back to article Toshiba flashes 100TB QLC flash drive, may go on sale within months. Really

The Flash Memory Summit saw Toshiba deliver a presentation about quad-level cell (QLC) technology – adding substantially to the prospect of a product being delivered in the "near future". We heard about QLC NAND last month: it uses four bits per cell to hold your data. After Seagate tantalized us with a 60TB SSD, along comes …

  1. Phil Bennett

    Really low endurance or mistake?

    The QLC drive would have a 3PB to 6PB workload over its lifetime, with the disk having 900TB (written).

    This is a 100TB drive so 9 full writes in its entire life, and just 30-60 reads? That's a far cry from Facebook's desired 150 writes.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Really low endurance or mistake?

      They are comparing it to 8 TB nearline storage drives, so it isn't meant for active data. It is for cold data that changes rarely.

  2. chris 17 Silver badge

    How much is this expected to cost?

    when can i get one for my NAS/Laptop/tower

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Some math

    Let's double that 100 watts to account for cooling, and calculate at fairly cheap electric rates of 5 cents per kwh (which is what a lot of industrial scale customers pay in much of the US) That adds up to 1 cent per hour. At 8760 hours a year, let's round up to $100/yr more to run the 8 TB drives. If we use very expensive 20 cent/kwh electricity (maybe it is that high in some EU countries?) and assume a five year life, that's $2000 more that the power and cooling costs for the 8 TB option. I imagine the 100 TB QLC drive will cost a lot more than $2000 more than 13 8 TB drives plus a shelf.

    If your datacenter floor space is very limited, I suppose a 12.5x reduction in the amount needed for nearline storage could be worth something as well, but still not enough to make up the cost difference.

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Some math

      "If we use very expensive 20 cent/kwh electricity (maybe it is that high in some EU countries?)"

      I pay 14p/kWh, plus a daily supply charge. So: "yes, and then some"

      1. fnj

        Re: Some math

        20 cents/kWh isn't "very expensive". I pay that much right on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Japan is 26 cents. Australia is 29 cents. Spain is 30 cents. Germany is 35 cents. Denmark is 41 cents.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Some math

        Those complaining that they pay more for electricity should check the rates their utility charges for industrial customers. They are MUCH lower than residential, so yes 20 cents/kwh is "very expensive" when it comes to what a datacenter is paying, even if it is middle of the road for a residential or light commercial customer.

        For instance, I pay just under 10 cents/kwh where I live, but the utility's lowest rate is 3.5 cents/kwh for those using over some high threshold ("high" but a decent sized datacenter probably exceeds the monthly threshold in a few days)

  4. Joerg

    More cheap NAND SSD crap. MLC, TLC, QLC .. only a fool would waste money on unreliable products like these.

    SLC NAND is the bare minimum to get some reliability for enterprise and professional use.

    3D XPoint is going to change that and make all NAND flash based SSD drives obsolete.

    1. Alex McDonald 1
      Alien

      The crapiness of NAND is about the same as crapiness for spinning rust. Error correction is our friend here.

      How Controllers Maximize SSD Life

      http://www.snia.org/sites/default/files/SSSITECHNOTES_HowControllersMaximizeSSDLife.pdf

    2. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      XPoint will have better write life. It will also cost 4x what standard MLC will cost and 8x what QLC will cost.

      News flash: lots of use cases don't require high write life. WORM is s thing for 99.9% of the world's businesses.

      QLC will find a place. It just won't be in the DIMM slot.

      Now smoke a bowl and chill the fuck out.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The content of my arrays here hardly change at all and what does change is usually written once, processed many, many times, and then trashed. "Big Data" types would love this. I'm getting a little jealous myself! And the power savings does tickle my fancy too as prices around here start at $.29 per KWHr.

    3. Alan Brown Silver badge

      "SLC NAND is the bare minimum to get some reliability for enterprise and professional use."

      Oh, do tell which suppliers are still selling SLC.

    4. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
      FAIL

      Drive failures

      We run hybrid arrays from multiple different vendors, including one which has been in service for over five years. The old school spinning rust drives crap out regularly (as in, we replace multiple drives per month), but I have yet to replace a single SSD. YMMV, of course, but the number of downvotes you keep receiving for banging this drum suggests that my experience is not unique.

  5. JeffyPoooh
    Pint

    "Quad Level Cell (QLC)"

    Not to be confused with the forthcoming Quint Level Cell (QLC).

    Stupid idiots.

    1. Swarthy

      Re: "Quad Level Cell (QLC)"

      Single-, Multi-, Three-, and now Quad-level Cell. I seriously doubt they will name the next one Quint. From the preceding chain, I can discern no consistent naming convention, so I would guess the name will be something "logical" like Quad Plus One Level Cell (Q+1LC). Or they may do a repeat and have "Five Level Cell (FLC)" and do the +1 bit on the six-banger, as otherwise it will have a collision with Single Level Cell.

      1. Anonymous Prime

        Re: "Quad Level Cell (QLC)"

        >>Or they may do a repeat and have "Five Level Cell (FLC)" and do the +1 bit on the six-banger, as otherwise it will have a collision with Single Level Cell.

        HLC (Hex Level Cell).

        Seven is the real challenge. Best I can come up with is ZLC (Yiddish's "zibn"). But we probably have plenty of time to come up with something better before such things actually get to market.

        1. Swarthy
          Thumb Up

          Re: "Quad Level Cell (QLC)"

          Given the way that viability/re-usability seems to fall in proportion to the rise in levels, Hex-level Cell will be accurate for six level.

        2. Paul 135

          Re: "Quad Level Cell (QLC)"

          Just rename the whole lot 1LC, 2LC, 3LC, 4LC, 5LC etc. and be done with it!

  6. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Truckloads of these will probably go to a remote location in Utah. This is the tech you'd use to correlate observed events on a large scale in real-time.

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Why not just build a fab right next to the spookhaus?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    QLC drives are not primary storage.

    At this scale ~100 TB, and rather low performance characteristics compared to Xpoint. This drive is going to be for replacing Tier 2 and 3 storage. In a 4U 60 Drive 3.5" shelf (if they go back to this size like Seagate), that's 6PB of storage raw. Add erasure coding drops you down to ~66% of that, but then factor in something like a 3:1 dedupe and compression ratio, and you are now close to ~12PB.

    Cloud storage and backup as a service providers are going to gobble this bad boy up.

  8. earl grey
    Joke

    Five Level User Cell

    As in, what the FLUC.

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