Toshiba is considering building a hybrid solid state hard drive containing flash memory and a spinning disk. Tech-On reports that the company announced its NAND flash strategies in Japan on May 11. Toshiba said: "The hybrid of HDD and SSD enables to save energy. It enables to save energy by about 80 per cent compared with a …
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Didn't Samsung do this about 4 years ago with little benefit? It's where Windows came up with the ReadyDrive (and to an extent, ReadyBoost)
This is definitely not news - Intel Turbo Memory was the same idea, back a few years ago, and I heard for some time that there were plans to make HDD with flash storage as well, but I never heard anything more.
Kind of like the holographic terabyte CDs that we've been told we were going to get some time ago.
There is, of course, no way that an 80% power consumption can be achieved just by reducing seeks. The obvious ways that it might be achievable surely includes using fewer, larger and slower spinning hard drives as the assumption will be that the flash cache (horrible near rhyme) will handle the considerable majority of IOPs. Powering down the drive is surely a non-starter for all but semi-archival type storage as it takes many seconds to spin a disk up to speed which will mean the requestor is stalled for that long. Given that spinning up a disk consumes more power in the short term it would probably only yield a net power saving if the intervals between access were measured in minutes.
As with all cached solutions, then it's success will depend on the locality of reference of the access pattern. We know pretty well from enterprise storage arrays what the effectiveness of a multi-GB NV cache is in fronting HDDs (which depends greatly on access patterns). What Flash does offer compared to the battery-backed up NV cache in an Enterprise array is a considerable decrease in the costs per GB of cache, but then again, it isn't going to perform as well. Of course SUN have already gone down this route at an array, not device level.
Doesn't strike me as odd at all. Perhaps the author has spent too much time thinking about enterprise storage requirements. On a consumer PCs I can envisage perfectly normal workloads (like surfing and email) where the system could go for hours without needing to spin up the hard disc.
So I'm as surprised as the first two commenters that this hasn't been done already.
I had this in a Sony Vaio laptop about 3 years ago. It was only a small amount of flash (256mb?) meant to boost boots I think, but didn't make much difference. Replaced it with a proper SSD which made a massive difference.
Could it act as 2 partitions?
My laptop supports one one drive and a large SSD would be out of my price range. What I would like is a 16 GB SSD for OS and Swap Partition (Linux) and a 250GB+ HDD for data. That would allow the HDD to spin down when not in use and allow for a big speed increase due to quick seek times.
S is for plural
I think the quote from the source article is talking about a future ssd+hdd storage box, not a single hybrid disk. It says "compared with a storage device consisting of only HDDs", not "compared with a HDD".