If you’re feeling smug that you have a few TBs of storage space in your home computer setup, your eyes will definitely turn green with envy after hearing that IBM is currently developing what could very well be the largest capacity “drive” to date – a 120 petabyte 200,000-disk array. This particular drive is being constructed for a secret supercomputer-using customer, where it is said to see action “for detailed simulations of real-world phenomena” – at least according to MIT’s Technology Review.
According to IBM Almaden storage systems research director Bruce Hillsberg, there will be around 200,000 SAS disk drives involved in favor of SATA models, simply because of performance issues. A quick mental calculation points toward 600GB drives being used, with the possibility of Seagate’s 2.5″ Savvios models in action.
Wider than normal racks will be used so that the drives will be stashed in a way where a smaller amount of floorspace is required, and these racks will feature water cooling instead of the traditional fan-cooled setup. Makes sense, considering how the wide drawers will be crammed to the hilt with small form factor (SFF) drives. I wonder what the power bill at the end of the month will be like to support such a monstrous setup.