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Hybrid Drives Struggling In Face of SSDs

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the great-enemy-of-the-good dept.

Data Storage 256

Lucas123 writes "New numbers show hybrid drives, which combine NAND flash with spinning disk, will double in sales from 1 million to 2 million units this year. Unfortunately for Seagate — the only manufacturer of hybrids — solid-state drive sales are expected to hit 18 million units this year and 69 million by 2016. Low-capacity, cache SSDs, which typically have 20GB to 40GB of capacity and run along side hard drives in notebooks and desktops, will see their shipments rise even more this year to 23.9 million units, up by an astounding 2,660% from just 864,000 units in 2011. Shipments will then jump to 67.7 million units next year, cross the hundred-million-unit mark in 2015, and hit 163 million units by 2016, according to IHS iSuppli. If hybrid drives are to have a chance at surviving, more manufacturers will need to produce them, and they'll need to come in thinner form factors to fit today's ultrabook laptops."

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256 comments

This is horrible! (4, Funny)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#40340599)

Suppliers, competing for my money.... (weeps) :-)

Re:This is horrible! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40340615)

Nearly four months ago, I noticed that my internet connection was very sluggish. Eventually getting fed up with it, I began to seek out software that would speed up the gigabits in my router. After an hour of searching, I found what at first appeared to be a very promising piece of software. Not only did it claim it would speed up my internet connection, but that it would overclock my power supply, speed up my gigabits, and remove any viruses from my computer! "This is a fantastic opportunity that I simply can't pass up," I thought. I immediately downloaded the software and began the installation, all the while laughing like a small child. I was highly anticipating a future where the speed of my internet connection would leave everyone else's in the dust.

I was horribly, horribly naive. Immediately upon the completion of the software's installation, various messages popped up on my screen about how I needed to buy software to remove a virus that I wasn't aware I had from a software company I'd never once heard of. The strange software also blocked me from doing anything except buying the software it was advertising. Being that I was a computer whiz (I had taken a computer essentials class in high school that taught me how to use Microsoft Office, and was quite adept at accessing my Facebook account), I was immediately able to conclude that the software I'd downloaded was, in fact, a virus, and that it was slowing down my gigabits at an exponential rate. "I can't let this insanity proceed any further," I thought.

As I was often called a computer genius, I was confident at the time that I could get rid of the virus with my own two hands. I tried numerous things: restarting the computer, pressing random keys on the keyboard, throwing the mouse across the room, and even flipping an orange switch on the back of the tower and turning the computer back on. My efforts were all in vain; the virus persisted, and my gigabits were running slower than ever! "This cannot be! What is this!? I've never once seen such a vicious virus in my entire life!" I was dumbfounded that I, a computer genius, was unable to remove the virus using the methods I described. Upon coming to terms with my failure, I decided to take my computer to a PC repair shop for repair.

I drove to a nearby computer repair shop and entered the building with my computer in hand. The inside of the building was quite large, neat, and organized, and the employees all seemed very kind and knowledgeable. They laughed upon hearing my embarrassing story, and told me that they saw this kind of thing on a daily basis. They then accepted the job, and told me that in the worst case, it'd be fixed in three days from now. I left with a smile, and felt confident in my decision to leave the computer repairs to the experts.

A week later, they still hadn't called back. Visibly angry, I tried calling them countless times, but not a single time did they answer the phone. Their negligence and irresponsibility infuriated me, and sent me into a state of insanity that caused me to punch a gigantic hole in the wall. Being that I would require my computer for work soon, I decided to head over to the computer repair shop to find out exactly what the problem was.

Upon entering the building, I was shocked by the state of its interior; it looked as if a tornado had tore through the entire building! Countless broken computers were scattered all about the floor, desks were flipped over, the walls had holes in them, there was a puddle of blood on the floor, and worst of all, I saw that my computer was sitting in the middle of the room laying on its side! Absolutely unforgivable! I soon noticed one of the employees sitting behind one of the tipped over desks (the one that had previously had the cash register on top of it); he was shaking uncontrollably and sobbing. Despite being furious about my computer being tipped over, seeing him in that state still managed to make me less unforgiving. I decided to ask him what happened.

A few moments passed where the entire room was silent and nothing was said. Eventually, he pointed at my computer and said to me, "The virus... it cannot be stopped! Cannot be stopped! Cannot be stopped!" Realizing that he was trying to tell me that they were unable to repair my computer (the task I'd given them), I flew into a blind fury and beat him senseless. Not caring about what would happen to him any longer, I collected my computer, ignored the bodies of the two other employees that had committed suicide, and left the building. After a few moments of pondering about what to do and clearing my head, I theorized that their failure to repair my computer probably simply meant that they were unqualified to do the job, and decided to take my computer to another computer repair shop.

I repeated that same process about four times before finally giving up. Each time I took it to a PC repair shop, the result was the same: all the employees either went completely insane, or they committed suicide. Not a single person was able to even do so much as damage the virus. I was able to talk some sense into one of the employees that had gone mad and got them to tell me how they were attempting to fix the problem. They told me that they tried everything from reinstalling the operating system to installing another operating system and trying to get rid of the virus on the other one, but absolutely all of it was to no avail. Having seen numerous attempts by professionals to remove the virus end in failure, I managed to delude myself into believing that my first failure was simply a fluke and that I was the only one on the planet qualified to fix the computer. With renewed vigor, I once again took up the frighteningly dangerous task of defeating the evil, nightmarish virus once and for all with my own two hands.

