# Random Storage Idea...

So, I was reading some random mumblings on the interwebs, and the pigeon with USB stick being a quicker method of data transfer in SA than their intertubes... then there was a thread on a mailing list discussing this, and someone mentioned using stacks of microSD cards... so then my brain decided to launch itself orthogonally, as it often does. What we end up with is wondering just how much storage you could fit in to the space a 3.5" drive would normally take - not taking in to account any method of attaching it at this point. So, a 3.5" drive is approx 102mmx147mmx26mm, a microSD card is 11mmx15mmx1mm, so, assuming that we're just lying them side by side, and not optimising the way they're stored at all, you can fit (with space round the sides) 9*9*26 = 2106 microSD cards in the area of a 3.5" drive. Assuming that each of those is 16G that's just shy of 33.7TB of storage!

So, that set me thinking a bit further... I reckon that in that space you could do a 6*6 grid of cards with room for connectors, and just about get it to 10 high...so, that's 360 microSD cards, and probably enough room for some control gear (haven't worked out quite what we'd use for that), I then went in to wondering if we could then create a small embedded system to talk to those 360 microSD cards, if we did that then you could potentially do RAID0 across the "platters" with RAID6 on each platter. Now, to my poor head that meant that there should be 340*16G of available storage, which is 5.44TB... of course, that involves somehow interfacing the 360 microSD cards... I'm thinking that it might be possible with some form of embedded system...

Unfortunately, it appears that to actually build this with consumer components... and without including the interface gear which I haven't even begun to work out yet... we're talking around about £26 per microSD card, so, erm, £9360... but I still think it'd be a really neat project... now, if someone can arrange for me to win the lottery, have lots of spare time, and some more brain power... :)

Oh dear... my brain appears to have ticked further through, and I've realised that with spacing between each microSD card, you could, in theory, easily fit 400 of them upended in the space available. Erm. Of course, this still doesn't answer the "how the hell do you then get them all to talk in any sane manner" question... but I'm sure that will work out in my head sometime...