STORAGE FLOUNDERS

Even the Chia mining is no godsend to the storage sector. The same story exists up the food chain as well.

Seagate has larger servers with very high density storage solutions. Seagate has provided several images which can illustrate the situation. Western digital has segmented their disks into maket segments that confuse consumers. Seagate has one lineup which has been on the market for some time, Server disks are mostly Seagate and Toshiba.

The Seagate 5U84 chassis has a large number of disks in a 5U server configuration. The 5U84 was launched January 8, 2018 and it has been installed in large numbers with corporate systems and data centers. The disk trays slide out easily to maintain the array.

The problem today is that hard disks have largely stalled at 16TB for perpendicular recorded media. Perpendicular recorded media can handle heavier workloads exceeding 500TB annually. SSD vendors discovered that their products cannot handle extreme write workloads as effectively.

Larger capacity disks seem to be heat assisted recording which has been slow to arrive in the mainstream markets. Seagate has been selling all of their 20TB disks to the server market where they are now being tested using a wide range of workloads. It may be 2022 before larger 20TB disks surface at NewEgg and Amazon etc.

At present Lustre is still the software stack of choice for supercomputing. Long ago it was a package for FreeNAS but today Lustre is a complete Linux package built for supercomputing. The Seagate storage server is simply one component in the supercomputer world.

A decade ago there were a lot of storage companies competing with really nothing to show. One survivor has (VAST) developed a storage stack that spans storage tiers. Most others have folded or were bought out.

Some government and banks still use a mainframe which has shriveled to be just another server on the rack. IBM developed a CPU that is backwards compatible all the way back to the System 360. A more recent processor now runs the 64-bit zOS for mainframe applications.

Seagate is only one chassis amidst a literal ocean of other options. In the 4U market servers with 45 or 60 drives are commonplace. These servers are configured as desired from Ceph, Lustre or Windows Server etc. There are many server operating system options.

NASA buys a staggering number of hard disks every year. The telemetry from various astronomical projects go through hard disks with a vengeance. NASA has also migrated storage from older technology to new servers primarily to recovery space for new servers. NASA also spends heavily on tape for archival purposes. NASA has its hands full with EBs of data.

hyperscale-archive-storage

Seagate is doing the right thing with bulk storage servers. With astronomical amounts of storage in a few racks even the most demanding supercomputing is handled. Seagate fits in well with the superscaller mentality.

Seagate fiits themselves along with larger scale LTO tape robots to handle the astronomical needs of many disciplines. When HPE bought Cray, it heralded the end of an era of hyperscale supercomputing. Now Intel based servers with 4 and 8 CPU sockets are sold by the rack for those who need more compute resources. AMD based servers are now competing in the compute market as well.