by dgatwood ( 11270 )

              I know the feeling. My understanding is that you're supposed to put everything "in the cloud" now. How that's supposed to work on location with no network connection is anyone's guess.

              Yeah, that's a nice theory and all, but in practice, I neither trust cloud providers to be secure nor reliable. For example, last week, I was forced to move several hundred GB of public photos from a major ISP to my own server because they suddenly decided that unlimited storage for web pages wasn't unlimited, and wanted seve

              • Yeah it's too bad. My last Mac was a G4, which I had continued to use way past the point of unsupported. I never made the transition to Intel Macs, instead gritting my teeth and switching to Winders so I could use a purpose-built computer (built, as it happens, by me) and upgrade it as needed, instead of being stuck with whatever Apple thought I needed. I'm currently trying to make the leap to Mint, but there are still issues to iron out. I hate Winders but it's a necessary evil right now.

                Used to be, Ap

          • by KGIII ( 973947 )

            I don't actually store much of anything on my computer(s) any more. Not really. I have something between a SAN and a NAS, depending on how you look at it and how you approach it. Everything gets stored there, replicated, and sent out in various backup schemes. I don't keep a whole lot on the drive that's actually in the computer. I can always pull an image back to play with it. I've got access to huge amounts of storage (TB after TB - in large disk arrays). It's sort of like cloud storage but it's under my

      • Rather than blow my mod points on you.
        What the heck are you even talking about?
        Have you SEEN the areal density increases on platter disks in the last 3 to 5 years?
        Things are slowing down, BADLY and when they do squeeze more in, it's with tricky, performance hampering and complicated methods like SMR and Helium.

        3D Nand however has opened many new doors and new methods of storing data seem to be coming out weekly.
        Disks are dying out, finally.

      • It will die first for consumers- I really think there is going to be a 'peak storage' where everything is online and people won't store stuff locally (I am not going to argue if that is a good idea, just that this will happen)
        • by cas2000 ( 148703 )

          No matter what the marketing wankers and control freaks ("we own your data and we own you") at google, apple, amazon etc would like you to think, cloud storage will never replace local storage.

          cloud storage may be OK for (relatively slow) backups for people who don't care about the privacy or security implications or the secret and/or warrantless access by spooks and LEAs, but it will never be a substitute for large, fast local storage.

          ADSL or cable speeds (or even FTTP over many and varied hops across the

          • by urdak ( 457938 )

            No matter what the marketing wankers and control freaks ("we own your data and we own you") at google, apple, amazon etc would like you to think, cloud storage will never replace local storage.

            You can also have private cloud storage, namely NAS: In my home I already have a 3 TB NAS attached to the home network, and all the devices in my home (computers, streamers, cellphones, etc.) can use movies, photos, music, etc. stored on that shared disk. This made it un-important for individual computers to have huge hard disks: My wife's computer has a 2 TB hard disk, which remains 95% free, for example.

            So it makes sense that in the future you'll have the really big (and chip low $/GB) disks only in NAS d

          • Your middle paragraph describes 90% of users.... so the market is going to shrink.
    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

      Density is now up to and surpassing "spinning rust" and durability is arguably as good or better. But price per gig is not quite there yet. However, I suspect it is coming!

      Slowly. The nice thing is Moore's Law basically states how fast - transistor density doubling means you can get twice the storage for the same price, or the price of the drive halves.

      So price per gig will roughly halve every 18 months or so. Given you can get 2TB drives for under $100 these days, it's roughly 3-4 generations away, or mayb

      • Moore's Law has been running out of steam lately.

        Intel had trouble with their last several process nodes. TSMC and UMC had... more than trouble.

        We'll still see progress, but we're hitting the wall on what silicon can do. Maybe alternative materials will be the answer, but even then the reason they haven't been used before is the cost to manufacture.

        Chris Mack wrote a relevant article about it here: http://spectrum.ieee.org/semic... [ieee.org]

        He doesn't mention the need to move to alternative materials, which Intel has

    • by darkain ( 749283 )

      Oh, no, density of SSD is already far surpassed that of spinning disks. This is just Intel playing catch-up at this point.

      http://arstechnica.com/gadgets... [arstechnica.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Never trust reporting from a source that can't spell "Terabyte" correctly. It proves they not only didn't proofread, they didn't even run spell-check.

