back to article Hot NAND: Samsung wheels out 30TB SSD monster

Samsung has finally got its 31TB SSD into manufacturing, catching up with Toshiba's similarly well-endowed SAS flash package. The 30.72TB PM1643 effectively replaces the current PM1633a and its 15.36TB capacity limit, and is positioned as an enterprise SSD, although Samsung does tell us it can store 5,700 HD movies. News of …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "but it doesn't mention encryption which might be thought a useful feature"

    People buying 30TB disks are almost certainly layering their own volume and application layer encryption on top anyway. Disk-level protection doesn't do much for these customers, so it's easy to cut.

    1. Ian Michael Gumby


      Luks would be for encryption at rest and can be applied to any drive. Were they to do anything about encryption, it would mean adding some hardware to do the encryption of the disk within the disk.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      How much?

      1. Jamtea

        If you gotta ask... it's too expensive for you.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      They are certainly not or SED wouldn't be such a regularly requested feature. Encryption eats a lot of CPU cycles, which have become a concern after Spectre/Meltdown, and the stability of sw based encryption is shaky at best.

      These drives will come with SED eventually but it's a usually a year or so later.

      1. Ian Michael Gumby

        I don't know why I was down voted. LUKs is a OS feature. And yes, it takes CPU cycles. Hardware encryption would be different and I agree its not there. But its possible to add and based on the anticipated price point... not that expensive.

      2. simpfeld

        "Encryption eats a lot of CPU cycles, which have become a concern after Spectre/Meltdown, and the stability of sw based encryption is shaky at best."

        With LUKS on most CPU's the encryption has very little overhead at it uses the AES instructions in the CPU (so basically it is done in hardware).

        One set of benchmarks I saw has the encrypted disks as faster than non-encrypted. Last time I read it it was thought this might just be to do with newer more optimal code in the LUKS code...but I'll take that with a pinch of salt.

        I think realistically it is likely in the 5% region of CPU overhead.

        1. The Mole

          If you have high enough throughput even with AES instructions encryption quite definitely isn't free. Though disk bottlenecks are quite likely to kick in first.

  2. Aitor 1


    whenever I read this type of news I think about how wonderful these drives are.. but also how long would they take to make a backup ot restore them... if you consider an array of 32 of these... the size is huge.

    1. kain preacher

      Re: Backup

      THa's easy. You start the back up, have breakfast , BS with the office chaps do some work, go to lunch, bs some more have dinner, go home take the misses out for good time. Come back then next day when you find out one or more drives failed do to stress or worse the back up is corrupt .

      1. kain preacher

        Re: Backup

        I'm sorry about that last post. I've been up 20 hours on a project that is going to end in tears and make the evening news. Note. bad PM can be evil and even worse when the are suggesting bad solutions to a client that has no idea what they want and it's us plebs that will have to make this work.

        God I'm thinking about going back and teaching ill temper chavs.

        1. Jedit Silver badge

          "bad PM can be evil and even worse when the are suggesting bad solutions..."

          You must have been up too long. This is an article about Samsung SSDs, not Brexit.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Backup

      You'd probably have to back 32 up with another 32, preserved in a wax coating and stashed in an appropriately thermal/humididy/light controlled space?

      1. kain preacher

        Re: Backup

        No need for that. you just need to put it in an air tight vault wit argon .

    3. Adam 52 Silver badge

      Re: Backup

      We - and I presume most others - take periodic incremental snapshots from empty and never do a full backup.

      Full restore takes a long time though.

      1. Alex McDonald (NetApp)

        Re: Backup

        An incremental snapshot isn't a thing. They shouldn't take forever if they are a snapshot; more like seconds to go back. That sounds more like a differential or incremental backup to me.

        1. Ian Michael Gumby

          Re: Backup

          Geez, I love how these 'experts' who don't work with data at scale talk about taking snapshots and backups.

          News flash... Hadoop has been around for 10 years now. You don't take backups of hadoop clusters. you take snapshots and xfer the data to another cluster. The cluster's resiliency and backup to another cluster is it. What, you're going to back up to tape? Really? As someone with half a shred of thought points that its not the incremental backup that takes time.. but the restoring of the data.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Backup

            "Hadoop has been around for 10 years now."

            This has nothing to do with Hadoop. You wouldn't put 30TB disk into a Hadoop system because there's a practical limit at circa 100TB per node within HDFS, for a whole bunch of reasons. This is OK because it is an analytical system, not a storage system.

            "You don't take backups of hadoop clusters. you take snapshots and xfer the data to another cluster"

            How is this not a backup..?

          2. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: Backup

            "What, you're going to back up to tape? Really? "


            I may not _ever_ have to use it, but if shit and fan ever mix, I want to be able to do so, and do so for any point in the last 1-8 years.