In my attempts to fix the problem, I'd even resorted to buying another computer. However, the virus used its WiFi capabilities to hack into the gigabits of my new computer and infect it. Following each failed attempt, I grew more and more depressed. I had already beaten my wife and children five times in order to relieve some of my stress, but even that (which had become my only pleasure after failing to remove the virus the first time), did nothing for me any longer. That's right: my last remaining pleasure in life had stopped being able to improve my mood, and I had not a single thing left that I cared about. I sank into a bottomless ocean of depression, barricaded myself in my room, and cried myself to sleep for days on end. Overcome with insanity, vengefulness, and despair, there is not a single doubt that if this had continued for much longer, I would have committed suicide.

One day, it suddenly happened: while I was right in the middle of habitually crying myself to sleep in the middle of the day, I heard a thunderous roar outside, followed by the sound of a large number of people screaming. When I peered outside my window to find out what all the commotion was about, the scene before me closely resembled that of a God descending from the heavens themselves! I gazed in awe at the godlike figure that was descending from the heavens, and so did the dozens of individuals that had gathered in my backyard. For a few moments, everyone was speechless. Then, they started shouting predictions about what they thought the figure was. "Is it a bird!?" "Is it a plane!?" But, despite not ever having seen it before, I knew just how inaccurate their predictions were, and began to speak the name of the heroic figure.

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Re:This is horrible! (1)

CheshireDragon (1183095) | more than 2 years ago | (#40341939)

I give this a plus for damn awesome trollness...

Re:This is horrible! (1)

BKX (5066) | more than 2 years ago | (#40341983)

I know, this troll/spam was actually really funny. I'm just not willing to give it my modpoints. I especially liked his use of the word "gigabits" contrasted with his being a computer "genius". Classic. LOL

Unfortunately for Seagate? (5, Insightful)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 2 years ago | (#40340629)

New numbers show hybrid drives, which combine NAND flash with spinning disk, will double in sales from 1 million to 2 million units this year. Unfortunately for Seagate â" the only manufacturer of hybrids â" solid-state drive sales are expected to hit 18 million units this year and 69 million by 2016.

How is this unfortunate for Seagate? Sure, more pure SSDs are being sold than hybrids, but there is more competition in that market, whereas hybrids are a market Seagate completely owns that is expecting 100% year-to-year growth. Seems to me, there is no bad news for Seagate in that.

Re:Unfortunately for Seagate? (4, Insightful)

Galestar (1473827) | more than 2 years ago | (#40340725)

+1 to parent. -1 to story. I think I've just about had it with the patently false summaries and articles from slashdot. Peace out.

Re:Unfortunately for Seagate? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40340801)

+1 to parent. -1 to story. I think I've just about had it with the patently false summaries and articles from slashdot. Peace out.

Now? You certainly have a high tolerance, that's been going on for years.

Re:Unfortunately for Seagate? (1)

CheshireDragon (1183095) | more than 2 years ago | (#40341945)

Why do you have to post as AC when you clearly have a good argument?

Re:Unfortunately for Seagate? (2, Interesting)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 2 years ago | (#40341691)

Agreed. Sometimes, I read an article like the one above, and the critical thinking thing is slow to kick in. But, bottom line - no one has ever proven a real ability to predict the future. At best, an educated person makes deductions based on data about past performance. The problems with the predictions above begin with the fact that SSD prices are falling.

In 2016, why would ANYONE buy a comparatively slow hybrid, if he could get a comparatively sized SSD for only 5% more money? Or - what if the SSD is actually priced lower than the hybrid?

Even if Nostradamus had made the predictions in TFA - I wouldn't bet any money on them.

Re:Unfortunately for Seagate? (1)

Smauler (915644) | more than 2 years ago | (#40340755)

I agree... save for the fact they could possibly have expected the growth to be better (this is an emerging market, with such you're always going to have multi-digit percentage growth factors).

I'm not sure exactly which market Seagate are aiming for here. The high performance market will go either entirely SSD, or one relatively big SSD and a huge magnetic for the rest of the stuff. The low performance consumer market will see the numbers, and take the cheap magnetic drive. The mid range market is possible their aim - but then they have to compete against a tiny SSD combined with a normal magnetic.

If they are aiming for the mid-range market, they're going to have to be cheaper, and if they're going to be cheaper, they're struggling.

Re:Unfortunately for Seagate? (2)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 2 years ago | (#40340915)

but then they have to compete against a tiny SSD combined with a normal magnetic.

What about on a laptop, where you can only have one or the other.

Re:Unfortunately for Seagate? (2)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#40340977)

The idea of a laptop only having one drive isn't set in stone either.

Although if you really care, chances are that you are going to just go full SSD. This kind of lukewarm product is really the worst of both worlds: higher cost and lower performance.

Re:Unfortunately for Seagate? (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 2 years ago | (#40341727)

The idea of a laptop only having one drive isn't set in stone either.

It's all about space.
Anything Although if you really care, chances are that you are going to just go full SSD. This kind of lukewarm product is really the worst of both worlds: higher cost and lower performance.

There is a market niche for hybrid drives as an intermediate step between disks and SSDs,
just like there is a market niche for hybrid cars as an intermediate step between gas and electric.

I imagine once SSDs and electric cars mature, those intermediate hardware solutions will fade away.

Re:Unfortunately for Seagate? (1)

JanneM (7445) | more than 2 years ago | (#40341063)

What about on a laptop, where you can only have one or the other.

Even the smaller Thinkpads take two drives if you want - three if you add an mSATA SSD. I just ordered a 14" model with an SSD as primary and a largish HD as a secondary drive for exactly this setup.

Re:Unfortunately for Seagate? (2)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 2 years ago | (#40341543)

Not once you're down in the 11" range.

Re:Unfortunately for Seagate? (5, Interesting)

chrylis (262281) | more than 2 years ago | (#40341345)

I'm not sure exactly which market Seagate are aiming for here.

