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  • SharkyForums.Com - Print: The biggest hard drive

    The biggest hard drive
    By Racer^ March 15, 2001, 06:02 PM

    Since the fastest processor was talked about...

    What's the hard drive with the largest storage capacity?
    What's the biggest information storage facility currently in use (in one place)?

    I've herd the terra servers have enormous warehouses full of drives...

    By e_dawg March 15, 2001, 09:18 PM

    No data on the second question.

    The biggest IDE I have seen is the Maxtor 80GB, but I know Sun makes a 100GB drive (I think it is SCSI but I don't know).

    Actually, you could make a Terrabyte with about 13 to 14 75GB drives. It would cost a fortune, but a high-performance setup with SCSI drives could fit in your standard household closet with plenty of room to spare.
    If you had the Gates fortune and a full sized closet, you could make an array large enough that it would have more bits of storage space than you and I have brain cells... Pretty impressive.
    Of course, what would you do with that space??? Install NT, Office, and Quake on the same box? :P

    By ua549 March 16, 2001, 10:43 AM

    I have no doubt that No Such Agency has the largest data installation in the world.

    A TB of storage isn't that much. A full SCSI bus can hold more than that on a PC. I was tech director at a banking service bureau in 1985 where the data base was more than 3 TB. The nightly backup used 75 tape drives concurrently to do the backup in a 4 hour "off-line" processing window.

    By JabberJaw March 16, 2001, 11:06 AM

    quote:Originally posted by ua549:
    I have no doubt that No Such Agency has the largest data installation in the world.

    A TB of storage isn't that much. A full SCSI bus can hold more than that on a PC. I was tech director at a banking service bureau in 1985 where the data base was more than 3 TB. The nightly backup used 75 tape drives concurrently to do the backup in a 4 hour "off-line" processing window.


    What comes after terrabyte, heptabyte?

    Totally off-topic: ua549 r u a retired cyberspook?

    By BillNye March 16, 2001, 11:27 AM

    I've seen the 180 GB barracuda scsi, twould be nice.

    By jtshaw March 16, 2001, 01:32 PM

    I think Seagates 180GB SCSI drive is the biggest single drive. As for the largest storage system, I have heard of 10TB+ storage systems but we will proably never know how big the systems owned by the NSA, CIA, or other countries government organizations are.

    By Dark-Knight March 16, 2001, 04:23 PM

    [/b][/QUOTE]
    What comes after terrabyte, heptabyte?

    Totally off-topic: ua549 r u a retired cyberspook?

    [/B][/QUOTE]

    A petabyte as far as I know.. but dont know what comes after that.. its something as "EB" saw it on a window in Win2k.. in the disk managment part..

    By richardginn March 16, 2001, 06:36 PM

    yep the largest is an 180 gig drive. Man would take a long time to defrage the whole thing.

    By sww March 17, 2001, 10:39 AM

    tera=10^12
    peta=10^15
    exo=10^18

    There are others, but I don't know them, and I'm too lazy to look them up.

    quote:Originally posted by JabberJaw:
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by ua549:
    [b]I have no doubt that No Such Agency has the largest data installation in the world.

    A TB of storage isn't that much. A full SCSI bus can hold more than that on a PC. I was tech director at a banking service bureau in 1985 where the data base was more than 3 TB. The nightly backup used 75 tape drives concurrently to do the backup in a 4 hour "off-line" processing window.


    What comes after terrabyte, heptabyte?

    Totally off-topic: ua549 r u a retired cyberspook?

    [/B][/QUOTE]

    By ua549 March 17, 2001, 12:36 PM

    quote:Originally posted by JabberJaw:

    What comes after terrabyte, heptabyte?

    Totally off-topic: ua549 r u a retired cyberspook?

    I'm a retired international networking consultant. I wrote and taught networking courses that used proprietary hardware and consulted with businesses, large banks, medium governments and agencies.

    I could tell you more, but I'd have to kill you. jk

    BTW - see my post in OT about German ban on MS software.

    By awa64 March 17, 2001, 01:52 PM

    Hmmm... well, I'll bet that unless you used all that space, having a 180GB HDD or having multiple large HDDs would slow down the computer rather than speed it up. Is that correct, or am I totally off base here?

    By ua549 March 17, 2001, 03:15 PM

    A directory search will take longer. It depends somewhat on the number of files.

    My notebook has a tiny 4GB drive. Except for the OS directory it is compressed. It is generally quite full. It has approximately 2900 directories containing almost 30,000 files. If my notebook had a 180GB drive, I would have about 1,350,000 files in 130,500 directories. Now, where did I save that critical data? Sometimes bigger is not better. On the other hand I could save about 40 DVD movies on a 180GB drive.

    BTW - you get the same effect by using too big a page file.

    By James March 17, 2001, 04:47 PM

    Memories of Memory, how much when?

