IBM builds 120-petabyte storage system

IBM researchers create a 120-petabyte data storage system out of 200,000 hard drives.

IBM is shattering world tech records again, this time the company's researchers have built the largest ever storage system setup. Coming in at 120-petbytes (120 million gigabytes), the ludicrous data storage rig is made up of 200,000 conventional hard drive disks set up at IBM's Almaden, California, research lab.

The massive data store was built for an unnamed client that needs a new supercomputer for detailed simulations of real-world phenomena. There aren't any real specifics to what the system is actually doing, but according to Technology Review, it's rated to store around one trillion files, and it could house "powerful simulations of complex systems, like those used to model weather and climate."

To manage such a ridiculous amount of storage space, IBM engineers had to find new hardware and software techniques to make it all work together. All the drives are placed in a fairly typical data center, except this one features wider racks that are all water-cooled. Of course drives inevitably die and when they do, the system slowly reproduces information from a flaky drive onto a replacement.

To get an idea of how big 120 petabytes is, Apple's slogan for its original 5GB iPod was "1000 songs in your pocket", which equates to 200 MP3 files per gigabyte. Based on that metric, 120 petabytes can store around 24,000,000,000 songs. Try cramming that into your pocket.

Be sure to check out Technology Review for the full story on IBM's 120-petabyte cluster and interviews with the data store's engineers.

Technology Review]

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags IBMstorage

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Kevin Lee

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?