*raises hand*

I put one of the 750GB XT's in my laptop and have been thoroughly pleased with it. It's nice to talk about having one SSD for caching and then platters for big storage of everything else, but the point of the hybrid drives is that you don't have to split up your partitions and manually allocate data between the two. A device-mapper target could theoretically do the same thing, but I'm only aware of one quite new third-party driver for Windows that attempts this sort of mapping, and in the meantime, I'm satisfied with near-instant application launches from my XT without having to touch a thing.

Re:Unfortunately for Seagate? (3, Interesting)

QQBoss (2527196) | more than 2 years ago | (#40341803)

It's nice to talk about having one SSD for caching and then platters for big storage of everything else, but the point of the hybrid drives is that you don't have to split up your partitions and manually allocate data between the two.

caching: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. :)

If you have an SSD set up as a caching drive, there is no need to split anything up, it works just like the Momentus (though a particular chipset like the Intel Z68 or another solution might be required to make it work). Perhaps you are thinking of using an SSD for a boot drive + critical performance apps (for some definition of critical, I am sure WoW counts as critical, sure), plus a spinning platter for bulk data + lower performance apps?

Personally, I like having a 240 GB SSD with ~20 GB allocated to caching my 2 TB data drive (the Z68 chipset makes this possible [anandtech.com] , I don't know if other methods allow it), and the remaining ~220 GB allocated as my boot drive. But I do this on a desktop, not a notebook. I am fortunate to not have any performance oriented requirements related to disk access on my notebook at this time.

Re:Unfortunately for Seagate? (1)

chrylis (262281) | more than 2 years ago | (#40341989)

I did get a sloppy; my default mode of thinking about SSD+platters is using SSDs as journals for a transactional datastore. That said, while SRT is a nice feature, it's not universally available (even on Sandy Bridge motherboards), and support under anything but Windows leaves something to be desired. A hybrid disk drive is all-around simpler and (for now) a bit cheaper.

Re:Unfortunately for Seagate? (1)

ToasterMonkey (467067) | more than 2 years ago | (#40341931)

It's nice to talk about having one SSD for caching and then platters for big storage of everything else, but the point of the hybrid drives is that you don't have to split up your partitions and manually allocate data between the two. A device-mapper target could theoretically do the same thing, but I'm only aware of one quite new third-party driver for Windows that attempts this sort of mapping

In Windows, your L2 page caching is done with ReadyBoost. I'm almost certain Win 7 lets you use a SATA SSD with it, I'm not sure why it didn't do that originally. ReadyBoost was designed for USB flash drives so it has some logic to detect sequential IO and go direct to spinning disk for that. That might not make as much sense for decent SSDs.

For a fileserver, you could use Solaris and ZFS. It has an L2ARC for SSDs and ARC is a really interesting algorithm that prevents your cache from being flushed by really big one time reads.

Linux... I'm sure has a ghetto "me too" L2 page cache in the works somewhere, who knows.

Re:Unfortunately for Seagate? (3, Insightful)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 2 years ago | (#40341093)

Because some people think that not being number one is the same as being a loser.

Re:Unfortunately for Seagate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40341587)

Seagate will obviously lose soon, when everyone switches to RAID SSDs and cloud storage and nobody will want mechanical parts for anything.

Re:Unfortunately for Seagate? (2)

smash (1351) | more than 2 years ago | (#40342075)

I thought i heard seagate talking about 20-30tb spinning drives within a couple of years. SSDs will be nowhere near that in terms of $/gb.

Spinning disk is not going away. You'll simply have SSD for boot/scratch and in portable machines, and big spinning drives in your archive NAS - hot data on your laptop will be in SSD, the rest will be on the network backed by disk.

Re:Unfortunately for Seagate? (1)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40341805)

Canada's Hat raises hand, politely. Would you like to rent a bridge?

Re:Unfortunately for Seagate? (1)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 2 years ago | (#40341585)

New numbers show hybrid drives, which combine NAND flash with spinning disk, will double in sales from 1 million to 2 million units this year. Unfortunately for Seagate â" the only manufacturer of hybrids â" solid-state drive sales are expected to hit 18 million units this year and 69 million by 2016.

How is this unfortunate for Seagate? Sure, more pure SSDs are being sold than hybrids, but there is more competition in that market, whereas hybrids are a market Seagate completely owns that is expecting 100% year-to-year growth. Seems to me, there is no bad news for Seagate in that.

but... but... Seagate said SSDs are doomed for at least the next decade or two, they can't possibly be wrong, right? [pcworld.com]

Like I already said, hard drives are doomed. [slashdot.org] So sorry seagate didn't see it coming.

Re:Unfortunately for Seagate? (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 2 years ago | (#40341795)

Spinning Drives suk. All the problems of fragility etc.

They're only still here in Hybrid because of legacy synergy. If Seagate is smart, they'll recognize that this product doesn't just need to pay for itself "and yay we have profits", but it is the stopgap to pay for say two hard years of R&D where only SSD is where it's at. The "Oh $hit" dept.

And with Moore's law or even halfsies thereof, solid state durable memory is where it's at. Yeah, First and even Second Gen gets all "phaw toy" from news media that can't/won't think beyond This Week's Page Clicks, but Solid State is it, watch it hit 750 gigs, roughly the point where a normal consumer can't max it out, and then it's lights out.

Maybe that's the new business. Old School accounting used to have something called the "going concern" principle designed mostly against cheap end runs of fraud, but what if the new business is "certain product lines have only 3-4 years of sales before we have to unload them"? Therefore NextGen and Planned Transition costs suddenly show up.

Re:Unfortunately for Seagate? (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#40341905)

watch it hit 750 gigs, roughly the point where a normal consumer can't max it out, and then it's lights out.

"750 gigabytes should be enough for anyone."

Remember folks, you heard it here first!

Re:Unfortunately for Seagate? (2)

TheLink (130905) | more than 2 years ago | (#40342081)

Slow internet connections, ISP quotas and throttling might help make this true for longer.

