The Path to the Petabyte SSD

Nimbus Data’s ExaDrive technology brings two powerful concepts — “software-defined” and “scale-out” — to the individual SSD. The first real-world implementations of ExaDrive come from Viking Technology and SMART Modular Technologies with their 50 TB SAS SSDs. These drives offer the highest capacity, lowest energy per bit, and highest density of any mass-produced SSD. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. Architecturally, a scale-out approach overcomes the constraints of the monolithic SSD controller ASIC, while a software-defined approach can address massive amounts of flash capacity with greater flexibility than hard-wired SSD controllers. Nimbus Data expects these advantages, along with NAND geometry advancements, to enable a 500 TB single SSD by the year 2020 and a PB-size SSD by 2023. These innovations will broaden SSD adoption to include tier 2 use cases, challenging the 40 million unit-per-year nearline HDD market that Seagate, WD, and Toshiba vitally depend on.