    • by Luthair ( 847766 )
      Its shameless self promotion. MojoKid submits articles from HotHardware everyday, I wonder if he's a shill!
  • The new Intel/Micron "flash successor" that's supposed to be faster and more durable?

    • by Areyoukiddingme ( 1289470 ) on Wednesday February 17, 2016 @05:41PM (#51530459)

      The new Intel/Micron "flash successor" that's supposed to be faster and more durable?

      It's not. Both from this announcement and from the original announcement [slashdot.org] covered here on Slashdot just under a year ago, we see that it's MLC and TLC nand flash. Multilayer (a.k.a. 3D! Now with more Ds!) rather than single layer, but otherwise still bog standard nand flash. Evidently it took a while to get the yields up. Looks like they intend to crater the price per gigabyte of flash-based storage while simultaneously offering up XPoint as the (higher priced) upgrade. And it sounds like Samsung anticipated [slashdot.org] them doing exactly that, and is working to unload their single layer inventory as fast as they can.

  • by Archangel Michael ( 180766 ) on Wednesday February 17, 2016 @05:32PM (#51530383) Journal

    I've said for a while now, that Spinning Hard Drives are dying breed. This is just another nail in the coffin, as SSD sizes start to surpass traditional HDD. The last remaining bit that HDDs have over SSD is cost per MB. However if you include OTHER costs associated with HDDs (Watts per drive) even those advantages shrink (or go away).

    IMHO once these higher density SSD drives arrive, there will be little or nothing for me to recommend standard HDD, for any application. None. There is barely any reason to have spinning drives right now.

    • Well one reason to keep hard drives around is because their capacity can be measured in terabytes, instead of SSD's which are apparently measured in terebytes.
      • by Jeremi ( 14640 ) on Wednesday February 17, 2016 @11:41PM (#51532393) Homepage

        Well one reason to keep hard drives around is because their capacity can be measured in terabytes, instead of SSD's which are apparently measured in terabytes.

        The Terebyte is a common unit of measurement for Imperial bytes.

        Imperial bytes are similar to standard bytes, except that they were invented before the widespread adoption of Arabic numbers, so instead of storing the bits as 0's and 1's, they store them as I's and II's.

    • How true.. If I worked for a drive manufacturer that builds spinning HDAs, I'd be looking for another job, FAST. Makes me happy that I didn't take that job at Maxstore a decade or so ago. Even if I survived the mergers and buyouts since then, I'd be in a world of hurt now.
    • by swb ( 14022 )

      I think the enterprise storage vendors *want* to hang onto HDDs as long as possible because it lets them keep marking up SSDs to stratospheric heights, in addition to charging a whole bunch extra for magic tiering/caching systems so the 6 SSDs you can afford to put into the thing will actually have a chance of getting used.

      I also think they're somewhat scared of the evidence of greater durability that SSDs seem to have because a big part of their justification for increased cost for their enterprise SSDs in

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Disclosure: I work in this field but I won't tell you who I work for.

        Regarding endurance, the myth that HDDs have greater endurance than flash (even MLC and TLC) is just that - a myth. Every HDD will die eventually, frequently when they have to be turned off and won't start up again because all of the grease has been spun out of the motor bearings.

        See this: https://www.micron.com/about/blogs/2016/february/the-myth-of-hdd-endurance

        SSD density (at 4TB in 2.5" x 7mm or 9mm high) is already more dense per squa

        • by swb ( 14022 ) on Thursday February 18, 2016 @12:44PM (#51535219)

          That said, we have been calling for the death of the mainframe for years, as well as the death of tape for years, and neither have died. HDDs will continue to have a place in the world, but they will be by and large replaced with flash. In the enterprise space, changes in software also mean that most of this flash will be server attached rather than part of a SAN.

          I think the death of tape hasn't happened because there isn't a functional replacement for it for high capacity, long-term archiving. HDDs don't work well in changers, are more fragile and I don't think anyone trusts their powered off shelf life.

          I know that clustered/distributed/server-local storage is becoming a competitor to centralized SAN, but I think it will be something of a limited market. Virtualization and CPU improvements have cut node counts significantly, making it harder to obtain redundant node counts necessary for this to see a lot of adoption.

