SSDs & HDDs Join Forces
Even though a merger is designed to bring together the best aspects of two products or companies, creating an even better final result, such combinations rarely come with a guarantee of success. Consider the AOL-Time Warner merger from 10 years ago: Not exactly a blockbuster success, and the corporate couple recently underwent a divorce.
Many times, though, mergers work out as planned. Consider Disney and Pixar, which has been a win for both companies, with Exhibit A being the “Toy Story” franchise.
OCZ Technology is bringing a merger mentality to the hard drive market, with its OCZ RevoDrive Hybrid drive, which pairs a 100GB SSD with a 1TB HDD for less than $500. With that kind of power and price, the RevoDrive Hybrid fits nicely into the enthusiast class.
“With the RevoDrive Hybrid, our aim was to create an all-in-one, high-performance hybrid solution, delivering SSD-like performance without sacrificing storage capacity,” says Tobias Brinkmann, OCZ’s Director of Product Management, Caching & Hybrid Division.
Hard disk drive technology long has been the primary storage option for computers. Recently, though, solidstate drives have advanced to the point where they can start to challenge hard drives as a primary storage device, under certain circumstances.
The big advantage of SSDs is they can work much faster than an HDD, while HDDs cost far less per gigabyte of storage than SSDs.
By putting an SSD with a 2.5-inch HDD, as OCZ has done with the RevoDrive Hybrid, the SSD can handle data that the system needs for the fastest access, while the HDD can handle the data that’s used less frequently. Essentially, the RevoDrive Hybrid is part flash memory, part traditional hard drive.
“SSD is one the fastest growing technologies in today’s IT market, both on the consumer and enterprise side,” Brinkmann says. “In some segments, the SSD adoption will increase as much as 10 times by 2015, and along that growth, we will see the number of hybrid drives increase dramatically, as well.”
The RevoDrive Hybrid is contained on a PCI Express card, making it easy to install. Using PCI-E for the RevoDrive Hybrid was an easy choice, Brinkmann says.
“Our expertise on developing cuttingedge PCI-E solutions enabled us to develop a hybrid solution, which we believe is nothing short of revolutionary in performance, price per gigabyte, and overall features,” Brinkmann says.
OCZ’s First Hybrid
The RevoDrive Hybrid is OCZ’s first HDD-SDD merger, and OCZ brought it to the market a little over a year after beginning the research and development phase. Brinkmann says the RevoDrive Hybrid allows OCZ to serve several new market segments. He says about 20% of computer users currently have storage between 500GB and 1TB, while another 10% have storage of 1TB or more.
“The need for capacity keeps increasing while users are demanding high performance for their applications at the same time, and the RevoDrive Hybrid is currently the only product that can live up to these expectations,” Brinkmann says. “There have been a lot of promises from vendors in the past, and most have failed, because they were unable to deliver performance at the right price. Our belief is that timing is everything, and the timing is finally right. NAND is now inexpensive enough to create a good-sized cache, and, combined with the right cache driver, can deliver optimal performance for a range of users.”
So far, all indications suggest that the RevoDrive Hybrid is a successful SSDHDD merger. Whether it will be as successful as the pairing of Buzz Lightyear and Woody remains to be seen, but the RevoDrive Hybrid has plenty of potential.