Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

OCZ Couples SSD, Mechanical Storage On a PCIe Card

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the little-of-this-little-of-that dept.

Data Storage 201

J. Dzhugashvili writes "We've seen some solid-state drives on PCI Express cards before, but OCZ's RevoDrive Hybrid may very well be the first solution to combine solid-state storage and a mechanical hard drive on a single PCI Express x4 card. Using Dataplex caching software from Nvelo, the RevoDrive Hybrid uses its solid-state component (a RAID 0 array of SandForce-based SSDs) as a cache for an onboard mechanical hard drive. The caching scheme is reportedly so effective that "a 5,400-RPM drive can be used without sacrificing much performance," according to The Tech Report's coverage. OCZ hasn't hashed out all of the details yet, but it expects the RevoDrive Hybrid to start at $350 this July. The base configuration should couple 60GB of solid-state storage with a 500GB mechanical drive."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

First Post. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36304920)

First Post.

Re:First Post. (-1, Flamebait)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305224)

First Post.

Funny, that's what your mom shouted out last night.

Reminds me of hardcards (3, Informative)

yuhong (1378501) | more than 3 years ago | (#36304922)

Do anyone remember the old ISA hardcards?

Seriously, The Real Question (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36305044)

I think the REAL question is: What does Justin Bieber think? I know what you're thinking: Justin Bieber???

But the thing that most people don't know is that The Biebs is a SERIOUS Linux hacker, having come back to the main stream after a flirtation with BSD.

In fact The Biebs has told his studio crew to back away from ProTools because it's a Windoz and Mac only package, and The Biebs is well known to run Ubuntu on his lappy and Fedora Bleeding Edge on his PC...

So, WHAT DOES THE BIEBS THINK ABOUT solid-state drives on PCI Express cards?

That's what *I* want to know.

Well, that and when is he going to announce his love and willingness to be a boy-toy for David Archuleta?

Re:Reminds me of hardcards (5, Interesting)

adolf (21054) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305126)

Do anyone remember the old ISA hardcards?

Yes. They were made by Quantum, and later by some other manufacturers.

It kind of made sense at the time, since hard drives were non-trivial to install back then. I still remember performing a series of dark incantations in MS-DOS debug to initialize an MFM hard drive on an XT.

At the time, I thought it was pretty cool, getting my fingers dirty like that. But I think most folks would have preferred to die in a fire than get involved in their hardware to that extent.

And at the same time, I felt it was a lousy idea to integrate everything since it also increased the number of single points of failure in the storage system. (This so-far vapor offering from OCZ suffers the same problem.)

Another issue with the OCZ product: What problem does it actually solve which cannot also be solved by a good OS, a competent admin, an SSD, and a spinning disk?

I feel spoiled, these days, when I pull the side off of my desktop, plug in a new SATA drive, and it just works -- immediately, without even turning the box off first.

(I also remember 8-bit memory expansion cards populated with six dozen individual DIP RAM chips. I remember soldering pins onto SIMM memory to make them fit into my SIPP motherboard. And I remember caching hard drive controllers, stuffed with as much RAM as you could afford. And I remember hardware data compression cards of at least two general variations. I remember the And I remember when sound cards actually did something, and themselves had SIMM sockets. And I remember squeezing sixteen 30-pin SIMMs into four 72-pin sockets on a Socket 5 board.

I even remember an 8-bit ISA card, called the Copy II PC Option Board [gopherproxy.org] , which existed only to facilitate copying software on floppy. I even found a Gopher source for the reference [meulie.net] just to show how full my beard is, and how long I've been in Mom's basement.

Now, get off of my lawn before I start lamenting about how under-appreciated a common 8-bit parallel port is.)

Re:Reminds me of hardcards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36305150)

I have a 127MB hardcard downstairs. Still works.

Re:Reminds me of hardcards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36305444)

Sure, the hardcard's integration was a liability for desktop machines, but it had its benefits, too.

Had an old 286 luggable (a Sharp, IIRC) back in the day, and you only had one full-height drive bay, one internal ISA slot, and an expansion port for a dock (wired straight to the ISA bus, nothing fancy, nothing hotswappable). If you put in a HDD, you had to pick whether to put a half-height 5.25" or a 3.5" in the remaining half of the drive bay, so either you wouldn't be able to share 3.5" disks with (most of) my desktops, or you wouldn't be able to load games off a 5.25" at a friend's house. But if you put in both floppy drives, and then drop in a hardcard, and you wind up with more machines than most people had in their desktops, and portable to boot. (With a horrible, horribly slow 1-bit LCD screen.)

Finding the corresponding connector for the docking port, and wiring it to an ISA connector desoldered from an old motherboard to add a Sound Blaster, that's another story.

Re:Reminds me of hardcards (1)

geedubyoo (1980822) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305682)

I put a 32MB hard card in my Amstrad PC1512. It was the first hard disk of any type that I ever owned; I guess this was around 1988. Before that the machine just had twin 5.25" floppies.

Re:Reminds me of hardcards (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#36306200)

With a hard disk, you didn't really need the second floppy disk. I had a 40MB hard disk in my PC1640 (128KB more RAM than you! Ha!), replacing the 20MB one that it shipped with. I rarely wanted to copy between two floppies, and when I did it was pretty easy to copy from one to the other. Oh, and I had to have an 8MB C: drive and a 32MB D: drive, because DOS (FAT-12) didn't support disks bigger than 32MB back then...