But if there's a sudden jump to widely available high speed internet connections, a lot of people might stop downloading and storing, and switch to streaming (assuming the **AA don't shutdown too many streaming sites).

The potential saviour for Seagate etc is if more and more content starts being made for 2880x1800 and higher. Then home user storage and bandwidth requirements might go up.

Re:Unfortunately for Seagate? (1)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40341797)

In order to bring some sanity to this situation I propose that we adopt a 5 year plan during which some people will get SSDs and others will get the spinners. It'll have to be a random lottery-style thing, so as to not give the impression of market control.

Re:Unfortunately for Seagate? (1)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 2 years ago | (#40341827)

It's unfortunate because Seagate doesn't *have* a consumer SSD product. In the end "growth" on it's own doesn't mean much. It's about margin and profitability, and when you only grow 100% in a market where your competitors are growing by 2000%+ you are going to lose that market.

I'm sure you could have said "Sony Betamax had 100% sales growth" back in the 80's when VHS was growing by 1000%... how'd that work out?

No Thanks (2, Insightful)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 2 years ago | (#40340669)

You can keep your shitty caching schemes and your hybrid drives (which are just shitty caching schemes in a black box).
SSDs all the way. If I need bigbadstorage, I buy multiple SSDs.

The only problem I have with SSDs is the inability to securely erase shit without blanking the entire drive.
Yeah, it costs more, but I get assloads of performance and power savings out of it.

I just wish someone would make 3.5" drives besides OCZ. Hell - I wish someone would make 5.25" drives.

Re:No Thanks (3, Insightful)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | more than 2 years ago | (#40340789)

Hell, you can keep your 5.25" drives. Wake me when they bring back 8" drives. And what's this Flash nonsense? Get me a direct connection and DDR3 RAM backed up by a battery instead. Solves the whole 'securely erase' thing, too. Yeah, it costs more, but... etc.

Re:No Thanks (1)

TheMiddleRoad (1153113) | more than 2 years ago | (#40340959)

You're such a wuss with your pitifully slow storage. I got me a PowerEdge R820 with 1.5TB of DDR3 at 1600MHZ, running all but 4GB as my RAM disk. The whole thing weighs like 80lbs and sounds like a jet landing.

Re:No Thanks (1)

Yo Grark (465041) | more than 2 years ago | (#40341147)

...... The whole thing weighs like 80lbs and sounds like a jet landing.

Just like my Sager 7280, can't idle without sounding like a jet engine!!!!

- Yo Grark

I've actually done that (4, Interesting)

Anubis350 (772791) | more than 2 years ago | (#40341737)

To win a competition at Supercomputing several years ago, to save power and enhance I/O speed we had an entire cluster running off a very lage ram disk on the headnode exported over IP over IB on QDR Infiniband to all our compute nodes. Since we couldn't use battery backup and couldn't back things up to the one hard drive in the cluster (the head node's boot drive) particularly often (and certainly not in the middle of data crunching, we did save results back to disk eventually) I spent the whole competition biting my nails (way back in 07 we actually had a power outage).

Re:No Thanks (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40340997)

We're getting pretty close. The new retina Macbooks have 30-day standby. 24-32 GB of RAM would fit OS X and some programs with enough left over for regular usage. If battery gets too low, just hibernate to SSD. I expect Apple to release this in 2 years. Only thing constraining them is the lack of high-density DRAM.

Re:No Thanks (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#40341127)

It works great until your transfer switch fucks up and you get a bunch of zeroes or massive bit rot.

Delt with a product that had just such a scheme. Fucker would corrupt files if the power supply so much as twitched.

Re:No Thanks (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40340825)

If I need bigbadstorage, I buy multiple SSDs.

I assume you have lots of money to spend on terabytes worth of SSDs. That's nice- but I'd say the majority of people don't have the money or if they do, probably don't want to spend it just to have all their storage be SSD.

While they might not go for Seagate's hybrid solution, having a mix of SSD (e.g. for the OS) and HDD (for larger, less frequently-used files, etc.) is a good compromise with today's prices.

I just wish someone would make 3.5" drives besides OCZ. Hell - I wish someone would make 5.25" drives.

Why- can't you just put the 2.5" models in an adaptor to fit a 3.5" or 5.25" port? Is form factor an issue with SSDs?

Re:No Thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40340933)

While they might not go for Seagate's hybrid solution, having a mix of SSD (e.g. for the OS) and HDD (for larger, less frequently-used files, etc.) is a good compromise with today's prices.

Exactly. My boot disk is a 128MB SSD. It contains Windows 7, drivers, and Skyrim.

My secondary drive is a 1TB non-hybrid SATA drive. It contains everything else. Because everything else isn't Skyrim, and doesn't need to be on SSD.

Why- can't you just put the 2.5" models in an adaptor to fit a 3.5" or 5.25" port? Is form factor an issue with SSDs?

Because people are derpy and illogical. This is an interesting question though - do subpar companies make SSDs without including 3.5" adapters? Mine came with one.

Re:No Thanks (2)

Johann Lau (1040920) | more than 2 years ago | (#40341041)

Skyrim and Windows 7, in 128 MB? Must be the warez and text versions respectively, I say... :P

Re:No Thanks (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#40341139)

He probably meant GB.

Re:No Thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40340975)

Why- can't you just put the 2.5" models in an adaptor to fit a 3.5" or 5.25" port? Is form factor an issue with SSDs?

I think what he wants is space to put extra flash chips in to get more capacity, rather than paying a premium to have denser flash chips.

Re:No Thanks (2)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 2 years ago | (#40342009)

Why- can't you just put the 2.5" models in an adaptor to fit a 3.5" or 5.25" port? Is form factor an issue with SSDs?