    4. Ian Michael Gumby

      Re: Backup

      The short answer... you don't. You look at distributed file systems where the data is replicated across the cluster and then replicated to a back up cluster.

    5. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Backup

      "how long would they take to make a backup"

      People said exactly the same thing when the first 1TB drives came out, or the first 100GB drives, or....

      You get the idea. My first guess for the solution would be incrementals. You don't need to back up 100% of the disk every night as long as you arrange your backup schedule right.

  3. Tom7

    Blast radius?

    Can someone point me to a reference on this? Are we talking actual explosions? Google doesn't turn up much...

    1. frank ly

      Re: Blast radius?

      It's a Godzilla reference.

    2. Jame_s

      Re: Blast radius?

      i hadn't heard it before either

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Blast radius?

      As they as SAS drives they are aligned with the special forces unit of the British army therefore I would expect actual explosions.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So, is anybody filling one of those with pr0n to test it?

    Just asking. Pornhub and Xvideos might be willing to have a backup handy.


  5. Terje

    No price!

    "and no price indications"

    I would guess that if you need to consider the price of one of these you don't have the budget for it...

    1. Ian Michael Gumby

      Where to buy? Re: No price!

      Try buying anything > 4TB SSD drives.

      They may exist but they aren't hitting distributors and open markets. Looks like its OEM sales directly to big vendors only. (IBM, HPE, etc... ) The largest SSD/NVMe drive on the market for business or consumer purchase is 4TB.

      The flame isn't for you or anyone here, but for Samsung and others talking about products yet not available to anyone outside of the major players.

      1. kain preacher

        Re: Where to buy? No price!

        Amazon has them, but it's going to cost you an arm a leg and you left nut.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Where to buy? No price!

          I prefer my ssd's around the "your first born son" price range. The devil is in the detail.

        2. Ian Michael Gumby

          @Kain preacher ... Re: Where to buy? No price!

          Uhm really?

          Your link is to a 4TB drive.

          Not the 15TB or anything close to that.

          I can get 4TB drives and 2TB M.2 drives.

          Man, I have to ask... how many here play with PBs of data?

        3. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: Where to buy? No price!

          "but it's going to cost you an arm a leg"

          That's actually around 1/3 the price of the SM863 2TB drives I bought a while back.

      2. jabuzz

        Re: Where to buy? No price!

        Scan have the Samsung PM1633a drive in stock. Price is eyewateringly expensive still. Basically £10k for 15TB usable.

  6. Baldrickk

    So now we can have 30TB SSDs, can we reduce the price of the smaller ones, as they are obviously much easier to make, right? right?

    I was hoping that the price of SSDs would have begun to normalise by now, but to take for example, vs

    Now obviously there is a very big performance difference here, but is it really worth over 10x as much? YMMV on that.

    I have a compact case, and limited room for disks unless I duck-tape them to the inside of the case. If I replace my spinning platter (I actually have a 750GB hybrid drive right now, which is great, but a bit small) I don't want to have an even smaller drive, and for >£400? I'd prefer a VR headset - I'll personally get more out of it.

    One does wonder if the high prices are in some part due to artificial scarcity...

    1. Ian Michael Gumby

      SSD Pricing...

      The smallest footprint is the M.2 NVMe cards which currently max out at 2TB and cost as much as most PCs. (Microcenter's in house specials)

      Those cards are about $1250 apiece (give or take).

      The new motherboards have 3 M.2 slots so you can put 3TB raw of fast storage, then 5 or so SATA III drives.

      This would allow for tiered storage on a pc using an i9 chip w 12-14 cores. Going higher would be a waste because your PC is limited to 128GB of memory. Now you have a machine that if properly configured would cost about 12K but would be able to act as a server with enough horse power to do some serious work. Unlike servers that are 1U and 2U in height for racks, I can put these in custom cases and water cool them for quiet running. (Silent running means low TDP chips <= 65Watts ) [Add in a large 120mm or larger case fan running w a lower RPM, ~20-27db noise range to keep the air moving for memory and SSDs]

      Note: This may sound expensive, but when you consider the horsepower today versus building out a cluster of lower powered servers with the same power... its a wash. Less noise, heat and power.

      There's a lot you can do with a small cluster of these machines.. ;-)

    2. Adam 52 Silver badge

      Why have you compared an expensive SSD with a cheap HDD? There are 1TB SSDs for £220 on Amazon. Mine was £120, but I bought it on an Amazon deal of the day and prices seem to have risen in the intervening couple of years.

      1. Ian Michael Gumby

        @Adam 52

        What are you trying to do?

        If I want to set up a fast data response.... that would be 3 x 2TB NVMe.

        On a single node that's 6TB of raw fast disk.