Re:Reminds me of hardcards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36305878)

The reason hardcards were a good idea is that you often needed both a slot for the hard drive controller and a place to put the drive. If you only had a single drive, you could put the drive on the controller card and not use up the extra space.

In this case, though, the SATA port just isn't fast enough to separate the controller and the drive. The only way to max out the speed of the SSDs is to put them on the PCIe bus. A Revo can already max out a 6GB/s SATA 3.0 link [bit-tech.net] , so what's the point in separating them? The problem is that fast SSDs are expensive, so you can't get much storage out of a super-expensive card. The solution is to put an HD on the same controller as the SSDs to enable both the "HD is a slower backing store for the SSD" and "SSD is a huge cache for the HD" scenarios.

dom

Re:Reminds me of hardcards (4, Informative)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#36306020)

But how long does it ACTUALLY last. I'm not talking those MTBF numbers that the manufacturers pull out their butt, but some cold hard "lets see how long it'll go" kind of in the trenches numbers.

Because from what I've seen while SSDs may be satanically fast they also seem to die pretty damned quick. Even Jeff Atwood at coding horror [codinghorror.com] has posted you need to use a "Hot/Crazy scale" for SSD, as in how much money and data/downtime are you willing to risk for the crazy speeds.

Frankly between all the horror stories and watching my two gamer customer blow several hundred on drives that barely lasted them two years I've been telling my customers unless there is a specific reason for needing SSD, such as mobile devices that are gonna get slung around a lot, not to bother with the SSDs at this time. Frankly the HDD tech has gotten so good that often I'm pulling perfectly working drives as people upgrade for increased space long before they kill the drive, hell I have a drawer full from 20Gb on up to 200Gb, all working perfectly.

Also if the article I linked to and the gamers I worked for are any indication SSDs don't "fail gracefully" or give you plenty of advanced warning like HDDs do. With every HDD I've had fail short of being dropped there was plenty of time to get the data off as SMART gave warning long before the point of no return. With both of the gamers it was "flip the switch and its gone" no warning at all.

So does anybody out there have some real world experience and not just the MTBF numbers? I'm sure there are plenty of geeks here at /. that have pounded the hell out of SSD looking for boosted performance, how did they hold up? Are they still running? If not did you get warning before they died? Because if the drive can't be counted on to last at LEAST 3 years reliably in my book it isn't worth messing with or giving to my customers.

Re:Reminds me of hardcards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36306234)

Another issue with the OCZ product: What problem does it actually solve which cannot also be solved by a good OS, a competent admin, an SSD, and a spinning disk?

Um I think you answered your own question. It solves the need for a good OS, a competent admin, an SSD, and a spinning disk. Most technology isn't revolutionarily new. It's simply an abstraction of old more basic concepts and this is no different. However if I can do the same thing cheaper or simpler (from the people perspective) it's almost always "better" from an economics standpoint.

That doesn't of course make it the most efficient or technically elegant solution from an engineering standpoint so "GET OFF MY LAWN, I CAN DO THAT WITHOUT ALL YOUR FANCY GEEGAWS!!!" is a pretty normal response from those who value the elegant over the economic.

Re:Reminds me of hardcards (2)

wangerx (1122027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36306438)

Oh yea, that takes me back. I checked off all of the boxes as you went down the list. Controllers separate from the drives... replaced the controller and the drive was hosed. The whole debug to format was a joy. You were really cooking if you had RLL or ESDI. You were somehow "overclocking" your drive if it could take a 1:1 interlace (or non-interlaced in this case). You'd have to experiment with 2:1 or 3:1 to find out which worked best. You felt cheated if you couldn't get at least 2:1 working. It took hours between tests because you forked over big bucks for a 20 MB Seagate! Lest we not forget the two cables with those marvelous tab connectors.

Re:Reminds me of hardcards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36305134)

No, you're alone here, old man.

Re:Reminds me of hardcards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36305562)

No, No he's not.

I have mod points too, and would have modded him up but there's just no category for "epic nostalgia".

- Dan.

OCZ Fail. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36304938)

Too bad OCZ has already lost myself (and apparently a whole lot of others) as a future customer(s) due to their terrible Vertex2 drive that bricked after shortly after install.

I've been waiting for these (1)

IICV (652597) | more than 3 years ago | (#36304980)

I've never understood why they make those 200 - 300 GB SSD drives, when ~30 GB of SSD cache will hold your operating system and your most frequently used applications. It's not like everything on your hard drive needs to always be immediately available at SSD speeds, and yet recently that's been the only option.

Caching isn't some mysterious arcane technology, why has it taken so long for them to make a hybrid drive like this?

Re:I've been waiting for these (2)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305032)

I hear rumblings that Windows 8 is going to finally solve this once and for all at the OS level. Designate a drive as a cache drive and it'll fill it up with frequently used files and the current cache. Then when you go into standby it can just dump all of your RAM to the SSD. Start back up and it reads off the SSD.

Re:I've been waiting for these (2)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305070)

Windows Vista and newer had the ability to use a technology called ReadyDrive which can use the SSD as a cache, and the spinning platter as the HDD.

