What Does One Petabyte Of Storage (And $500K) Look Like?

More Than 500 MB/s Seq. Reads?

This is by no means an endorsement of the Petarack. We don’t have one, and we haven’t tested it. But we do love technology and we think that 1 PB of space in a single cabinet is cool. With that said, Aberdeen tells us it’s positioning the Petarack as a turnkey solution. The company ships you an engineer alongside the cabinet who sets it up (and for half a million bucks, we’d sure hope so). Simply set up your own RAID arrays and drive pools to match whatever application you have that needs the appliance’s capacity.  

Aberdeen says its Petarack enables unlimited snapshots, thin provisioning, and deduplication.It purportedly supports VMware vStorage API for Array Integration (VAAI), which improves CPU utilization on ESX/ESXi 4.1 and later servers by offloading select tasks from the host CPU to the storage appliance. A hardware failure triggers an email or SNMP alert, and you can change failed parts while the system is running.

Big IOPS Numbers From Hard Drives

Again, we’re told that SSDs can be used as main data storage or for caching in applications that demand lots of IOPS, such as databases and VDI. Interested in its potential, we asked the company to send us some of its own internal benchmarks from Iometer and Vdbench. The numbers aren’t ours, so take them with a grain of salt. However, they’re sure to catch the eyes of at least a few admins…

Chris Angelini
Chris Angelini is an Editor Emeritus at Tom's Hardware US. He edits hardware reviews and covers high-profile CPU and GPU launches.
  • lockhrt999
    I have always wondered about this. Thanks Chris. Keep it coming tom.
  • Benihana
    It's difficult to imagine 1 PB in an area the size of a deck of playing cards, but I'm going to remember today when it does.
  • haplo602
    from my point of view, this is a pretty low to mid end array :-)
  • clownbaby
    I remember marveling at a similar sized cabinet at the Bell Laboratories in Columbus Ohio that held a whole gigabyte. That was about twenty years ago, so I would suspect in another 20 we might be carrying PBs in our pocket.
  • "Honey, I downloaded the internet!"
  • cangelini
    haplo602from my point of view, this is a pretty low to mid end array :-)What do you work on, by chance? =)
  • razor512
    Seems like a decent setup, but the electric bill will be scary running a system like that.

    But then again, the servers I work on barely use 10TB of storage.
  • LuckyDucky7
    I want to run RAID-0 on it; I'd like to see some benchmarks on THAT.
  • nikorr
    Can u imagine this 25 years ago? Cool : )
  • Casper42
    Razor512Seems like a decent setup, but the electric bill will be scary running a system like that.But then again, the servers I work on barely use 10TB of storage.
    Lets see....

    I work for HP and we sell a bunch of these for various uses:
    Holds 70 x 2TB (and soon to be 3TB) drives in a 5U foot print.
    Can easily hold 6 of these in a single rack (840 TB) and possibly a bit more but you have to actually look at things like floor weight at that point.

    I am working on a project right now that involves Video Surveillance and the customer bought 4 fully loaded X9720s which have 912TB Useable (After RAID6 and online spares). The full 3.6PB takes 8 racks (4 of them have 10U free but the factory always builds them a certain way).
    The scary part is once all their cameras are online, if they record at the higher bitrate offered by the cameras, this 3.6PB will only hold about 60 days worth of video before it starts eating the old data.
    They have the ability and long term plan to double or triple the storage.

    Other uses are instead of 2TB drives you can put 70 x 600GB 15K rpm drives.
    Thats the basis for the high end VDI Reference Architecture published on our web page.
    Each 35 drive drawer is managed by a single blade server and converts the local disk to an iSCSI node. Then you cluster storage volumes across multiple iSCSI nodes (known as Network RAID because you are striping or mirroring across completely different nodes for maximum redundancy)

    And all of these are only considered mid level storage.
    The truly high end ignores density and goes for raw horsepower like the new 3Par V800.

    So Yes, I agree with haplo602. Not very high end when comparing to corporate customers.