SSD Caching for everybody's big honkin' C drive, that'd sure be nice

Posted by Paul Braren on Feb 16 2012 in
  • Storage
  • Are you also yearning for a simple Windows 7 x64 SSD caching software package, one that'd work with any laptop or desktop brand, with any brand of SSD? Even better, no add-on RAID adapter required. Just pop in an SSD and install the software, and you've got the average user's large C: drive accelerated. No tuning required.

    Instead, what we seem to be seeing a lot of lately are proprietary bundles, such as:

    Corsair using Nvelo Software for Accelerator Series
    SanDisk acquires FlashSoft (enterprise, VMware compatible SSD caching FlashSoft SE-V)
    HighPoint RocketStor SMART RAID  
    OCZ Synapse Cache SSD by Dataplex

    and a similar offering (that I've used with great results so far for gZilla:
    Intel Smart Response Technology (Z68 motherboard with any brand SSD)

    and a Linux software only package for any SSD:
    Velobit SSD Cache Software (for Linux only, coming soon)

    and enterprise stuff like STEC EnhanceIO for servers.

    So, when will somebody actually release a separate Windows package? Perhaps never, since it seems the software vendors find it more lucrative to pair up with an SSD manufacturer.

    I guess I'd be more comfortable if the operating system itself contained robust SSD caching algorithms, rather than a variety of 3rd parties.

    • Imagine Windows 8, Windows 8 Server, VMware ESXi, and Microsoft Hyper-V, with SSD like performance on large datastores (think Storage Spaces Turbo).
    • Now imagine they all allow you to use any SSD or even multiple SSDs as cache, even for your bootable 3TB main boot drive.
    • Imagine support for all form factors, including today's SATA2, SATA3, mSATA, PCI, or tomorrow's Thunderbolt.

    Pipe dream, I know. Just sayin'. Maybe by 2014.

    But hopefully by then, pure SSD is affordable, even for multiple terabytes of personal cloud data. If that's the way we're headed, we'll looking back on 2012 as the strange year of hybrid storage stop-gaps. You know, as we drive our pure electric vehicles around.