I built a machine a couple years ago with 4 SSD's in a gizmo that gave me 4 2.5" hot-swap bays in a 5.25" bay. 1 slow MLC for OS, 1 fast MLC for ZFS cache, and 2 SLC for a mirror for ZFS log.

That sat in front of 24 7200RPM Seagate 1.5GB SATA drives. Worked great except for the spinning rust failures. Wound up replacing most of the Seagates with 2TB Hitachis over time - they fail about 20% as often as the Seagates did.

At some point with enough disks in operation, the only question is how many drives are going to fail today. With Seagate's recent warranty eviceration, they've effectively doubled the price of drives. Un-did at least 18 months of Moore's Law, when costs are fully considered.

Re:No Thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40340895)

So do you have the capability to buy 8tb of SSD space on a whim? If so, why're you wasting your time on /.?

Full Disk Encryption (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40341021)

If you used the full disk encryption available in all modern OS, you wouldn't have to worry about erasing confidential files, and erasing the whole "disk" is easy: just forget the key.

-merv

Re:No Thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40341073)

What's the failure rate on SSD's though? Traditionally it has been very high if you're a power user (developer, etc).

I have tried 6 different SSD's over the years in a development workstation and not one lasted more than 6 months.

Re:No Thanks (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#40341145)

"-pipe" is your friend.

Re:No Thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40341449)

Yeah because making concessions and modifying your whole workflow is worth it to use shit technology.

Re:No Thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40341915)

Yeah because making concessions and modifying your whole workflow is worth it to use shit technology.

Adding -pipe to your CFLAGS is modifying your whole workflow? Wow.

Re:No Thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40341693)

That doesn't help intermediate .o files.

Technically with a buffer cache short-lived files should never hit the disk. The file could get created, written, read, and deleted all in memory, without the on-disk structure changing. But journaled filesystems thrash the drive with updates. That's why tmpfs is so popular on Linux these days, even though theoretically it's completely redundant given the unified buffer cache that Linux and other modern systems have.

Solution: don't use a journaled filesystem, at least for trees with lots of file operations. And then yell at the filesystem developers to stop regressing data performance. With proper filesystem support, you don't ever need tmpfs or swap. Both are poor fixes.

Re:No Thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40341719)

Who the hell uses swap in these days with 16+ GB RAM? You couldn't even swap a fraction of that without bringing your machine to its knees. Swap is useless.

Re:No Thanks (1)

smash (1351) | more than 2 years ago | (#40342105)

Oh i don't know, people with >16gb data sets? My vSphere nodes have 192gb of ram each. They still have swap.

Re:No Thanks (1)

Sabriel (134364) | more than 2 years ago | (#40341699)

What's the failure rate on SSD's though? Traditionally it has been very high if you're a power user (developer, etc).

Yeah, early SSDs were pretty crap in that department. It was all about the speed, screw the endurance.

However, I used to buy a lot of Seagate mechanical drives when I built systems, until their warranties on the models I was buying went from three years to *one* year. That did *not* inspire confidence. But meanwhile Intel started offering a 160GB SSD with a *five* year warranty. For some reason my customers don't seem to mind paying three times as much for (roughly) half the capacity when they get five times the warranty and a cold-to-desktop time under thirty seconds. :)

Admittedly, that's not for a dev machine, but if a big name like Intel is willing to offer a five year warranty on their SSDs, you might give them another try.

Re:No Thanks (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 2 years ago | (#40341973)

But meanwhile Intel started offering a 160GB SSD with a *five* year warranty. For some reason my customers don't seem to mind paying three times as much for (roughly) half the capacity when they get five times the warranty and a cold-to-desktop time under thirty seconds. :)

And since most Seagate drives fail within about 3 years, if you plan to keep that computer for 5 years, the hard drive price is double the list price. So, you're really at 1.5x rather than 2x cost for the SSD, plus the cost of the inconvenience of a hard drive crash.

I switched to Seagate when they went to a 5-year warranty, equivocated at a 3-year warranty, and now won't buy their product with a 1-year warranty. Speaking of which, I have a few failed drives I've been meaning to send in...

Re:No Thanks (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#40341205)

I just wish someone would make 3.5" drives besides OCZ. Hell - I wish someone would make 5.25" drives.

Why? You see an almost perfect scaling. The cost of 1x1024GB ~= 2x512GB ~= 4x256GB ~= 8x128GB. And since you can already put $2500 worth of flash in a 2.5" drive [newegg.com] , what do you need 3.5" drives for? $10,000 drives? Or 5.25", $100,000 drives? The way things are going it's more likely my next SSD would be a mSATA drive...

Re:No Thanks (1)

the_B0fh (208483) | more than 2 years ago | (#40341657)

err, have you seen how much 300GB+ SSDs cost? I just paid $900 for my samsung 512GB SSDs not too long ago. And the 1TB Octane is $2500.

Reliability (1)

ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 2 years ago | (#40341735)

So far the failure numbers for SSDs are pretty scary. I've been able to recovery data from plenty of drives before they totally failed but when an SSD decides to fail you're basically fucked.

Re:Reliability (1)

Hamsterdan (815291) | more than 2 years ago | (#40341811)

That's why you have backups... Seriously, I've used my Agility 2 for about a year in a XP machine (no trim) without disabling anything, and it's still humming along perfectly in my newer machine. Besides, I do backup on a regular basis (as anyone should do even with spinning platters). I wouldn't go back to platters for my OS drive.

Re:No Thanks (1)

smash (1351) | more than 2 years ago | (#40342087)

So in 2015 when i'm rocking a single 20tb spinning hybrid drive in my notebook, how are you going to match that with SSD?

Maybe, just maybe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40340679)

It could be that hybrid drives don't sell as well as SSDs because hybrid drives are largely pointless. There's nothing a hybrid drive is good for that you can't do just as well with an SSD, a traditional spinning magnet hard drive, and maybe a script to manage things.

