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Windows Vista: Ready for ReadyDrive

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Reading data off of mechanical hard disks is an expensive operation since it is, well, a mechanical process that involves a very large number of seeks to gather data into a useful (contiguous) form.


Here, we meet Architect Ruston Panabaker who is on a team of talented hardware-oriented folks that have built native support into Windows Vista for hybrid hard drives. Hybrid hard drive? What's that? Tune in and learn. You'll also get to see how great Windows Vista can perform on a machine with one of these new types of hard drives. Most cool. 

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  • ChadkChadk excuse me - do you has a flavor?
    Wow, this is really amazing stuff. 44sec to 26sec, just from the hybrid drive. And if you enabled super fetch/readyboost, or what it is called, this will increase performence on Vista, really nicely.

    I think the hardware guys are doing some real good stuff.

    I cant wait till Vista RTM. I really think its gonna blow us away, with all that speed Cool

    This have really huge potential. When the price for, for instance, for 1gb units, you could, in many cases, actually store all your data, from your "Users" folder, that contains all documents and stuff.

    Is there any info on, how much power can you save, from using this hybrid drives?

    With the new Core 2 Duo chips, that underclock themself drasticly, and are 65nm, and use next to no power, when on idle, this is really looking good.

    Also, it seems like an ATA interface, and i think he said they actually had ATA interface.

    What are the chances that we will see a SATA 2 interface? If that is gonna happen, i will buy a such drive, once they are out, for my vista system for sure.

    Also, would it be an idea, to store the index of the harddrive(In context of the indexing service in vista), in the hybrid part of the drive?
  • I love this stuff!  I can seem some differences between ReadyDrive and ReadyBoost - such as wanting your hibernate file in flash that can't be removed from the machine - but otherwise, they seem similar.  Are there any other differences?

    -Joey
  • joeypruett wrote:
    I love this stuff!  I can seem some differences between ReadyDrive and ReadyBoost - such as wanting your hibernate file in flash that can't be removed from the machine - but otherwise, they seem similar.  Are there any other differences?

    -Joey
    I'd think the main advantage of ReadyBoost is that you can leverage it with a reasonably fast USB stick and probably just about any relatively modern computer. You can't use ReadyDrive unless you have a hybrid drive.
  • Regarding the ability for OEMs to choose which applications are cached, is there a way for users to modify or shutoff this feature? I'm sorry if it seems rather cynical, but previous examples of letting OEMs control the software experience have been less than encouraging.
  • BryanF wrote:
    Regarding the ability for OEMs to choose which applications are cached, is there a way for users to modify or shutoff this feature? I'm sorry if it seems rather cynical, but previous examples of letting OEMs control the software experience have been less than encouraging.


    It was metnioned in the video that this will be controlled through registry settings, so yes this is configurable.  He gave an example of being able to add LOB apps to the list of cached apps.
  • nmarcelnmarcel How much near The Singularity is?

    It makes me think ... Smiley

    Today I can buy a 300GB hardisk at low cost, but still the mechanical factor makes it slow for loading Windows, VisualStudio, games and so on...  Year by year the disk is bigger, but is not so faster.  Mad

    So... thinking in year 2012 I hope not to have a market with 10TB disks still suffering with the "impedance mismatch" (if i can say it) of mechanical pieces. I would preffer to have a 100GB storage device, but purely electronic, fast and persistent. Tongue Out

    Anybody knows if that kind of technology exists today, at least as a protoype? I mean...  somenthing like a beyond-flash memory. Where are the links/articles about them?

    I think the hard disk (for day-to-day working) should be the next piece on a museum, following the CRTs and Diskettes. Smiley

  • SecretSoftwareSecret​Software Code to live, but Live to code.