So far, there have been very few drives using this technology. It seems like it would be useful, although what would make SSD and conventional HDD pairings more useful would be a hard drive controller doing what most SANs do -- autotiering. Data that is read/written to all the time gets moved to the SSD while stuff that isn't used gets put on the platters.

Re:I've been waiting for these (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305078)

Isn't this crap patented by Microsoft? I remember reading some stupid warnings saying you are only licensed to use it with Windows Vista or newer, or else you need to pay Microsoft additional money to use it.

Re:I've been waiting for these (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305220)

From what I recall, MS operating systems can use the feature the best. ReadyDrive didn't seem to go well, because it is "neither fish nor foul".

SANs do autotiering, using SSD for either a large persistant cache, or move data up and down the hierarchy as needed. Most HDDs would be too expensive with the drive controller intelligence to handle this. So, until recently this has been a dead feature.

Re:I've been waiting for these (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#36306210)

I very much doubt that it's patented by Microsoft, since Sun shipped this support in ZFS - and were sued by NetApp, claiming that they owned it (not sure what happened to that in the end). With ZFS (on Solaris or FreeBSD), you can designate a drive as a level 2 adaptive replacement cache (with L1 being in RAM). There was also some talk from Oracle about using hard drives as L3ARC and using tapes as persistent storage (just writing the entire change history out, so you can always roll back to any previous point), but I don't think that's finished yet.

Re:I've been waiting for these (3, Informative)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305458)

I think ReadyDrive has failed mostly because it was left to the drive controller to handle the caching.

My understanding is that with Win8 they're moving the logic to the OS and divorcing the hardware from the equation freeing you to buy any old spinning medium and any old fast SSD/Raid to act as your cache.

I like this idea since I can 'upgrade' my existing drives to ReadyDrive by just buying a SSD and I can still have my multiple disks but just the one SSD between them.

Re:I've been waiting for these (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305086)

Ya, it seems like a readyboost, but for SSD's would be the way to go.

My problem is that, while I have a pile of data, even the OS has a lot of data I don't want (language packs for example). Because regular disk space is so cheap that wasn't a problem. But caching would seem to solve, rather directly, the problem of having a lot of crap I usually don't want, for the relatively commonly used data I do want.

Even the jumplist in Windows 7 would a viable half assed solution to this problem.

Re:I've been waiting for these (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305700)

I hear rumblings that Windows 8 is going to finally solve this once and for all at the OS level. Designate a drive as a cache drive and it'll fill it up with frequently used files and the current cache.

This is stupid. What about, my windows crashes and is beyond recovery. Now all my data is spread on a "cache" SSD drive and on the physical drive. How do I get that onto one drive again?

For all its pitfalls, OCZ's solution is ONE DRIVE, hence having the benefit of ONE DRIVE. You can take it out, bring it to a friend, put it in an USB enclosure, etc...

At the OS level, I guess it is fine for some purposes.

Re:I've been waiting for these (1)

imsabbel (611519) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305996)

You dont seem to grasp what "cache" means.

Re:I've been waiting for these (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 3 years ago | (#36306084)

So please enlighten me. Don't forget write-cache in your explanation.

Re:I've been waiting for these (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36306272)

Considering they are talking about the readyboost equivalent in windows write caching isn't relevent to the discussion as that is for read caching and volatile memory only.

Re:I've been waiting for these (2)

GigaplexNZ (1233886) | more than 3 years ago | (#36306130)

For all its pitfalls, OCZ's solution is ONE DRIVE, hence having the benefit of ONE DRIVE. You can take it out, bring it to a friend, put it in an USB enclosure, etc...

You can? I don't know of any PCIe x4 compatible USB enclosures...

Re:I've been waiting for these (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 3 years ago | (#36306146)

Uhhh, true enough. I guess they should get their act together and release SATA drives with this.

Re:I've been waiting for these (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36305132)

I've never understood why they make those 200 - 300 GB SSD drives, when ~30 GB of SSD cache will hold your operating system and your most frequently used applications.

You must not be a PC Gamer then.

Crysis 2: 7.62 GB installed game folder
Portal 2: 9.78 GB installed game folder

Now quick, how much space is left on my 30 GB Windows 7 drive after installing these two games? That's right.. not enough.

Re:I've been waiting for these (1)

IICV (652597) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305188)

You're not using all ten gigabytes of Portal 2 every time you play the game. An intelligent caching scheme would see that you're reading a lot of data from a contiguous section of disk [wikipedia.org] , and copy more stuff from the area into your SSD cache than you actually ask for.

And anyway, double the size of the SSD - 60 GB, like these guys are saying - and even that complaint goes away.

Re:I've been waiting for these (1, Interesting)

adolf (21054) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305376)

You're not using all ten gigabytes of Portal 2 every time you play the game. An intelligent caching scheme would see that you're reading a lot of data from a contiguous section of disk, and copy more stuff from the area into your SSD cache than you actually ask for.

No, I'm not using all ten gigabytes of Portal 2 every time I play the game.

But an intelligent caching system won't see that I'm reading a lot of data from a contiguous section of disk, because the installation is likely not contiguous on disk in the first place. Without knowledge of the filesystem AND the application, "intelligent" sector-level caching is a waste for such applications.

