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back to article Sneaky Seagate slips 'world's fastest' enterprise disk mutant into the wild

Seagate has quietly built an enterprise-class 600GB hybrid drive: it combines the capacity of spinning platters with a fast flash cache of hot data. Up until now Seagate has only delivered notebook-computer-class hybrid disks, namely the Momentus XT and the Laptop SSHD product lines. Oddly it hasn't actually formally announced …

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Gold badge

"...mechanical bits are sourced from 10,600RPM Savvio parts..."

Looking at their website, Seagate have now lumped their "slower than 15,000" parts together as "Enterprise Performance" branded rather than Savvio.

As all the ex-Savvio 10K.6 drives are self-encryting, I'd suspect that the bits are more likely from the older 10K.5 range[1]. A ST9900805SS with a cache hike and some magic flash pixie dust would fit the bill and would be a three-platter drive if so.

It would seem that IBM have let the cat out of the bag as there's not a hint of the flashed-up version at Seagate. I wonder if this beastie is only supposed to be a production prototype for priviliged customers, with the "official" launch version being the Savvio 15k based part you hint at?

[1] Also, given how long the Momentus XTs have been around, that would fit better with what was on the shelf as a base for an Enterprise version once those had been seen to be a Good Thing.

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Bronze badge

Re: "Also, given how long the Momentus XTs have been around,"

Yes and no. I use them, (so don't there girl)., but I'm always worried what happens when the 'SSD' cache bit eventually goes tits up. e.g. the cache doesn't know it should be holding swap or temp files, it's just down to usage and might be writing bollox's to it all the time. Now if this isn't a problem - YTF aren't they using it for full blown SSD's?

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tightrope act

At last - I've been wondering since the momentus XT where the enterprise grade hybrid drives were hiding.

The trick seagate presumably now needs to pull off is to not kill off it's own SSD sales by delivering a hybrid drive that performs just as well.

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Bronze badge

10k rpm? You're kidding right? If you're going for performance adding a quick cache is nice, but there will be cache misses (and plenty so, with only 126 megs) which will just be terribly slow.

This will be completely useless except in those circumstances where there are small bursts of data-changes.

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FAIL

Perhaps they should fit a 600GB cache to cover the whole drive then?

Yes you'll have cache misses with a *128Mb* cache but that's a large drive cache, and when you miss that cache, you've got 16GB of flash before you have to hit the spinning media.

I think you haven't read the article properly, or you're just too stupid to understand it. Which is it?

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Coffee/keyboard

Hangon

The article mentions SSD space of 16GB (Although it doesnt say how the seperate Read/Write is portioned out, as the article mentions two different types are used).

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Silver badge

Re: Hangon

Has a small, unspecified amount of SLC NAND for caching writes.

Has 16GB eMLC NAND for caching reads.

That's how I read it.

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@Martijn Otto - Writes never miss the cache

Others have already mentioned that the RAM is additional to the SSD.

However I do hope (and expect with an enterprise drive) that there is enough capacitors/battery to finish flushing the RAM to the SSD if the power goes off.

To be honest I would be surprised if the RAM is much use as a read cache at all as the OS is probably also doing some disk caching so the high frequency accesses would mostly hit that.

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DJO
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Facepalm

Re: @Martijn Otto - Writes never miss the cache

However I do hope (and expect with an enterprise drive) that there is enough capacitors/battery to finish flushing the RAM to the SSD if the power goes off.

Any enterprise that does not have at least a UPS to provide enough power to shut down neatly or to tide over until the generator kicks in deserves everything they get.

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Silver badge

Where the hell

Are the desktop SSHDs they announced in March?

(Disclosure: I have Momentus XTs. 4Gb cache doesn't give all that much boost)

@DJO: You underestimate a number of failure modes, including a fairly common one of the UPS itself going "BANG!" and filling the room with acrid smoke (a very good reason for NOT putting your UPSes alongside the servers)

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Holmes

Supercharger on a lawn-mower?

So the drive now does 250 IOPs. Wow! Big deal!

I think this is an exercise in denial. So the drive is 125 IOPs closer to the 96,000 on a fast SSD. Only 95,750 to go!

Certainly, hybrids are faster, but they just aren't much faster, and it just doesn't seem worth the effort, especially in the enterprise space. A big SSD cache in front of the disk would be much better, like you get with LSI RAID controllers that can use a large SSD as a fast cache.

Are drive makers finally getting a little bit concerned that SSD might impact their business?:)))

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The drive in the picture is a 3.5".

Editor?

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Anyone seen any reviews?

Or real world benchmarks of this vs 10K 2.5" drives, and 15K 3.5" drives?

Be interesting to see whether there is any real world improvements to file servers / SQL etc?

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