CES 2018: Seagate announces 1PB high-density enclosure

Seagate's new high-density enclosure provides 1PB of storage capacity in a single drawer, which stacks to a total of between 8PB and 10PB of data storage per rack.

seagate-5u84-cropped.jpg
(Image: Daniel Schrock/Seagate)

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Seagate has announced a new high-density enclosure that it said will be powered by its latest data protection-focused operating system to improve performance, reliability, and security.

The 5U84, announced at CES 2018, provides 1PB of storage capacity per unit and occupies just five datacentre rack units. It can stack up to between 8PB and 10PB per rack, with up to 84 3.5-inch SAS hard disk drives or solid state drives per enclosure.

"What we announced today was this version with data protection, and a couple of unique things about it: It's pretty dense, so you get about a petabyte per drawer, and I can stack up a bunch of drawers behind each other," Seagate told ZDNet.

"We've initiated a couple of new technology features; one is a new version of the operating system, and the way it stores the data it allows for very fast access, and then if a device fails, the time it takes to rebuild information that was on the failed device onto other devices is very fast.

"If we rebuild faster, we reduce the exposure window, and the performance in the meantime is very strong to people requiring access to the data. So it's a new version of our OS on this high-density enclosure."

According to Seagate, it has seen "quite a bit of interest" across multiple industries, with some having used it since Q3 last year and the version available generally as of today.

"The 5U84 enclosure and firmware technology will enable businesses to store massive quantities of data in a high-availability enclosure that provides high-performance access to data," the storage giant said.

"Using next-generation data protection technology, Seagate's Advanced Distributed Autonomic Protection Technology (ADAPT) can eliminate up to 95 percent of performance degradation during a disk drive rebuild when compared to traditional RAID solutions, meaning the 5U84 is essentially 'self-healing'."

"The technology disperses data across multiple drives, allocating more resources to rebuilds, thereby reducing the time needed, minimising the risk of a data unavailability issue and giving the end user uninterrupted access."

It hosts 84 drive bays that function with 8TB, 10TB, and 12TB drives, and has the expansion capability of up to 336 drives.

"Traditional data protection approaches in a high-density enclosure often result in unmanageable rebuild times in the event of a device failure," Seagate Systems VP Ken Claffey said.

"With this new operating system release, we are enabling customers to use high-density enclosures with high-capacity drives more confidently, as we have dramatically reduced the rebuild window required."

The new OS also has multi-core functionality, enabling several cores to share workloads while specific processing tasks are distributed to individual cores.

Dual 12Gb SAS I/O modules provide redundancy to increase reliability, while a dual controller configuration supports multiple chassis. Performance is around 600K IOPS at 1ms latency for 2U24 AFA, allowing "near instantaneous" data access, Seagate said.

seagate-5u84-2.jpg
(Image: Corinne Reichert/ZDNet)

CES 2018

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See also: CES 2018 special coverage (CNET)

Seagate also used CES 2018 to announce its new mobile data storage solutions, as well as the joint launch of Joy Drive with Chinese online retail giant JD.com, the latter of which it said will expand the storage and battery capacity of mobile devices.

"Creating, transferring, storing, and accessing data quickly and reliably is critical to unlocking the potential of everything -- from data created in the field to data powering self-driving cars, AI personal assistants, or virtual and mixed reality experiences," said Tim Bucher, senior vice president of Seagate consumer solutions.

The new Seagate Fast SSD flash drive is capable of 540MBps transfer rates, has USB-C connectivity and new software for file backup and sync. It will sell from spring in the US in 250GB capacity for $99, 500GB for $169, and 1TB for $349.

Seagate has also partnered with unmanned aerial vehicle manufacturer DJI to create the LaCie DJI Copilot, which enables drone users to play, copy, and manage drone footage from their mobile device. Direct file transfer from an SD card to the LaCie DJI Copilot removes the need for a PC or mobile coverage, Seagate explained.

LaCie's Copilot Backup On-set Solution (BOSS) app then allows full-resolution video playback and file management and organisation via smartphone or tablet, with a built-in power bank to recharge mobile devices.

"It's a standalone drive that's battery powered," LaCie product manager Gaspard Plantrou told ZDNet, explaining that it solves the problem of how to transfer footage while in the field from the camera to a drive in order to check and rename footage without needing to take a laptop.

The LaCie DJI Copilot comes with 2TB storage and is priced at $349, available in the northern hemisphere's spring.

Seagate has also added its Seagate Secure hardware encryption technology and new Toolkit software to its LaCie Rugged drive, which will now cost $139 and become available in the US spring season.

Seagate additionally announced partnering with Adobe to offer free access to Adobe applications as part of Seagate and LaCie drive bundles.

Lastly, the Seagate Joy Drive, a portable power bank and mobile capacity expansion unit for Android phones and tablets, comes with 1TB of capacity. It allows access to videos and content without needing Wi-Fi or mobile coverage by connecting them directly through microUSB or type-C interfaces for file transfers and 4K video playback.

Users can also free up space on their devices through the batch offload capability in the Joy Drive app.

"This product will actually connect your phone to back up your data, so we have built an app so when you connect this to your phone, you can very quickly back up your data and at the same time it has a battery integrated so you can power your phone," Plantrou told ZDNet.

Available to consumers in China in March for $99, Plantrou told ZDNet that it will be released with different partners to different countries and channels throughout the year.

While Seagate cut 500 jobs in December after revealing that its September quarterly revenue fell by $165 million due to "price erosion partially offset by an increase in exabytes shipped", it also joined the consortium purchasing Toshiba's memory division.

Seagate at the time said it is set to provide $1.25 billion in funding to the group, expecting to sign a long-term supply agreement with Toshiba Memory as a result. The deal would be positive for its earnings, Seagate said.

Updated at 3.50pm PT, January 8: Added quotes from Seagate to ZDNet.

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