Feeds

MS seeks to merge Flash, HDD storage

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

Here's a question hard drive makers are often asked: when will your products be replaced by Flash storage? So far, Flash has failed to match the price:capacity ratio delivered by the HDD guys, but the question still gets asked.

However, if Microsoft has its way, come the arrival of 'Longhorn' - the next major Windows release - both forms of storage will have come together.

Essentially, Microsoft wants HDD vendors to build in banks of NAND Flash chips to act as large scale cache memory thus speeding the time data takes to get off the drive and into RAM and - crucially - cutting the need to keep the drive spinning and thus the power it consumes.

The power factor is less of an issue for desktops, but it's certainly a matter of concern for notebook users.

Longhorn will feature a technology called 'SuperFetch' which essentially does what a modern processor does but on a large scale. SuperFetch predicts what data the OS is going to need next and calls it up ahead of time, storing the received but as-yet-unrequired data in main memory.

Main memory is the best place for it, but in a notebook there's the risk that the battery will cut out and the data written to the cache will be lost. Placing the cache in non-volatile Flash memory near to the hard drive solves the problem.

Right now, Microsoft staffers emphasise that the scheme is merely an internal research "project", but that hasn't stopped the company approaching hard drive vendors about the idea. So far, it has begun talking to two major vendors, ExtremeTech reports. The story notes that drives with embedded Flash are some years away, but then so, we'd add, is Longhorn... ®

Related stories

M-Systems ships $40k 90GB Flash drive
Toshiba debuts dinky 100GB disk
300GB drive: now it's Fujitsu's turn
Hitachi blows its own 300GB trumpet
Western Digital to end HDD part code confusion
Hitachi to boost 1in HDD output
Toshiba preps sub-1in HDD

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
The DRUGSTORES DON'T WORK, CVS makes IT WORSE ... for Apple Pay
Goog Wallet apparently also spurned in NFC lockdown
Cray-cray Met Office spaffs £97m on VERY AVERAGE HPC box
Only 250th most powerful in the world? Bring back Michael Fish
Microsoft brings the CLOUD that GOES ON FOREVER
Sky's the limit with unrestricted space in the cloud
'ANYTHING BUT STABLE' Netflix suffers BIG Europe-wide outage
Friday night LIVE? Nope. The only thing streaming are tears down my face
Google roolz! Nest buys Revolv, KILLS new sales of home hub
Take my temperature, I'm feeling a little bit dizzy
IBM, backing away from hardware? NEVER!
Don't be so sure, so-surers
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.