Re:Maybe, just maybe... (2)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#40341341)

Or it could be that sporty conversions of standard sedans don't sell as well as actual sports cars. There's nothing a sporty sedan is good for that you can't do just as well with a sports car.

Or maybe, these are different products aimed at different markets?

Re:Maybe, just maybe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40341603)

There's nothing a sporty sedan is good for that you can't do just as well with a sports car.

Like, transporting four people...

Re:Maybe, just maybe... (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#40341763)

Yes, like holding more data.

Brilliant! (5, Funny)

stevenfuzz (2510476) | more than 2 years ago | (#40340693)

Poor Seagate "will double in sales from 1 million to 2 million units this year."... With that kind of tortoise slow 100% growth they must be so sad. Poor poor sad seagate. Seriously, I do not understand this article or what point it makes. Obviously if ONE company is selling a fairly new product in a sea of solid state drives, they are not going to immediately overtake the old technology, and I'm not sure how doing so is the only way to measure their success. Am I crazy here? Was this posted by a bored robot?

I'd rather have more GBs of RAM (2)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40340711)

Then it wouldn't matter how fast or slow the hard drive is, because there'd be no need for treating it like memory.
As for SSDs, I think they are too costly. A disk drive at 2 terabytes costs around $130. The same in an solid-state drive would be thousands of dollars.

Compare a 10-15k HDD to a 5400 rpm one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40340901)

OR, slower... THERE IS A DIFFERENCE, & a noticeable one (especially on initial seek/access + loads of files).

* One of the BIGGEST performance gainers on a systems' often overlooked, in faster harddisks (if not the usage of SSD's, which I am "holding off" on myself, because of their longevity & performance degradation I've heard tell of online).

Me?

Hey, here - It's ALL Western Digital 10k rpm SATA II Velociraptors here run from a Promise Ex-8350 PCI-e 128mb ECC RAM Caching RAID controller...

That's also in combination with a TRUE SSD, based on DDR-2 RAM over the PCI-e + SATA bus, in a 4gb Gigabyte IRAM where I store my:

---

1.) Pagefile.sys
2.) Print spooling
3.) %temp% + %tmp% environmental variables
4.) Apps like browsers I want INSTANT response from
5.) The %comspec% location (cmd.exe in Win7 64-bit)
6.) All logging (system eventlogs + app logging when configurable in apps or the OS itself)

---

& FAR more...

See, by doing that?

Well, it not only does all those things FASTER, but, it also OFFLOADS my WD velociraptors from those duties also, making it faster in essence (by lightening its workload).

APK

P.S.=> Basically, it's common-sense (compare laptops, even highend AlienWare ones, with a souped-up desktop with faster HDD's) - you'll note it right-off-the-bat!

Speed up the SLOWEST part of a personal computer or server, which traditionally IS harddisks? You gain noticeable improvements, immediately noticeable ones - no doubt about it... apk

Re:Compare a 10-15k HDD to a 5400 rpm one (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40341301)

>>>Speed up the SLOWEST part of a personal computer or server, which traditionally IS harddisks?

Eliminate the need to use the hard disk like pretend RAM and it doesn't matter if your HDD is slow as snails, because your computer will be doing all its work out of memory. (Ya know, like computers used to do back before HDDs were commonplace.) The ideal would be 0KB of pagefile on the HDD, and working completely out of DRAM.

Re:Compare a 10-15k HDD to a 5400 rpm one (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 2 years ago | (#40341561)

It will still need data from the hard disk, which is where you will still get slowdowns during boot, and on opening every new application and file...

Re:Compare a 10-15k HDD to a 5400 rpm one (1)

smash (1351) | more than 2 years ago | (#40342137)

How do you think data gets into and out of ram Einstein?

Vickie Mendoza Diagonal for SSDs (1)

snikulin (889460) | more than 2 years ago | (#40341177)

http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2011/05/the-hot-crazy-solid-state-drive-scale.html [codinghorror.com]

To quote the above:
Thing is, SSDs are so scorching hot that I'm willing to put up with their craziness.

Re:Vickie Mendoza Diagonal for SSDs (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40341245)

>>>Solid state hard drives are so freaking amazing performance wise, and the experience you will have with them is so transformative, that I don't even care if they fail every 12 months on average!
>>>
"A fool and his money are soon parted."
- Thomas Tusser.
This guy's wasting thouands of dollars ond rive she KNOWS will fail. In contrast I've spent about $200 on external USB disk drives. None of have died, but even if they did die, I only lost a little bit of money not 10x that amount on SSDs.

I am seriously considering going full SSD (1)

rsborg (111459) | more than 2 years ago | (#40340721)

I currently have a 750GB HD and 60GB SSD in my middle-aged Macbook Pro, which is doing fantastic, but with the recently low price of the 512GB Crucial M4 [1] which is now $.80/GB, I can ditch the spinning rust, archive some media to my large-ish NAS (this is not that painful even with large files using a dual-band N router), and be completely silent.

[1] http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004W2JL3Y/ref=s9_simh_gw_p147_d2_g147_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-3&pf_rd_r=1ZFFKPT8NRYNA8KW97AW&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=470938811&pf_rd_i=507846 [amazon.com]

Re:I am seriously considering going full SSD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40340919)

Ooft, that still seems a bit of a large purchase.

In all honesty, do you really need such a large SSD, especially if you have a NAS setup?
I guess it really depends, I mean you could be editing large videos or something for all I know, so the expense probably actually would be worth it in this case.

For me, I'd say 60-100GB would be fine for development and OS drive. (software, graphics, basic audio and video, games)
Then a basic RAID which could be turned on or off at will, to prevent those awful cases where programs access discs and spin them up! WHY?!
NAS for archival of other media. Sorted.
And can't forget a lot of RAM and a virtual RAM Drive for ultimate speed. Few scripts to load files directly to it on login, fastest your motherboard could probably ever handle. With that fast SSD, an archive of packages on there and these scripts, you could have a stupidly fast environment for development, gaming or whatever. Just like my Linuxes. (admittedly that was a Live disc... )
I think I could likely get it for that SSDs price. Working on it now.

