Feeds

MS seeks to merge Flash, HDD storage

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

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration

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

Best practices for enterprise data

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft's Euro cloud darkens: US FEDS can dig into foreign servers
They're not emails, they're business records, says court
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
VMware builds product executables on 50 Mac Minis
And goes to the Genius Bar for support
Multipath TCP speeds up the internet so much that security breaks
Black Hat research says proposed protocol will bork network probes, flummox firewalls
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Microsoft says 'weird things' can happen during Windows Server 2003 migrations
Fix coming for bug that makes Kerberos croak when you run two domain controllers
Cisco says network virtualisation won't pay off everywhere
Another sign of strain in the Borg/VMware relationship?
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?