Lifespan: Up to 6 petabytes of Writes

Seagate is calling the Pulsar a 5 year drive. If you are absolutely dying to know how many writes you can do to the drive, there is a way of finding out.

Remember the sustained write figures from earlier? Seagate guarantees that you’ll be able to run at those sustained write rates for a period of 5 years before the drive dies.

I’ve done the math below:

Drive Sustained 4KB Random Write IOPS KB Written per Second # of Seconds in 5 Years (1825 days) Total Writes in 5 Years
200GB 10,500 42000 157,680,000 seconds 6167 TB
100GB 5300 21200 3113 TB
50GB 2600 10400 1527 TB


At 1527TB (or 1.49 petabytes) of random 4KB writes in a 5 year period, the 50GB Pulsar has a worse lifespan than Intel’s X25-E (the 64GB drive is specced at 2 petabytes of lifetime random writes).

The 200GB drive however can allegedly withstand over 6100TB (6 petabytes) of random writes before it goes to SSD heaven.

With no standardized method of testing or verifying any of these claims, we can’t do much more than take Seagate’s word for it. Given Seagate’s reputation in the industry, I’d expect that its word is worth it.

Final Words

There’s little more to say about Pulsar than what I’ve already mentioned. Seagate is finally getting in the game and, at least on paper, Pulsar appears to be in the class of Intel’s X25-E.

If Seagate can deliver on its promises, this should be good. Currently the enterprise SSD market is occupied by Intel, Samsung and a bunch of other contenders with unproven track records. Using Indilinx drives in a server environment is very tempting, but also potentially dangerous. There isn’t sufficient data out there today to say how long their drives will last under constant random writes. I tend to believe Seagate when they commit to Pulsar being a 5 year drive capable of over 6PB of random writes.

Pricing is another major unknown, but I’d expect the drives to be no cheaper than Intel’s X25-E: at least $11 per GB.

Even more exciting is the promise of consumer level SSDs from Seagate, possibly as early as 2010. Western Digital is next, whom I expect to join the race in 2010 as well. Once all of the major HDD players are in the race, we’ll see some real competition in both the high end and mainstream client SSD markets.

Seagate Goes Light on the Details


View All Comments

  • semo - Tuesday, December 8, 2009 - link

    aren't they also the only SAS SSD maker. If not the only then maybe one of a few. I remember IBM was very sceptical about SSDs but if STEC have convinced them otherwise then they must have a winner on their hands Reply
  • Penti - Wednesday, December 9, 2009 - link

    I think Hitachi and Intel is coming with SAS SSDs soon. There are other FC vendors though. Reply
  • StormyParis - Tuesday, December 8, 2009 - link

    you did manage to stretch over 3 page views with ... not much to say... Reply
  • pkoi - Wednesday, December 9, 2009 - link

    Agreed, Reply
  • reinkarnation16 - Thursday, December 10, 2009 - link

    Oh cmon! The guy loves to write! So just let him! :D
    & I am sure there are a handful of our species who would crib about the preview being just one page short!
  • vol7ron - Tuesday, December 8, 2009 - link

    Yes, thanks for the heads up, but a one page article of things to come would have been a little better.... especially since all of this will be repeated in what I'm sure will be a 10 page review. Reply
  • spaz mk will - Tuesday, December 8, 2009 - link

    I'm still on the Intel bandwagon because of the 1.8 inch SSD's, but boy do I wish they would get around to releasing the X-18m G2. Reply
  • Pandamonium - Friday, December 11, 2009 - link

    I'm in the same boat as you. I wish the my Latitude XT2 used standard 2.5" disks, but it looks like they had to go with 1.8" disks because of how small the chassis is. One of the guys on the AT forums has a contact with Intel distribution and word is that the X18-M G2 is due in early January. Reply
  • Zok - Tuesday, December 8, 2009 - link

    50 GB? That's not very much porn... Bill Watkins would be ashamed. Reply
  • piroroadkill - Tuesday, December 8, 2009 - link

    Haha! I actually have that quote printed out and stuck on my wall Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now