Meanwhile the OS will likely, while I'm running through the single-player mode of that particular game, only request new data once per session: Even if I play a level over and over again, it's still going to be in the OS's RAM-based cache on any respectable machine that isn't otherwise burdened. The extraneous "intelligent" SSD caching system won't help a bit.

And even if I'm particularly good at Portal 2, and never replay a level, the data for the next level will still need loaded from a spinning disk...because until I do play them, unplayed levels will appear to an "intelligent" caching scheme as data that has no business being pre-cached because nothing has ever used it before (aside from the first time it was written out to disk at installation).

All it will help out with, consistently, with common use of Portal 2 is initial load time of the game itself...and only then if the game is used often enough that its data isn't flushed from the SSD cache in favor of more recently-used data.

Just to be clear: I'm not sure what point you're trying to argue, exactly, when talking about games and this particular sort of technology (which is not, by any means, a new concept). I can, however, see that you are wrong.

Re:I've been waiting for these (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36305624)

Just to be clear: I'm not sure what point you're trying to argue

Likewise.
What are you trying to say? That because of your high demands you will stick with slow mechanical drives?
Good for you I guess.

Re:I've been waiting for these (1)

adolf (21054) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305658)

What are you trying to say? That because of your high demands you will stick with slow mechanical drives?

Since when is running a game a "high demand" for a storage system?

*facepalm*

Re:I've been waiting for these (1)

Datamonstar (845886) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305254)

You don't have to store applications on the same partition you have Windows installed on. I currently have Windows XP install, page file, Program Files, and My Documents all on completely different partitions. As soon as I get around to caring enough, I'll get a SSD and sequester whatever blend of Windows is current at the time to that.

Re:I've been waiting for these (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36305214)

Some high-performance servers require that amount of storage, but require more speed than any sort of RAIDed hard drives can provide. I believe AOL (might've been someone else) recently had to commission a server with several terabytes of SSD for an ultra-high-performance database. Expensive as fuck, but cool.

Re:I've been waiting for these (2)

Neil Boekend (1854906) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305362)

The Eve Online database server [joystiq.com] uses ramsan, becasue SSD's are too slow. They have 2Tb of network attached RAM.

Re:I've been waiting for these (1)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305226)

I just built a new machine, did a clean install of Windows 7 64-bit with a few apps/drivers (just the ones that came with my motherboard, mouse/keyboard, BD drive, graphics card).

My (240GB SSD) HDD now has about 40GB used. I haven't even installed Office on it (I think that's 5GB+ alone these days!?), let alone a Linux instance under VMWare. Or a whole bunch of random apps/utils I used. Or a few games...

Modern software has grown (ridiculously) to fill modern storage.

Oh, and it hasn't taken quite as long to make a hybrid drive as you think - you can get a 500GB Seagate Momentus XT drive with 4GB SSD cache for $100. Same storage as the OCZ PCIe card, and given how good cache hit rates are in practice (ie. your point), probably 2/3 the performance at less than 1/3 the cost.

Oh, and the Intel Z68 chipset (on the motherboard I just bought) supports using any 20+GB SSD drive as a cache for your HDD. Haven't tried it, but it's supposed to be similar in performance to something like the Momentus...

Re:I've been waiting for these (1)

artaxerxes (94297) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305660)

There is also marvell hyperduo on motherboards and HighPoint RocketHYBRID 1220 which allow you to choose your own SSD and HDD to combine aftermarket. Toms hardware had a good rundown on the pros and cons.

Re:I've been waiting for these (1)

imsabbel (611519) | more than 3 years ago | (#36306002)

Sorry, but the cache of the XT is besically useless in most cases, as its FAAAAR to small.

The only thing it really would get 2/3rds of the performance of anything SSD is when you have a benchmark repeated for the 2nd run.

Re:I've been waiting for these (3, Informative)

deroby (568773) | more than 3 years ago | (#36306176)

I beg to differ.
I've been using one since september last year and it beats the crap out of the standard HDD. In my team we're all having pretty much the same machine with the same software installed. Because I do a lot of database stuff and also like to have my music collection and some games to carry around I got fed up with the limited capacity of the standard drive and out of frustration bought my own 500Gb Momentus XT. The thing boots *much* faster than all the other machines around me. Outlook takes seconds to start, it takes about a minute for my neighbour. Same for Visual studio.

There's plenty of Youtube vids around that show the impact of the Momentus XT and I can only confirm them. more cache might have been better, but 4Gb sure does a great job !

Re:I've been waiting for these (1)

kevinmenzel (1403457) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305262)

Frankly I could use about a 1-2TB SSD for all of the samples for my virtual instruments on my studio machine, though a 250GB drive would probably handle the most complex and most used instruments...

Re:I've been waiting for these (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36305502)

Well if you have an iPhone and want to back it up, you need at least iPhone memory sized space on your C drive (in my case 64GB). I'm not buying another HD just to backup my iPhone when I have 4TB of SAN.

Fuck iTunes.

Re:I've been waiting for these (1)

synthesizerpatel (1210598) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305600)

Seagate's offered a similar product that has the SSD built into the same form-factor that contains the mechanical for a while. There have even been 'caching' solutions that front-end mechanical NASs with memory or SSD drives. OCZ just paid for a little marketing to get their name at the front of the queue for a couple days.