        Then you have 5 open SATA slots. You can put slower larger HDDS, or SSDs (4TB) which would be slower. I would rather use SSDs because 5x4 = 20TB raw space which is enough. You can get 8TB HDDs which is currently the sweet spot. Larger HDDs exist like 10 or 12 TB but you pay a premium. The other issue is the amount of heat and energy used by the HDDs.

        So when you're limited by the number of M.2 slots, you will end up paying a premium for the higher density. Note, I would end up using 2 of the SATA SSDs mirrored for the OS and not boot from NVMe. While that may seem counter intuitive... my pcs run Linux and run 24x7x365.

        Keep in mind... 2010 Hadoop clusters had 1 or 2 U boxes w 4 Hot Swap 3.5" SATA / SAS . 2 CPUs w 8 cores or 16 threads. (Xeon E5s) Drives were 2 or 4 TB depending on your budget.

        Now you have a single CPU w 18 cores == 36 virtual cores. which would mean 4-5 older servers.

        When you consider that... it puts things in perspective.

        And yes, I'm not running a PC game on these machines. ;-)

    3. Stoneshop

      I have a compact case, and limited room for disks unless I duck-tape them to the inside of the case.

      If you have one 5.25" drive slot, you can fit a 6-bay 2.5" hotswap cage, or even 8-bay if you use 7mm drives (most SSDs are).

      1. Baldrickk

        Not a single 5.25" slot.

        There is a 3.5" 'bay' and a 2.5" 'bay' (actually, both drives are attached to the back of the same plate the Motherboard is attached to) which house my 2TB spinning metal data drive and my hybrid drive respectively.

        If I get an upgrade, it'll be to replace the hybrid with a full SSD. I'm fine for slow spinning metal for my movies etc.

  7. Alistair Silver badge



    7*30TB 3.5" drives in raid10, one hot spare, ZFS and .... (I still think the rebuild time is in the days territory but hell)

    I've a raft of apollo 4500's that sport 45 4Tb spinning rust drives. Moving those to 30Tb SSDs would make Hive and Spark look like mainframe class software.....

    1. Stoneshop

      Re: urrrm

      7*30TB 3.5" drives in raid10, one hot spare, ZFS and ....

      Why RAID underneath ZFS?

    2. baspax

      Re: urrrm

      The RAID controller on the Apollo can't handle it.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: urrrm

      You don't run Hive on ZFS... but yeah you get it.

      You don't also run RAID on the HDFS drives.

      And no Hive and Spark will never look like the mainframe. (Even on the mainframe)

      Here you're running Linux LPARS and you have a bit of tweaking to make it work.

  8. Paul Martin

    I wonder how they're squeezing 2.1GB/s through a 12Gb/s (1.5GB/s) interface.

  9. nate1981

    Is it me or does this drive look twice as high as a normal 2.5" drive? Is that a actual picture of the drive?

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: nate1981

      Yes - it's a 3.5" drive.


      1. baspax

        Re: nate1981

        Thanks. That sucks. 30TB in a 2.5" factor would have been great, in 3.5" not so much

        1. Baldrickk

          Re: nate1981

          What? Are you wanting 30TB in a laptop?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: nate1981

            Density. Going for 2.5" over 3.5" can as much as double the disks-per-box you can squeeze into common machines. If you're buying individual 30TB disks you almost certainly care about density over all else, so have probably already switched to an all-2.5" setup. So for those folks this is interesting but not necessarily useful.

          2. Ian Michael Gumby

            @Baldrickk Re: nate1981

            You have a laptop that can fit a 2.5" disk?

            1. Michael Duke

              Re: This is Dell or EMC?

              Two things stop it going into a laptop.

              12.5mm Z Height

              SAS Interface

              These will end up in servers and storage arrays.

              It does mean that when my vendor qualifies these I will be able to get 3PB raw into 5 rack units. At a monstrous price but that density. 3PB used to be 5+ racks, now it is 5RU.

  10. kain preacher

    Question what file system are they using ?

    1. Ian Joyner Bronze badge

      "Question what file system are they using?"

      Any file system should be orthogonal to (separate and independent of) the hardware technology.

  11. Ian Joyner Bronze badge


    “There is no datasheet we've been able to find for the PM1643, no availability information and no price indications for what is an OEM drive”

    Curious? Is this the old preannounce strategy because the competition already has something in the marketplace, so "we will steal their sales"? I like "Sammy" (ugh) less and less.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Vapourware

      Its probably not vapourware.

      More likely the case that the sort of people who can afford a 30TB SSD are probably already people who've got a mobile number for a Samsung rep and have probably been involved in beta-testing these new drives under NDA.

      Think the cloud providers to start with. Would not surprise me in the least if a quiet corner of Amazon,Google, MIcrosoft et al. knew about this widget a looong time before the press release came out and some hack at el Reg bashed it out in to a story.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can someone explain to me...

    ... how they can transfer 2.1 GB/sec over a 12Gbps SATA interface?

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