          Even the vendors with decent products now charge so much for licensing that they're not remotely competitive on pricing. I saw a price analysis of VMware vSAN that put it more expensive by 2-3x over a conventional SAN. MS Storage Spaces isn't really flexible enough yet although it's clear MS wants it to go this way, but it doesn't seem like it will be there or agnostic enough for heterogeneous workloads for years.

          • Our view is that vSAN is "beta" quality. If we could get our money back, we would. What a waste.

            • by swb ( 14022 )

              I haven't run into it at a client yet, the guy I work who has says it really sucks and he had a lot of problems with it.

              I guess I don't see what problems it solves, either, although I think it's an interesting idea.

              • It was a creative way to use commodity drives as a virtual SAN across physical boxes. The problem is, if a drive goes offline, the systems that depend on it get wonky. no data loss, just goofy not working virtual systems.

        • Combined with the fact that HDDs today are slower per megabyte than ever (10TB drives spin at the same 7200 RPM that 120GB drives did), the near future holds the end of the HDD in the majority of applications.

          "Slower per megabyte than ever"? What does this even mean?

          If you're packing data more densely within a track, you'll be able to read it faster at a given rotational speed, unless your hardware can't keep up and you have to fall back to interleaving (or, perhaps worse, multiple reads to correct errors). I didn't think drives had been interleaved in years.

          My own disclaimer: it's been many years since I paid close attention to drive transfer rates, so I have no idea what actual rates you get out of the new dri

    • by dgatwood ( 11270 )

      IMHO once these higher density SSD drives arrive, there will be little or nothing for me to recommend standard HDD, for any application. None. There is barely any reason to have spinning drives right now.

      Except that we're nowhere near that point, at least from my perspective. A 1 TB laptop SSD starts at $240. $150 will buy you 3 TB of laptop-sized spinning storage (as long as your computer can handle a 15mm drive, otherwise 2 TB for $95). More importantly, no amount of money will buy you a laptop-sized 3

      • Your example of Laptop is interesting, as my #1 reason to go to SSD on a Laptop isn't size, it is battery life. Spinning drives suck juice, and SSD's offer up substantially longer life without needing a plug. I'm talking a couple extra hours. The second greatest benefit is that powering down and back on is much quicker, so that you're more likely to shut a machine off when not in use, saving even more power (than sleep), because boot to desktop is measured in seconds, not minutes.

        While there may be applicat

        • by dgatwood ( 11270 )

          I mostly agree with what you're saying, and for a primary drive, you're absolutely right. But your original post didn't limit it to primary drives. That was my objection.

          Don't get me wrong. I love my SSD's performance. It makes the laptop much, much faster than my pre-retina MBP. I don't want a spinning drive in lieu of an SSD. I want an internal spinning drive in addition to the SSD. Basically, the frequently used data (OS, apps, current projects) would live on the SSD, and bulk data (photo library

  • Really? A terebyte?

    Come on guys, at least try.

  • What's the target market for something like this? CERN? Arecibo? I would have thought that for speed reasons, anyone needing to store terabytes of data in a big hurry would use RAID arrays, in which case using fewer drives for the same capacity might actually slow them down.

    • by guruevi ( 827432 )

      Anyone these days. 10TB isn't all that much anymore. If you need 200TB in the enterprise world today, you can get 4TB reliably (6 and 8 exist but are double and quadruple the price respectively and require heavy tradeoffs) so you need ~110-120 drives (RAID10+spares) and that's for 3.5", 15W.

      Enterprise SSD's typically scale evenly with size so I expect these to cost ~5k each, 45 of these would do the job, at 0.2W and 2.5", those things save you first year in both power and space.

      • by fnj ( 64210 )

        10TB isn't all that much anymore. If you need 200TB in the enterprise world today, you can get 4TB reliably (6 and 8 exist but are double and quadruple the price respectively and require heavy tradeoffs) so you need ~110-120 drives (RAID10+spares) and that's for 3.5", 15W.

        Enterprise SSD's typically scale evenly with size so I expect these to cost ~5k each, 45 of these would do the job, at 0.2W and 2.5", those things save you first year in both power and space.

        A single RAID10 is an extravagant waste, as well

  • Glad a researched tech that took years to developed is finally hitting production even though there's no consumer release yet.... so hopefully it will be out and see what the price point for it is.

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