     

    this is cool. But I think the real solution to the Hard-drive performance problem is to have hard drives with multi-reader heads, that will enable multiple queries or read/write operations happening simultanously. So, one can have a drive with a circular readors mounted on top of the hard drive surface, and these multiple heads will do the read write as the surface is spinning. So like a circle (heads circle ) on top of the actual surface (on top could be ont he top surface or bottom surface or both). So you have these heads organized in a circle on top or on the bottom surfaces of the actual drive surface doing Read/Write operations concurrently. This in addition to the hybrid idea can improve the performance significantly. Would not that be the case?

     

    But cool Video. And the sound quality of this video is super.

  • nbradshawnbradshaw Where Ever the Wind Blows...
    Impressive stuff!:O

    This maybe vista only hardware at the moment but you can just see other parties stepping upto the plate to take advantage of this (as much as is feasable) in XP, unless MS provides this first.
  • Jack PoisonJack Poison At what price, Freedom?
    I wonder how long it will take Apple or any of the Open Source OS's to utilize these features.

  • cwilliams1145 wrote:
    It was metnioned in the video that this will be controlled through registry settings, so yes this is configurable. He gave an example of being able to add LOB apps to the list of cached apps.
    Well, I guess what I was really getting at is how hard is it going to be few the user to correct this optimization? Will I have to comb through the registry manually? Or will there be a software explorer similar to those in Defender?
  • Jack Poison wrote:
    I wonder how long it will take Apple or any of the Open Source OS's to utilize these features.



    part of me hopes that Microsoft has a patent on this new tech to prevent others from using it. make the other OS's think of something for them self.
  • nmarcel wrote:
    

    Anybody knows if that kind of technology exists today, at least as a protoype? I mean...  somenthing like a beyond-flash memory. Where are the links/articles about them?



    Try a search for 'PRAM' or phase-change RAM.

    http://www.samsung.com/PressCenter/PressRelease/PressRelease.asp?seq=20060911_0000286481

    In terms of sheer economy (bytes/$), electronic memory isn't going to overtake magnetic memory for quite some time. However, PRAM promises to be comparable in speed and durability to system RAM but non-volatile (persistent) like flash RAM and supposedly even more scalable (currently you can get 16G flash drives).

  • I don't understand why this would/should be limited to Vista... This seems like the caching should be controlled in the drive firmware rather than the OS.

    I would expect that you will soon see the cache utilization built right into the drive firmware so you get the same benefits of a flash cached hard drive.

    This is not much different from SQL servers cache. The main difference is that you are using non-volitile ram rather than dram... so on power off the cache remains and can be used for booting as well. But, Personally, I leave my PC on all the time, so boot up time isn't a big deal.

    BOb

  • Chadk wrote:
    

    With the new Core 2 Duo chips, that underclock themself drasticly, and are 65nm, and use next to no power, when on idle, this is really looking good.


    Even better will be when we have more options is giong AMD for notebooks. The Intel versions are always slower and kick out more heat, yet they still seem to have a stranglehold on the laptop end of the market - at least 99% of those WORTH buying!
  • Refrax wrote:
    
    part of me hopes that Microsoft has a patent on this new tech to prevent others from using it. make the other OS's think of something for them self.


    Not sure about patents. There probably are some, but likely just for defensive purposes. The technology uses ATA commands to control the cache.
  • How will Hybrid hard drive technology work out with striping RAID setups?

  • figuerresfiguerres ???
    in the vid they talk about memory amounts that seem small to me.

    with the cost of flash dropping so fast and the small size I'd think they might build say a 1-4 gig flash buffer for not much more than the cost of a 256-512 one.

    I see listings for 4 gig drives with the usb plug and packaging for less than 75 bucks, so in raw form 4 gigs must not cost too much?
    esp if your a major OEM building millions of drives...

  • This is really one of my favorite Vista wave features. Even though it's only maybe minutes lost per day waiting for my laptop hdd, it just feels so long and it's still short enough to not be able to do much while waiting for the io to happen.

    I really hope these come available asap!
  • Hey Chadk,

    To answer your question about SATA 2:  these drives will come in both PATA and SATA varieties.  In fact, I would expect mostly SATA (and SATA 2) based drives moving forward.