Re:I am seriously considering going full SSD (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#40340953)

I have the 512 GB SSD in the main drive slot of my MBP and a 1 TB Magnetic drive in the space where the super drive used to be.

Hard to beat in a laptop. A few years ago, I would have killed for that kind of storage in a desktop.....

Re:I am seriously considering going full SSD (1)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40341833)

I have dual 120GB SSDs in this MacBook Pro (is that a "self-reference?) in RAID0 [1]. It's pretty fast. Not enough storage, though, and maxxed-out to 8GB.
[1] Yes, it's backed-up.

What about 1.8"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40340751)

1.8" is still a viable tech, and for very small form-factors like laptops and tablets, they'd be very useful for also fitting in an SSD cacher unit to the drive for hybridization.

With the techniques of today applied to the smaller drives, a decent amount of space could be fit in to those little things, anywhere up to around 250~ roughly, and that is just my estimates, they could well take it further.
That for a portable solution would be perfectly fine. My netbook has less storage space in a larger casing!

Re:What about 1.8"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40341069)

Bah, that description was awful.

Note that I mean slapping a 1.8" platter array in to a 2.5" casing along with an SSD cache.
Entirely doable.

I've seen a few 1.8" drives still on the market, marketed as a larger flash drive, basically.
Also, it seems they actually have got rather large sizes already. 320GB I saw from Googling. Impressive.
Something like this would be absolutely perfect in a portable setup. I'd certainly get one.
If I also had fine control over which folders or even files were whitelisted for caching or blacklisted entirely, this would be perfect.

I don't understand why HDD makers don't do it (3, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 2 years ago | (#40340799)

We love those little Seagate drives at work, put them in laptops all over. They are a great way to get plenty of storage for not too much money and still have decent performance. No they don't compare to real SSDs, but neither does the price.

Heck I use SSDs and I still have one. My new laptop has a 256GB SSD for the OS and apps drive, and a 750GB Seagate HHDD for data. Reason is those suckers perform like desktop harddrives. I'll spend the bit extra for the cache to have good performance, but it isn't feasible for me to go all SSD, just too much money (I play with audio that involved a few hundred GB of samples).

Re:I don't understand why HDD makers don't do it (1)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40341853)

When the bits explode from a rotating drive you always have the option of collecting them manually from the inside of the case and re-assembling via backup. You cannot do this with SSD.

pff (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40340861)

whatever: SSDs are crap. Try doing more then one thing at a time! We got a looong way to go before THIS FUD actually starts makign sence.

Makes more sense to have separate drives (3, Interesting)

proxima (165692) | more than 2 years ago | (#40340917)

SSDs and hard drives fail in different ways, so it doesn't make much sense to me to combine them into one physical unit. Having both in one system does make a lot of sense, however, and making intelligent use of them isn't all that hard.

Put your OS and basically all applications on the SSD. RAM is cheap, so unless you're doing something unusual you should not be hitting the SSD for swap. Documents and other small but important data can go on the SSD as well. Larger media, like movies, music, and large photo collections, go on the hard drive. The hard drive can act as the first backup for the SSD as well (but not the only backup, of course). I get that companies like Seagate want to have software figure out an optimal mix of where to store data based on usage, but I'm not sure that's such a huge advantage. SSD lifespan can be extended by reducing writes, and storing mostly applications there can really cut down on those, versus using it as a large cache.

On a desktop, having these as separate physical devices is straightforward and very useful. If one starts to die (likely the hard drive), it can be replaced without affecting the other. An added bonus is that either the SSD or the HD could be upgraded separately as you need or as components become cheaper.

On a laptop, things are trickier. Most modern laptops only have one hard drive slot, but it wouldn't be hard to keep a traditional hard drive slot and include, say, 64 GB of SSD on a small chip. Apple does this with most of their Macbook line now; an unfortunate side effect is that proprietary sizing or connectors make third party replacement more difficult, but there's no reason that your standard non-Apple companies have to go that way. There are already several SSDs in the 1.8" form factor, which should be reasonable to fit alongside the standard 2.5" hard drive form factor. A setup like this would be much better than a hybrid disk with a measly 4GB of flash; you're better off making greater use of suspend on your laptop and spending a little more to bump up your RAM.

What other manufacturers? (4, Informative)

xlsior (524145) | more than 2 years ago | (#40340943)

"more manufacturers will need to produce them" ? Somehow I doubt that's going to make much of a difference, given that we're down to just three companies in the world that manufacture spinning platter HDD's at all at this point in time: Western Digital, Seagate, and Toshiba.

In the recent past, Hitachi's HDD division was bought by Western Digital, and Samsung's HDD branch was bought by Seagate.
On top of that, Toshiba only makes 2.5" drives, which means Seagate only has one competitor left in the 3.5" market.

Re:What other manufacturers? (1)

twistofsin (718250) | more than 2 years ago | (#40341115)

I didn't know Hitachi's HDD division was bought out by WD. This perplexes me because WD has a decent RMA process while Hitachi's is pure shit.

Re:What other manufacturers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40341227)

What does that have to do with anything?

Re:What other manufacturers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40341231)

I didn't know Hitachi's HDD division was bought out by WD. This perplexes me because WD has a decent RMA process while Hitachi's is pure shit.

Hitachi has a decent Enterprise 2.5" drive while WD's is pure shit.

Re:What other manufacturers? (1)

ub3r n3u7r4l1st (1388939) | more than 2 years ago | (#40341549)

The velociraptor without the heatsink is the best 2.5" enterprise drive from WD.