    From a post I did a long time ago:

    The Prefixes of the S I

    yotta [Y] 1 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 = 10^24
    zetta [Z] 1 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 = 10^21
    exa [E] 1 000 000 000 000 000 000 = 10^18
    peta [P] 1 000 000 000 000 000 = 10^15
    tera [T] 1 000 000 000 000 = 10^12
    giga [G] 1 000 000 000 (a thousand millions = a billion)
    mega [M] 1 000 000 (a million)
    kilo [k] 1 000 (a thousand)
    hecto [h] 100
    deca [da]10
    1
    deci [d] 0.1
    centi [c] 0.01
    milli [m] 0.001 (a thousandth)
    micro [”] 0.000 001 (a millionth)
    nano [n] 0.000 000 001 (a thousand millionth)
    pico [p] 0.000 000 000 001 = 10^-12
    femto [f] 0.000 000 000 000 001 = 10^-15
    atto [a] 0.000 000 000 000 000 001 = 10^-18
    zepto [z] 0.000 000 000 000 000 000 001 = 10^-21
    yocto [y] 0.000 000 000 000 000 000 000 001 = 10^-24

    Info pulled from this page: http://www.ex.ac.uk/cimt/dictunit/dictunit.htm

    And another SI link: http://physics.nist.gov/cuu/Units/prefixes.html

    By ua549 March 17, 2001, 08:40 PM

    Based on the above description No Such Agency has over 4,000 yotta bytes of storage.

    Its growing every day!

    By JabberJaw March 17, 2001, 09:07 PM

    quote:Originally posted by ua549:
    I'm a retired international networking consultant. I wrote and taught networking courses that used proprietary hardware and consulted with businesses, large banks, medium governments and agencies.

    I could tell you more, but I'd have to ╔═ ∙ ♥ jk

    UȘ șo┐‼

    !! !!

    quote:
    BTW - see my post in OT about German ban on MS software.

    I'll check it out

    By sww March 17, 2001, 09:44 PM

    quote:Originally posted by ua549:
    Based on the above description No Such Agency has over 4,000 yotta bytes of storage.

    Its growing every day!

    By James March 19, 2001, 05:01 PM

    For some reason I don't believe that. Even the No Such Agency doesn't have need for 4,000YB of storage. I think all of today's known storage comes out to a few hundred petabytes. a yottabyte is 1 Billion petabytes! 4000 yottabytes is enough storage to contain every piece of information in the world several thousand times over. Even Spooks-R-Us doesn't need that much storage.

    By ua549 March 19, 2001, 06:10 PM

    Believe what you will. NSA monitors and records virtually every kind of transmission they can monitor.

    By Shreck March 19, 2001, 06:46 PM

    ua549 man, I totally know what you're talking about. I heard that every ISP has to go through a secret pact with the NSA to put 10 monitoring servers on their network. And my best friend's sister is a receptionist at an ISP, so I should know, man.

    Oh, and I know a guy who's written a program that can decrypt anything in 5 minutes too. He told me so.

    Sorry.

    Seriously though, I love this NSA/CIA/FBI/SS conspiracy theory about filtering every phone call, every Internet transmission, every stupid thing that anybody does. Here's the truth: It's just not possible. Fact: My good friend is a software developer for product still in it's beta phases: it has the ability to search all usenet posts as they come along. No, it cannot store them all, but it can do querys and reference recently filtered information. It uses several hundred serial processors to accomplish this. And this is just usenet. It will be used by governments and a few big businesses, and they'll have to buy a few to get the job done. But trust me, some filtering is done, but it is only the tip of the iceberg. The technology will "never" (never is such a hard word...) immerse itself enough to catch even half of the data out there.

    At least that's the way it will most likely be.

    Shreck

    By ua549 March 19, 2001, 07:16 PM

    Most of the monitoring is done on international telephony circuits, military traffic and all foreign satellite traffic.

    Elsewhere, I posted a link to an article in the Register about the German Military dumping all Microsoft software because of NSA snooping. They even cancelled a video conference call that was routed through Denver for "technical reasons".

    No, they don't record everything, but they do their damned best!

    Been there, done that!

    By sbobz March 20, 2001, 02:44 AM

    i work in enterprise storage, designing and implementing various storage systems, ie. SAN, NAS, JBOD's etc...

    In a single 42u rack I can fit 14 jbod enclosures, each of which holds 14 low profile hdd's, or 7 half height. we also distribute seagate gear, and the 180gb drives are half height, while their 73gb drives are low profile. 14^2 = 196 LP drives, or 98 HH drives. 196x73GB = roughly 14TB, while using 98x180GB = roughly 17TB. Now, if you had a 14 channel raid controller, you could make all of this space redundant and lose the capacity of only one drive. ie with the 196 73gb drives you would lose only 73gb, or with 98 180gb drives you would only lose 180gb. The only problem with the 180gb seagates is that they are not available as FC-AL, only SCSI 160. This makes managing the storage array difficult as the JBOD enclosures all have to be connected to SCSI HBA's whereas if they were FC-AL they would all be connected to a switch. The last time I looked at the servers we sell, I didn't come across any that had 14 PCI slots. Although you could get away with 7 dual channel controllers, or 4 quad channel RAID controllers, and volume set the arrays, although you would lose 4x180gb or 4x73gb.

