Truly MASSIVE Data storage is finally here.

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IMB RAMAC 305<br />5MB hard drive
5MB hard drive
The movies have for decades promised the world that we'll see and use exotic types of data storage. But the best we've ever really done is just make hard disks smaller in size and bigger in capacity.

I know it's a bit, no, very blasé of me to say that as a consumer, the reality being that original hard drives were the size of a large car, and held only (by today's standards - 5MB), and all we've really done is get the head closer to the disc surface to increase capacity. We've made the drive smaller and the capacity bigger. Like I said.

In movies we've seen all sort of data storage systems. From using brain cells (Johnny Mnemonic) to Blade Runner's tiny spheres.

But in reality it's amazing that a single Blu-ray can hold up to 100GB of data, dual layer and dual sided. The stuff of dreams 30 years ago. Even 20 years ago.

Now what if I told you that you could write 500TB of data to a tiny piece of glass? I estimate it to be around 4cm x 4cm
Southampton University data storage
Southampton University data storage
It's slow, seriously seriously slow. With NVMe data speeds of up to 7GB per second, you'd be right in thinking this is no good for you.
At a lowly 230 kilobytes per second read and write speed, it's almost pathetic. Especially when you consider that it would take up to 60 days to fill this tiny glass tablet.

You'd be wrong to think it's a waste of time though. Imagine places like CERN that produce that amount of data in seconds, data that then has to be stored sometimes for years, well this is the solution to keeping expensive arrays of drives hanging around, arrays that would need to be massive, some 80+ drives, all powered on, running for years just holding data until it's needed. Put it on a glass tablet and put that tablet in a safe, job done. Repurpose those drives and move on.
The truth is you'd need 62 8TB drives, but you'd want to make sure you have a backup, so you'd probably use 124 drives. Then of course you'd need a back up of the backup, or worse still, you want to share the data with a colleague in another country, and they need a backup too. It can go on forever!

But like the early days of mechanic hard drives, they only stored small capacities, were slow, and required years of practice to operate and maintain them. Imagine where we'll be in 20 years time.
We'll have googolplex 10^100 capacities and read/write at almost the speed of light.

A Googolplex is 10 with 100 zero's after it.
Source: Toms Hardware ... -data-cube
The Academic Paper ... 3H.3&seq=0

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