MacBook Pro! (-1, Troll)

TheMiddleRoad (1153113) | more than 2 years ago | (#40340979)

I can't put one of these hybrids in my new retina MacBook Pro! I'm so pissed!

I blame the Jews.

Great for larger storage needs... (2)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#40340999)

SSD's are not going to be that great for a LONG time, for those that need large amounts of storage.

I have been doing a lot of digital photography for a while - I have three 2TB drives for RAW files, and one 3TB drive for a photo library.

Not to mention I REALLY have 3x that, so I can maintain a mirror and an offsite backup.

If nothing else large drives still make tons of sense for backup, so Seagate cornering the market on better forms of what are inherently secondary drives seems like an intelligent move.

Build a decent memory hierarchy (1)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 2 years ago | (#40341043)

Large main memory so there's always plenty of memory free, decent sized SSD as a cache, caching SW, and a HD RAID subsystem at the backend. That's how we've been doing it on big iron for years. Now if a hybrid HD had a couple 100GB SSD and a few GB of RAM we could talk. Otherwise your hit rate is just too low.

hybrids? just a Prius thanks. (1)

pbjones (315127) | more than 2 years ago | (#40341293)

hybrids have had their time. The mass market wants SSD in their device and access to large cap HDs either via a cloud or networked RAID/storage. It makes sense because the average buyer either has multiple devices is often part of a work/family group that shares data and apps. Although it's nice to carry around a device with big storage, most of may storage is elsewhere and I'm happy with that.

Performance? (2)

DogDude (805747) | more than 2 years ago | (#40341601)

I still don't understand the whole performance thing. I can stream DVD quality video and write to my current HD's at the same time. Why would I possibly need to go faster than that? Besides... I like the massive storage that's so cheap now!

Re:Performance? (2)

Junta (36770) | more than 2 years ago | (#40341889)

You talk about streaming performance, which hard disks are perfectly fine at (some SSDs are faster than the fastest HDDs, but by and large that's not the type of storage load that SSDs are interesting for). SSDs have orders of magnitude lower access time. So if IOs are kind of all over the place (common in random os/application activity, games with lots of textures, etc), things work out well. Same reason people sweat fragmentation so much on HDD. On SSDs, fragmentation really doesn't matter.

Some also just like storage that doesn't make whirring and clicky noises and can accomodate peculiar form factors that spinning platters don't play well in.

Hybrid discs just aren't that useful... (1)

jafo (11982) | more than 2 years ago | (#40341607)

I looked seriously at hybrid discs around a year ago, and basically ignored them when I found that they only use the NAND portion for read caching, not write acceleration... With the exception of the initial boot, which I'm not that interested in since I suspend and usually only boot my laptop once a month, it seems like you're better off adding 4GB of RAM to your box rather than using a hybrid drive. At least for my rare reboot case.

Call Me a Dummy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40341677)

Maybe I'm a fool but I would think the desktop market is still large enough to more than support Seagate's hybrid product. I'm not ready to bury the desktop yet as i like them.

Re:Call Me a Dummy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40341991)

Hi Dummy!

Bad News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40341713)

While it's hard to see their 100%/year growth as bad news, if we assume it's bad news, it must be because the some of public is starting to realize that hybrid drives are basically a stupid idea which don't give you a very good price/performance ratio: both HDs and SSDs beat it, so you've kind of got to be an idiot to buy one.

OTOH there's a lot of idiots out there, so we're back to the 100% growth thing.

I have to agree; there isn't really any bad news for Seagate here.

SSD's are awesome (1)

erp_consultant (2614861) | more than 2 years ago | (#40341745)

I upgraded my laptop with an SSD and I'd never go back to a conventional hard drive. The speed increase is immense. Prices seem to be coming down as well so the hybrid drive is probably painted itself into a corner.

Re:SSD's are awesome (1)

CheshireDragon (1183095) | more than 2 years ago | (#40341975)

I have to agree. SSDs are dropping price rather well. Crucial has 2 drives on sale, a 128GB and a 64GB, in my area. The prices are 90$ and 60$, respectively. I currently have an AMD FX 8120 8-core w/16GB RAM on a SATA 3GB magnetic drive. I can only imagine next month when I get an SSD that it will scream blindingly fast through any apps I throw at it.

Weak technical justification (2)

Tough Love (215404) | more than 2 years ago | (#40341761)

The technical argument for combining flash and spinning media in a single package is weak to nonexistent. It is far better to have the devices at different levels in the storage hierarchy separate and fully under control of the OS and applications, and have both devices be cheaper. The use case for spinning media in portable devices is vanishing fast and increasingly you will only see spinning media in online archive setups and huge databases. There is no advantage whatsoever to combining flash and spinning media in those setups, and only disadvantages like mismatched media lifetime.

Warranty? (2)

Jager Dave (1238106) | more than 2 years ago | (#40342033)

The fact that I found out - the hard way - that Seagate's warranty starts when their product(s) leave the factory - NOT when you actually purchase is. I purchased a Seagate drive, which failed two years later, and I attempted to call upon the "Five Year Warranty" - but oh, apparently NewEgg had said drive sitting on their shelves for three years (NOT knocking NewEgg - I love NewEgg and will for many more decades) - but Seagate considers THEIR warranty to start when it walks out the door, as opposed to when it was purchased. BOYCOTT Seagate, until they stop this silly warranty concept - it's the only major manufacturer that I know of that considers their warranty to start when their product leaves the factory, as opposed to when it is SOLD....

They're a niche (2)

smash (1351) | more than 2 years ago | (#40342057)

... and I'm one of the people who fit in that niche.

Given the choice between a single 500gb SSD and 2x 750gb hybrid drives, guess what I'll be taking. SSD is still too expensive for the capacity for some people - and for the price or less you can have "almost as fast" with fault tolerance.

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