    Putting so many drives in an area as confined as a 42u rack causes other problems. Power/heat/parasitic vibrations are all things that need to be looked at when attempting to achieve such high levels of storage in such a small space (a 42u rack has 19" of width over 73" of height, its just a big box). The materials the enclosures are built of need to null out the vibrations caused by 196 15,000rpm drives (Not just the spinning of the platters, but 196 heads seeking as well) The vibrations can cause the hard drives to misread, misseek, which will add great delays to data access times, and also lower throughput dramatically. When a hard drive faces such situations it works like crazy, and will normally die well before its rated MTBF.
    When building something of this nature it tends to be extremely expensive because of the engineering and materials involved.

    Just thought I'd add something to the thread

    By sbobz March 20, 2001, 02:58 AM

    oh, and no nitpicking. i realise that seagate dont have 15,000rpm 73gb drives. i was just using the speed as an illustration. imagine that they're 36gb 15k IBM's or something.

    By ua549 March 20, 2001, 11:16 AM

    In the late 80s, Unisys had an A-Series mainframe disk product that consisted of rack mounted Fujitsu drives in a similar setup. Each row contained 2 power supplies and 16 drives. I think there were 7 rows of drives per rack. It may have been the reverse - 16 rows of 7 drives. The drives had a much smaller capacity than today's disks. The rack was a 23" mount, not a 19" mount. They had no problems with heat or vibration. I was in many machine rooms that contained hundreds of these racks.

    The Unisys A Series could hold as many SCSI channels as you could afford. They just kept adding expansion cabinets just like an IBM dasd farm.

    By Racer^ March 20, 2001, 11:32 AM

    Hmmm nobody has talked about any optical data storage devices...I figured they would be cutting edge.

    By Shreck March 20, 2001, 12:07 PM

    Okay, okay. So it's not rapid read write media, but I still think FMD-ROM is going to be very cool. A terabyte on a disk!

    Shreck-ROM

    By ua549 March 20, 2001, 04:06 PM

    I've used optical drives frequently. They are niche hardware mostly used for log files, transaction files, etc. wherever a permanent record must be maintained. If you want to see state of the art optical equipment, visit a credit card processing facility. Every transaction is stored on optical media. Every optical drive I've worked with used a single, replaceable platter, typically 8". Being replaceable is both a strength and a weakness - they lack the very high data density that magnetic media has.

    By sbobz March 20, 2001, 04:47 PM

    quote:Originally posted by ua549:
    In the late 80s, Unisys had an A-Series mainframe disk product that consisted of rack mounted Fujitsu drives in a similar setup. Each row contained 2 power supplies and 16 drives. I think there were 7 rows of drives per rack. It may have been the reverse - 16 rows of 7 drives. The drives had a much smaller capacity than today's disks. The rack was a 23" mount, not a 19" mount. They had no problems with heat or vibration. I was in many machine rooms that contained hundreds of these racks.

    The Unisys A Series could hold as many SCSI channels as you could afford. They just kept adding expansion cabinets just like an IBM dasd farm.

    You wont really notice the vibrations yourself, unless they begin to resonate (sounds freaky when you first hear it). The drives are more prone to the vibrations than you are, and it affects them adversely. This is also the case with badly engineered single drives.

    With SAN's you can add as much storage as you want as well. With a loop switch you can have about 126 nodes per zone, and using a fabric switch you can go over 16 million. that's a lot of 42u racks stuffed with 17tb of storage. All you need is a big fat wallet.

    By ua549 March 20, 2001, 07:04 PM

    I hear ya! I just wanted to let folks know that the technology is not new. There are storage farms that date back to the '70s that contain thousands of storage racks. One Unisys (Burroughs) system I worked on had a limit of 10,000 disk channels and some folks were complaining that it was not enough.

    By sbobz March 20, 2001, 07:08 PM

    10,000 disks is a few. must have sounded like a stone quarry with all that chip-chipping of the drives. they must have had one big ass UPS and tape subsystem to go with that.

    By awa64 March 20, 2001, 07:43 PM

    quote:Originally posted by ua549:
    Most of the monitoring is done on international telephony circuits, military traffic and all foreign satellite traffic.

    Elsewhere, I posted a link to an article in the Register about the German Military dumping all Microsoft software because of NSA snooping. They even cancelled a video conference call that was routed through Denver for "technical reasons".

    No, they don't record everything, but they do their damned best!

    Been there, done that!

    The German Gov't has publicly and systematically denied that they have banned M$ Products.

    By sbobz March 20, 2001, 11:26 PM

    i wonder what the peak startup draw is like on 10,000 drives. i imagine that if these drives WERE hooked up to a ups subsystem, that you could not start them up without mains power helping. would be a MIGHTY system which could start 10,000 drives off batteries. you'd never want power down the drives, it'd cost you a fortune to get them all spinning again, and i dare say you would have to stagger the power up sequence.


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