Re:I've been waiting for these (1)

yarnosh (2055818) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305862)

For one thing, good SSDs like OCZ and Intel put out are not cheap. I'm not sure you'd gain a whole lot by using one of those cheap SSDs as a cache.

Best and worst of both worlds... (1)

Tatarize (682683) | more than 3 years ago | (#36306058)

You'd figure with a few gigs of SSD even as much as a silly thumbdrive worth you could get read speeds on par with SSD. SSD are crap for massive amounts of data, for now. Though, I think tying your data to die on a thing with moving parts, vs. and SSD gets the worst of both worlds too. You get the speed of SSD without getting rid of the potential to no longer have the silly things crash.

I'd prefer if people just really understood they are two different technologies and you should have one of each. You should have 20 gigs for your OS of SSD and you should have 2 TB of data for whatever else.

Somebody should invent a form of RAID for drives of radically different sizes and read speeds that just works a bit like stripping but as a cache. Make this silly doohicky here pointless.

Love for OCZ (2)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305046)

Recently, after reading performance reviews on the Vertex 3, I bought one. The speed is simply amazing! I've been using it as a data-intensive development database server drive. Shortly after buying it, I discovered that there were numerous complaints about the Vertex 2 being unreliable.

To this, I can only say that after about 6 weeks of extremely heavy use as the data partition on a PostgreSQL 8.4 server I've had no issues so far.

Re:Love for OCZ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36305076)

And that hard drive looks permanently fastened to the border, so no worries about pesky upgrades later on. Just throw it away and buy a new one!

Re:Love for OCZ (1)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305154)

Well, I just bought a Vertex 2 (SATA 2 rates are plenty for me and I couldn't pass up a crazy deal - 240GB SSD for just over $300!) so I hope it's reliable ;)

Only been a week but so far but (in a desktop) it's SO worth it in boot time alone (and the fact that it's totally silent doesn't hurt).

Re:Love for OCZ (0, Troll)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305268)

Yeah! I bought one and my penis just doubled in size, my girlfriend suggested a three way with her hot girlfriend and my boss gave me a 30% raise. And I haven't even plugged it in yet!

Re:Love for OCZ (1, Funny)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305450)

Wow, congrats, good things really do come in threes... 30% raise, a 3 way, and now your penis is 3" long!

Re:Love for OCZ (1)

yarnosh (2055818) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305874)

Hell, the Vertex 1 is pretty amazing. I installed one of those in my 2nd gen. Macbook Pro and I go from spinning boot icon to functional desktop in like 3 seconds.

Re:Love for OCZ (3, Informative)

dbIII (701233) | more than 3 years ago | (#36306340)

I tried to mirror a vertex1 and 2 - they use different types of memory and the 240GB vertex2 drives are actually quite a few GB smaller and unfortunately the data I was going to put on there would thus no longer fit. I ended up striping the things but it took three attempts to get a stripe size with performance equal to or better than a single drive. Attempt 1 and 2 were dog slow with writes and not good for reads, third attempt outperformed both single drives for reads and isn't too bad for writes The moral of the story is the obvious one of using identical drives, but at the time of the original drive getting two of them would have been a bit too expensive.

huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36305058)

With HDDs so cheap, why shouldn't the base configuration be 1TB?

Re:huh? (2)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305176)

They seem to want to back ~10% of the storage with SSD. Thats the OS, select files and applications?
Your game/photoshop/browser will load SSD fast, the large video clip last watched 4 months ago may not.
How smart will MS be about fitting the 50 or so gigs of used files and sorting 'todays' work?
Will you hit a part of your 500 gb @ 5,400-RPM sort mid game?

Re:huh? (4, Interesting)

swilver (617741) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305352)

Actually, all you need to cache is meta-data and small files (say anything less than 100 kB). Anything larger (assuming it is unfragmented) can be streamed from a traditional harddisk at speeds comparable to SSD's anyway.

Large files are almost by definition rarely accessed randomly as they are usually some kind of media (image, music, video).

Also, at today's data density, even traditional harddisks can saturate a link as long as the reads are sequential.

Re:huh? (1)

adolf (21054) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305762)

Interesting, indeed. I can't disagree with anything you said.

But back in context: Does this OCZ device do this sort of selective caching? It seems to me that, in order for it to do so, it'd have to be aware of (at least) the filesystem. That's not so far-fetched, given today's low-cost CPUs and FPGAs (we've had various NICs running Linux available for years now, for instance, to wring out the nth degree of latency), but again: Does it do any of this?

Or is it just a somewhat-larger SSD-based multi-gigabyte caching system of the same sort that common and modern operating systems already supply with RAM caching?

Or is it worse? (I suspect this, but without a product, I can't say...)

Re:huh? (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305802)

As always, it entirely depends upon what you are doing.
While at home I've got a relatively cheap 30GB SSD purely for game files I needed a pair of striped 240GB SSDs for files that are continuously getting accessed at work by about a dozen people. It's not a real database so an hourly snapshot to spinning disk does the job of redundancy reasonably well. If the SSDs die the snapshot is always in a usable state even if individual files are up to an hour out of date.

