Exclusive: Samsung to launch Petabyte SSD subscription — PBSSD-as-a-service is definitely not your usual cloud storage service, at least not for now

Samsung PM9C1a SSD
(Image credit: Samsung)

Samsung has announced it is exploring a new business model that’s likely to get a lot of attention from partners and rivals alike. 

PBSSD as a service is what the company calls a high capacity SSD subscription service that it says, “goes beyond capacity limits”. So it is neither a cloud storage service nor a cloud backup solution, at least not for now.

In a blog post on the company’s website, Yongcheol Bae, Executive Vice President of Memory Product Planning at Samsung Electronics, disclosed that it is envisioned as a business structure where customers use services instead of purchasing a server configured with SSDs. That sounds a lot like what other vendors like Pure Storage are offering.

Samsung petabyte SSD

As a high-capacity SSD subscription service, Bae continues, it “is expected to contribute to lowering the initial investment cost of customers’ storage infrastructure as well as maintenance costs by providing customers with a petabyte-scale box that functions as memory expansion”.

The Petabyte SSD architecture was unveiled back in August 2023 and aimed back them to provide a “petabyte-scale ultra-high capacity solution that provides high scalability by varying the capacity depending on the application.”

A few days ago, we learnt that Solidigm, one of Samsung's rival, was selling its 61.44TB SSD for around $60 per TB, which would put the price of 1PB at approximately $60,000 (although you'd need to add the cost of the server etc).

Cloud SSD backup on the cheap

Flash is expensive, and what Samsung is trying to do is offer a way for those looking for superfast storage to reduce their capital expenditure. Whether or not Samsung will sell these as barebones or with an additional layer of software and services (courtesy of third party partners) remains to be seen.

What we do know though is that this is not a 1PB SSD, instead it is a box that contains several SSDs (probably four of the 256TB SSDs it revealed during Flash Memory Summit 2023). If you want the real deal, then you will have to wait a bit longer. In March 2023, VP and General Manager of NAND Product Planning Group, Kyungryun Kim, revealed the company wanted to launch a 1PB (1000TB) SSD “in the next decade”.

We don’t know when it will be released but it will be interesting to see how it compares to Pure Storage’s DFM (Direct Flash Module), currently on 75TB capacities and likely to delivery 300TB in 2026. A Purestorage FlashBlade//E AFA storage system packs 55 DFM to deliver 4PB storage in a 6U rack. That’s now. In two years, that’s going up to 16PB or about 2.5PB per 1U and Samsung knows that.

And just as a comparison, provisioning 1PB of local SSD space from one of the hyperscalers (e.g. Google Cloud) cost a cool $43,000 per month when taking on a three-year commitment.

More from TechRadar Pro

Desire Athow
Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website builders and web hosting when DHTML and frames were in vogue and started narrating about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium.