96 Terabytes in a Personal Computer

Less than a month ago, I wrote about my recent purchase of an external 6 terabyte hard drive. In that article, I wrote, “I’ll never fill this one up!”

That hard drive is now spinning 24 hours a day on one of my Macintosh systems. A couple of weeks later I purchased a similar hard drive only with 8 terabytes of space. That second hard drive is now making backups and storing thousands of photos, videos, and MP3 music files on another Mac. But  I purchased these drives too early. (sigh)

LaCie 12big Thunderbolt 3

LaCie has just announced a new hard drive that is available with several different storage capacities. If you have the funds, you can purchase drives with up to 96 terabytes of storage space! The drives will work on any Windows, Macintosh, or Linux computer that has a Thunderbolt connector. (All newer Macintosh computers include a high-speed Thunderbolt connection but most Windows and Linux systems do not.)

Actually, the LaCie 12big Thunderbolt 3 is not one disk drive. Instead, it is a large box with up to 12 individual 8-terabyte drives inside, what is commonly called a disk array. However, when connected to your computer, it looks like one huge disk drive. Thanks to a new hardware RAID controller, the hard drive setup is able to transfer data via the Thunderbolt connection at speeds of up to 2,600 MB/s read and 1,700 MB/s write in RAID 0 mode and 2,400 MB/s read and 1,200 MB/s write in RAID 5. If you are not familiar with those numbers, let’s just say it is extremely fast. It also should have enough storage capacity for most any individual genealogist.

With RAID 5, if any one of the individual disk drives inside the box crashes, it can be replaced with a new one and operation will continue as before. No data will be lost. A full technical discussion of RAID 5 may be found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAID. In short, RAID 5 guarantees there are multiple copies of all data spread across multiple drives. In the event of a failure of any one drive, the remaining drives will continue to operate using their own copies of the information already stored.

No pricing information has been released, but the LaCie 12big Thunderbolt 3 is due to launch in the Northern Hemisphere this summer. You can read more on the LaCie web site at http://www.lacie.com/products/raid/12big-thunderbolt-3.

Where’s my checkbook? Oh, never mind. While the price is unannounced, I am guessing I cannot afford it.



Well if you have an 8 and they are selling a very expensive 96, one would think that there ought to be a more reasonably priced opption or three in between. Say a 24 and a 48 or 64.


I have about 8-12 TB of storage on a motley set of HDDs, material just in case either an everyday HDD goes bad or I need something in long term storage. I don’t have a RAID. My laptop has a 1TB SSHD I use daily, I have a lot of publications and photos I refer to every day as I polish my genealogy database. This SSHD is nearing the end of its capacity. I would prefer to use a 2TB 2.5″ SSHD.in my laptop. I don’t know if such is even available. There are 2.5″ 2TB HDD’s, but they are 9.5 mm thick/high, and very few (if any) modern laptops will accept an HDD that thick. Today the trend in laptop design is ever thinner & lighter, as if that was the sole criterion of good laptop design. The specifications of currently available laptops hide this thickness limitation and make it very hard to discover. Seagate even sells a 2.5″ 4TB HDD which is 15mm thick/high. I would buy that if I could get a laptop that would accept it.


    MacSales.com sells a 2.5″ 7mm 2T SSD for $599.99. I have upgraded an older MacBook with their RAM and an SSD drive and it’s like a new machine. Their videos make it easy for anyone to do.

    Liked by 1 person

In the May 2016 (Vol. 21, No. 9) Snap Shots newsletter of the Photographic Historical Society of New England, Inc., that I just got in the mail has a short item “A Storage System for the Ages — and Beyond” of four short paragraphs and one image:
“University of Southampton (UK) have created a five dimensional glass disk that can store data for over 13 billion years — that’s billion with a ‘b’. The disks can survive temperatures to 1000 degrees Celsius.
“The tiny disks have a capacity of 360 TB of data. … already preserved on the tiny disks are the Magna Carta, ….
“An online search for ‘nanostructured glass disks’ yields a number of informative and interesting sites.”
Note: The image of a disk held between a finger and thumb indicates it’s about 1″ in diameter.


“I am guessing I cannot afford it.” … at not yet, but the price will inevitably drop.


At this rate why not go for a Computer with a Petabyte of storage? That way you won’t have to keep updating this article quite so often? Or maybe even a Exabyte?


I want to thank “Barbara Mac” for her informative post, that is the first I have heard of this size drive. I went direct to the website she indicated, typed — 2.5″ 2.0TB 7mm — into the site’s search window and got the very device she indicated in her post. 3 year guarantee on the hardware, very good. NOW I can start looking for a compatible laptop. I have been using a Lenovo R500 from a long time ago, it is on keyboard #3 and the plastic case has many sharp edges from where I have broken off bits of it.


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