Not new (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36305160)

There are at the very least two other solutions that do the same thing, that were out there before this one:

HighPoint RocketHybrid: exactly the same, an expansion card with connectors for one ssd and one hdd.

Intel Smart Response Technology: Software on top of the Z68 chipset that uses an SSD of up to 60GB as cache for a different drive or raid.

really bad technology (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305162)

I looked into existing hybrid SSDs for notebooks lately and was scared off by piles of negative reviews. Most now are 4 GB flash, 250+ GB mechanical and it intelligently determines what you open most often and transfers it to the flash section. Apparently that causes poor performance in certain circumstances, unpredictable performance in all circumstances, and lots and lots and lots of crashes and blue screens. If they got all that taken care of and upped it from 4 GB to 60 GB this would be a nice solution but for $350 I'd just get a 160GB or bigger SSD! What an insane price point even for a PCI-E version!

Also, the price difference in motherboards is huge. I have a graphics card in PCI-E 1 of course and my board has just one x16 slot. Needing a 2nd 16x or even 8x PCI-E slot means around double the price on average. So if it went from a $90 board to a $180 board, you might as well have just bought an even higher capacity SSD for the same price. It would work with non-graphical computers but with SSDs, quite a few are gaming computers. I think I'm better off getting one of those 400MB/sec+ 32-60 GB SSDs and installing my games on it. Most new ones support that. My boot time would still be crap but my 3D models would skin ultra fast and the load times would be really quick. Now that's a hybrid system.

shop at other place (0)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305292)

I found some $100-$120 boards with 2 pci-e x16 slots at newegg with out even looking that hard.

Flash as cache means a short life span (0)

erice (13380) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305216)

I would hope these devices have a good warranty. Flash has limited write endurance and writes are slow too. Cache operation is all about concentrated writes and rewrites. Cache is just about the worst application possible for flash.

Re:Flash as cache means a short life span (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36305302)

have you personally written a decent SSD to death? why not use your fast drives to make a system faster? I personally think that these types of arguments belong about three years ago, with CF-IDE adapters, 4GB netbooks and crappy jmicron SSDs. turn off journaling and put your page file on a RAM drive while you're at it.

Re:Flash as cache means a short life span (1)

SpazmodeusG (1334705) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305394)

You're are correct, SSDs don't have any issues with read/write cycles. But this following line is hilarious;

put your page file on a RAM drive

Think about it. You're talking about creating a virtual hard drive using RAM which is used to store page files that you don't want in RAM.

Just turn your page files off altogether. In this scenario there's no disadvantage to doing so. The total available RAM (real+page file) will be the same either way and you save yourself from going through a completely pointless layer of indirection.

Re:Flash as cache means a short life span (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36305442)

lol, I was joking... but, seriously have a look at these "tweaks" on the ocz forums. there really are people advocating this deviant behaviour.

http://www.ocztechnologyforum.com/forum/showthread.php?47244-XP32-64-SSD-Windows-Registry-Tweaks

Re:Flash as cache means a short life span (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36305446)

Don't disable your pagefile unless you know you will never exhaust memory. Instead, put your pagefile on the slowest possible media so you'll know you're paging. When that happens, go to the task manager and choose to kill a process that you can afford to lose, instead of losing the (random) process that had the misfortune of exhausting memory.

Re:Flash as cache means a short life span (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36305558)

The Arachne web browser actually had/has this as as a standard method of speeding it up. Of course, it is a DOS application.

Re:Flash as cache means a short life span (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305870)

The way MS Windows swaps makes perfect sense in some situations but appears utterly braindead in others. That's why some corner cases with things like some games on machines with a lot of memory can actually benefit from doing things that appear to be utterly stupid - eg. virtual drive on ramdisk. Without a page file at all you can find the bugs where there is an assumption that there is a pagefile :(
Maybe MS Windows 7 acts more like a server OS and handles virtual disks in a more sensible way than XP.
On a real server OS I assumed the users wouldn't chew up the 64GB I had on one machine but gave it 8GB of swap anyway. It needed all of that for one task and in hindsight it looks like I should add a resizable swap file in addition to the swap partitions. Once you put something new on a machine everything could change - for instance on an MS Windows machine it could take something as simple as a tabbed web browser to go from the requirement of not needing virtual memory to needing a lot of it.

Re:Flash as cache means a short life span (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36305420)

I have. SSDs are barely more reliable than what passes for reliability on shitty consumer hard drives these days.

Re:Flash as cache means a short life span (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36305472)

even more reason not to try to use them as long term storage, as cache they'll hopefully do less damage when they die.

Re:Flash as cache means a short life span (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36305588)

That's what I first thought as well. However, CPUs also have a solid state cache, so they're probably using a similar technique.

Re:Flash as cache means a short life span (1)

yarnosh (2055818) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305896)

Depends on how aggressive the cache is. It doesn't need to be very aggressive if it is non-volatile. Say for example you are caching some oft used OS file. With a smart cache controller, it shouldn't be a whole lot different than having two separate drives, one for system, one for apps. Except you dont' have to go out of your way to manage that. Nor does the OS.

Re:Flash as cache means a short life span (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36305974)

> Flash has limited write endurance ... and hard disks have limited life-span. So what? "limited" is a meaningless word without actual hard numbers. And the hard numbers for flash aren't that bad if you take wear leveling into account, plus the possibility to use an SDRAM-based cache next to the flash for small writes.

> and writes are slow too

Wrong. Clearing flash is slow; writing to flash is very fast. Clearing free spaced is done in the background, so you'll only ever notice the slowness of clearing the flash when you repeatedly overwrite the whole flash. Which isn't going to happen, even with large bulk writes, if the cache controller is properly designed. At worst, a too-large bulk write would degrade the speed of the disk to that of a regular hard disk.

Garbage Brand (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36305264)

OCZ just recently swapped their NAND for cheaper, denser, slower NAND. They didn't even change the model #. When enough complaints came in, they were forced to RMA everyone's drives or face a bait&switch lawsuit.

Re:Garbage Brand (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305410)

Citation Required.

Re:Garbage Brand (4, Informative)

the_jone (2198276) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305522)

I don't know if they're a garbage brand, but OP is certainly right. You can read OCZ's own announcement [ocztechnologyforum.com] , or read Anandtech's analysis [anandtech.com] in their Vertex 3 review. Storagereview did a comparison [storagereview.com] of the 32nm and 24nm Vertex 2's which is also worth a read. .

Re:Garbage Brand (2)

tgeek (941867) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305634)

Citation Required.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4256/the-ocz-vertex-3-review-120gb/2 [anandtech.com]

Not sure this incident should brand OCZ as a "garbage brand" though. If anything it highlights the necessity for the consumer to do their homework and not rely on just the summary specs of a drive before making a purchase. (That's not meant to defend OCZ's mistakes - just pointing out there's more to selecting an SSD than just the summary specs you see printed on the box or in the results of a Newegg search)

Re:Garbage Brand (1)

Confusador (1783468) | more than 3 years ago | (#36306302)

GP's vitriol was a bit over the top, but his facts were basically right. [anandtech.com]

After a dose of public retribution OCZ agreed to allow end users to swap 25nm Vertex 2s for 34nm drives, they would simply have to pay the difference in cost. OCZ realized that was yet another mistake and eventually allowed the swap for free (thankfully no one was ever charged), which is what should have been done from the start. OCZ went one step further and stopped using 64Gbit NAND in the 60GB Vertex 2, although drives still exist in the channel since no recall was issued.

That's simply packaging. (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305390)

NewsFlash: SSD are much faster than HDD, but much more expensive, so it makes sense to use an SSD to cache HDD content. For some obscure reason (probably the need for something new in Win8); MS refuses to do that (even though they can ReadyBoost off of a USB stick...), so it has fallen to third parties to implement it in software of hardware, even though it should really be the OS doing it.

How it's actually done is of no real import, all are kludges anyway because MS is, once again, letting us down.

Uncle Joe reports... Really? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36305414)

> J. Dzhugashvili writes

That's pretty offensive for a large part of the world population!

Just for the record: Josif (Vissarionovich) Dzhugashvili was the birth name of Stalin, the soviet communist dictator, who was more interested in sending people to the Gulags for hard labor, to give them bad memories, rather than hard drives combined with memory chips. Around 25 million did not return, in total.

Wonder if an austrian painter, Adolphus Shicklgruber will report next time about the new USB 4.0 draft standard or so.

Ampersand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36305440)

When concatenating a list of just TWO items, please use the AMPERSAND which is intended for this purpose.

The comma is reserved for multi-item lists.

OCZ Couples SSD, Mechanical Storage -> OCZ Couples SSD & Mechanical Storage

You know it MAKES SENSE

Re:Ampersand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36305548)

You know, you're a waste of oxygen.

Re:Ampersand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36305632)

... and you should always end a sentence with a period. I love how these grammar nazis ALWAYS make one typo themselves, then think "holy shit it can happen to me too!" before finally realizing that IT DOESN'T FUCKING MATTER. If you have nothing to contribute to the discussion, shut the fuck up and move along. Yes, you are an oxygen waster.

HSDL? (1)

creat3d (1489345) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305486)

Their HSDL drives have transfer rates of 720mb/s, how about evolving from there instead of regressing?

Honestly underwhelmed (1)

bughunter (10093) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305524)

I'm honestly confused. And still open-minded.

Explain to me why I need this instead of spending that $300 on a 7200 or 10000 rpm drive with two to four times the capacity and far, far more reliability and service life.

Is it just to extend the time I can operate on battery power? A second battery will double my time at far less cost.

Re:Honestly underwhelmed (1)

creat3d (1489345) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305568)

It will be worth it when you can get a 1TB SSD for that 300$, rather than the current, overpriced mess of some great drives in a sea of overhyped duds.

Re:Honestly underwhelmed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36305598)

Why should I buy a 400hp car when a 80hp car gets me from point A to point B. Answer: some people like performance.

1 SSD vs two 10k rpm drives in RAID 0 is still night and day difference, not just due to the mb/sec, but due to the IOPS/sec and near zero latency.

With SSD boot times of 15 seconds are normal, vs sometimes over a minute before a regular HD is done fully loading, and you can open every program on your desktop at once and they pop up like popcorn... regular drives do not multitask well at all and when performing multiple tasks just fall over flat.

