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back to article Will hybrid SSD/HDD products succeed?

Toshiba is mulling over a combined flash drive and spinning disk product. Will such a hybrid SSHD succeed or is it doomed to fail? Zsolt Kerekes of StorageSearch, who follows the SSD market closely, thinks it would fail if brought to market. He said: "I've always thought that 2.5-inch hybrids (SSD + HDD) were a waste of space - …

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Gold badge

Target market

"the volume market for these would be in enterprise arrays"

That's his mistake, right there. I'll happily defer to his knowledge of the enterprise market, where people have the cash to burn on fancy controllers and arrays of hardware. (How much is that smart controller, btw? It didn't look cheap.)

No, the target market would be the complete opposite: consumers running Windows. These are people who don't know how to organise their storage needs, running an operating system that traditionally doesn't put different kinds of files on different volumes with appropriate characteristics. An SSD doesn't cut it with these people because they can't put "all their videos" on it. They need a single device with several terabytes of space and the latency of flash.

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wot he said

A 1.5TB conventional drive with 32Gb of SSD layered on the top of it would seem like quite a nifty proposition to me, especially if it had some embedded logic to put frequently-accessed files in the SSD bit. I'd pay a decent bit for that.

If it had a few gig of cheap DDR and a rechargeable battery bolted on as a third layer to cache things even further, I might be prepared to pay even more. Surely in this day and age it's possible to get a bit more creative than the old structure of only having RAM+HDD with miniscule amounts of cache on the CPU and HDD?

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FAIL

Really?

"Nowadays notebook buyers can afford to buy 100 per cent SSDs "

Really, have you seen the pirce of a 250gb SSD?

How much do these guys earn, because it's a heck of a lot more than me!

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250gb?

Do you really need 250gb on a notebook?

I bought a 32gb SLC SSD and a 64gb MLC SSD for under £200 combined. One sits in the media server, one in my laptop, both boosted performance noticeably.

You don't need gobs of storage on every device :)

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FAIL

Ah typical....

...so once again people jump to the conclusion everyone that owns a laptop also has another device.

Proberbly 90% of laptop buyers these days use them INSTEAD of a desktop.

I'm maxing out my 80gb drive on my laptop at work. My home pc, has 350gb of music (ripped from my cd collection) and 75gb of photos.

So if I wanted to get rid of this ancient desktop, I may well look at a 250gb drive and archive other stuff off.

I have friend who have tb's of photos....

Just because you don't doesn't mean others won't.

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Not a terrible idea

It's a nice idea and it means costs of SSD's can drop as realistically on a standard home system there isn't going to be more than ~30gb of stuff that actually needs the access speed provided by the SSD.

What I would prefer to see though is an SSD drive with this ability that you can plug your own SATA drive in to and it would effectively boost the performance - while making sure everything on the SSD was still on the HDD (for swapping). Instant speed boosts without a loss of capacity for probably not a lot of money - I'd buy that.

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Anonymous Coward

Sounds interesting

A fast 32/64GB SSD on a 500GB/1TB sized disk sounds rather interesting. I'd imagine its quite a lot easier to manufacture the disk if you can worry less about latency/spin speed. Most home users never go near 80%+ of their data in any month so put it on a high reliability (slow/quiet) big disk. Move the frequently used data to the SSD - wouldn't imagine that'd be too hard to do.

For laptops you could could get creative - it rather depends on the power draw of the SSD.

I think its worth a try.

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Thumb Up

SSD + HDD

It would be good if laptops could have both a HDD

and a SSD device, which probably could be in a smaller

format than the 2.5" disk.

Today, since laptops normally only have one HDD, it makes

sense to put the SSD on the HDD.

Since I am running Linux on a laptop, It would make sense to me

to have the root partition on the SSD (normally around 20 MB)

and the /home + /var on the HDD.

It would make sense to have a file system with the directory

structure located on the SSD as well.

The operating system needs to separate logging functions from

the main operating system files or you will wear out.

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Gold badge

Filesystem organisation

I disagree. Most of your root partition is hardly ever accessed, whereas zillions of files in "dot" directories under your home are accessed on a regular basis. The two properties most frequently used to decide how to partition files across discs and file-systems are "read-only versus read-write" and "frequency of access". Sadly there is very little overlap .

Perhaps you could have several partitions (filesystems, some mounted read-only) on one block device (an SSD/HDD hybrid) and letting actual experience dictate which parts of which FS end up on which storage. In this view, hydrid discs are treated just like paged memory used to be (*), a flat expanse provided by the hardware but whose actual allocation is demand-driven by the software.

(* In passing, let me point out that no modern machine actually needs a pagefile and the only likely consequence of providing one is that some dumb program will see lots of free memory and go and use it, at which point the end-user loses /big-time/.)

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Grenade

Will hybrid SSD/HDD products succeed?

Short answer: No.

Long answer: By the time hybrid SSD/HDD becomes mainstream, pure SSD will have evolved too far both in price and technology for a hybrid to be a sensible purchase.

Of course the marketing drones will have you believe otherwise.

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I don't get it

Why not just add more RAM. RAM is quicker than Flash and not much more expensive. Plus RAM is far more reliable.

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forgetfulness

Because when you turn off the power, RAM loses all the data.

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Happy

I've said it before....

...and I'll say it again.

The best approach here (and I'd pay for it) would be for the mobo makers to build an ASAP function into their on board SATA/RAID controllers.

Then I could choose whether or not to add an SSD for a speed hike and how much to add*. Hmm, RAID 0 with ASAP? I think I just wet myself..........

*Not to mention it would give rise to a whole new area of internet discussion on the best SSD / rotating disk ratio to use, complete with conflicting benchmarks and flame wars.

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