     

    Ruston

  • adnanrafikadnanrafik Adnan Rafik
    It's kool. It will really boost the system bootup and increase in the system performance but on the other side people those who are already using the laptops will need to rmove their laptops or just need to replace the HDD and OS?

    Shall this new hardisk work with existing Intel boards?

    From the business point of this will really increase th business for both MS and HDD manufacturer too, but the touhg part for the Consultant when they have to convince the client to buy the new OS because no body wants to change the OS every 2-3 years and have to pay more. People don't want to invest again and again. Actually they don't understand the software. When they pay for th hardware they get smething which is physical but for the software they don't understand.

    I must say that this feature should be for PCs, laptops, servers and handhelds too. And as they mentioned in the video that Flashdisk price are reducing half and size increasing double every year. So this gonna help alot.

    Thanks to Vitsa/Windows Performance Team. You really did a good job cand thanks for Channel9 to brining this kind of infromation inside from Microsoft because today this viewo helped me to convince my client to go for Vista and what feature he can utilize and this was one of them.

    Smiley

  • What is the advantage of putting the cache in the HDD instead of on either the motherboard or a normal SATA connection?

    To me, the disadvantage seems to be that you can't freely decide the size of the flash and can't add/remove the flash at a later time.

  • William Staceystaceyw Before C# there was darkness...
    Naturally, this could turn DB design on its ear.  With this, you could design a true OO DB that does not store tables or records, but just uses native .Net objects and collections.  Tables would be collections and objects rows and properties would be columns.  When the data in the RAM-disk needs needs to be written, it is not serialized per say, but just the memory image is written and retrieved in native memory format.  So your always dealing with .Net objects and no conversion issues.  LINQ becomes the DB language with no SQL conversion required.  Indexes and such would always be kept in the RAM-disk thing.  The whole object ref thing may need some fudging behind the covers - not sure.   Or maybe the VM manager would abstract that anyway.
  • Hi Ruston,

    It's Devon - amazing that I came across this interview of yours conducting research on mobile storage systems...

    Congrats - sounds like a great innovation - I'd imagine this hybrid technology will be the magic bullet to enabling the upcoming terabyte drives to perform adequately even with extensive fragmentation.

    Question - has this technology been designed to work in conjunction with RAID 5 (among others) to max peformance in both stripped sets and mirrored sets and combinations thereof?  Could this point to a new RAID possibility or a new standard altogether?  Any hints you can pass over the NDA? Wink

    Aside from that - how the heck are you????
    A very long time indeed - I'm currently working as an IT Project Manager and Business Systems Analyst in the Scottish Borders, UK...

    Love to hear from you sometime and catch up on what has transpired since J.D...

    drop me a line at devon.leslie@gmail.com
    Skype: devon.leslie

    Best of luck on the launch - please give my best to anyone you still may be in contact with...

    Regards,
    Devon.

  • That's great but that technology is already available for other platforms to take advantage of. ie. Linux/Mac. The real question that the Channel 9 interviewer should have asked. Is how does this line up next to the competition. That really is the most important thing to know. For instance, how does it line up next to Intel's Turbo Memory (Robson cache/memory). And we know that hard drive manufacturers aren't going to make their new hydbrid drives cheap. So why not leave it up to the vendor. As said in the interview by the interviewee himself, it would be ideal to have these technologies seperately in smaller devices (for design and cost points). For these same reasons it would also be of benefit to larger devices, even desktop computers to use a split flash memory/hard drive system. All in all, for the time being Intel's Turbo Memory (Robson) is winning the race due to a larger cache. (ie. 256meg Hybrid vs 1 gig Turbo Memory) Please refer to this write up: http://apcmag.com/6197/lenovo_s_plan_for_double_disk_notebooks Other sites are stating that Intels 'Santa Rosa' chipset (which is the first to take advantage of such NAND Flash Memory cache) could start as high as 4 gig. So I'd like to see what hybrids have to match against that.

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