Re:Honestly underwhelmed (1)

bughunter (10093) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305666)

Why should I buy a 400hp car when a 80hp car gets me from point A to point B[?]

Using your analogy, I have about 250 horses under the hood, and if I had more, I really wouldn't use them 90% of the time.

And inverting it, my CTO has a Lotus Exige S and a Chevy Corvette Z06, and drives one of them to work nearly every day, both very nice toys. But he doesn't need over 500 HP to drive the 1.5 miles from his home to the office.

So again, I ask, why do I *need* one of these hybrid drives?

Re:Honestly underwhelmed (1)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305638)

And before you spent that absurd price on a 10,000 RPM drive I suggest that you look at it's transfer rate as compared to a basic Seagate 7200 RPM drive. My understanding is that the Seagate actually beats out expensive drives like the Raptor. The reason? Because the 10,000 RPM WD drive still uses traditional recording while the Seagate uses perpendicular recording, packing the bits much closer together and thus allowng more to be read in the same time, even at the lower rotational speed.

Now, to be honest, this is the way things were a couple of years ago. Maybe WD updated their technology and I missed hearing about it. But there were plenty of people who thought that they were buying a faster drive when they shelled out 3X as much for a 10,000 RPM drive, and I expect there are still plenty of people who buy based on that 10,000 RPM number alone.

Re:Honestly underwhelmed (1)

bughunter (10093) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305716)

Actually, a Hitachi 7200 is what I have. Boots 10.6.7 to the desktop in under 20 seconds.

As you suggest, I didn't see any value in paying the 100krpm price.

And I had a series of Seagate drive failures, so I thought I'd try Hitachi this time.

It seems like bcache could do the same thing (1)

LukeCrawford (918758) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305528)

with your own hard drive and your own SSD. It'd probably cost less, too. http://bcache.evilpiepirate.org/ [evilpiepirate.org]

No Thanks (2)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305590)

Wow! The very high cost of a solid state drive coupled with the power hunger and mechanical constraints of a hard drive. I find it hard to believe that using SSDs as a cache is wise, but I also question if the money couldn't be better spent adding more DDR3 RAM to the processor and letting it cache the drive (with the obvious options and benefits that brings). I think I would just stick with the 2TB drives that I've been buying recently for well under $100 each rather than this overpriced compromise, even if I had a 4x PCIe slot available (which I don't and I expect few who would have an interest in this do).

Re:No Thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36305644)

bigger volatile write caches mean more data to lose in a crash/power loss situation.

Re:No Thanks (1)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305962)

Things can go wrong in a crash, period. If you care about them don't use the OS most likely to crash. There are software strategies for minimizing the time data is in write cache unprotected, yet still giving most of the performance benefits. One shouldn't be running a computer without some form of power backup, and I expect that few willing to pay $350 for a drive do, So better to spend just a fraction of the cash on a UPS. And while I'll admit that power supplies might fail, and have even used dual supplies in mission critical applications, I have yet to see one of my own fail (I have seen someone else's bargain basement supply cause crashes), so my thinking is still that there are better ways to spend the money than on this turkey. People buy solid state drives to get away from the issues of hard drives, but this drags back the hard drive concerns at SSD prices.

A UPS is not always the answer (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 3 years ago | (#36306388)

Where I am I get occasional power weirdness that flickers the lights and panics every UPS into a hard shutdown but everything on mains stays on. You can get it too no matter what part of the world you are in if somebody is using an industrial crane or similar big bit of gear within a kilometre or two. That's after spike filtering etc for the entire site. It's really annoying when the only things that go down are the switches, file servers and phone systems. A UPS is pretty well certain to fail once every three years or so anyway - many properly with plenty of warning but even some from expensive brands just do a battery test, fail it and turn themselves off and that's the first you know that it's time to replace the batteries. That's not how they are supposed to do it according to their manuals and some of the same model may behave properly, but they do it anyway.
Battery backed controller cards save my arse in that situation because the cached writes are still there ready to be done when the power comes back on.
As for redundant power supplies, I have a failed redundant power supply chassis on my desk because the redundant modules are still OK but the non-redundant chassis for them is dead. Everything dies. The OS won't save you completely from hardware failures.

Re:No Thanks (1)

yarnosh (2055818) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305926)

If you've ever run a good SSD like OCZ or Intel, you'd know that there is much to be gained by storing often used files on there. I can't speak for desktop systems, but installing an OCZ Vertex in my laptop made a huge difference. And if I needed teh space, I'd definitly consider an SSD/HDD hybrid. I guess the problem here is that they're selling to desktop users who already have fast HDD options (if you include RAID). Either way, if 2TB is your target, I doubt speed is a huge concern.

Re:No Thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36306326)

Actually it's more the best of both - the fast speed of SSD due to the cache but with lower cost because it's much smaller, combined with the cheap space of a HDD which doesn't consume as much power as normal since a lot of stuff is served from the cache so the HDD can stay in standby a lot of the time.

Of course it's useless for anything really disk intensive such as video editing, since the cache won't be any help there.

Redundant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36305652)

RAID 0 array?

Didn't Seagate already do something similar? (1)

samael (12612) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305904)

So, not that different from the Momentus XT - which is a hard drive with a bunch of SSD as a cache...

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?