Drive To Discover
Solid state drives gain popularity
REDWOOD CITY, CA (KGO) -- First came the hybrid car, now comes the hybrid computer. This week, MySpace became the first big Web company to use the new technology to replace hard disk drives. "Solid State Drives" also promise faster downloads for Web users.
In big data centers, the big deals are energy and speed. In row after row at San Francisco's United Layer data center there are 10,000 of the solid state disk drives. In modern data center like that, there can be as many as 2 million hard drives. That means if you can save even a little bit of energy or increase speed just a tiny bit, it's a big deal.
But, here's the rock and the hard place: Random Access Memory chips take the least time to access data, but cost more money. Disk drives cost less, but they are slower than chip memory. For the first time, there is a third option: Solid State Storage.
"It's NAND Flash," explains David Flynn, President and Cofounder of Fusion-io. "The same stuff that you use in thumb drives. And, it's now the media for digital cameras and everything. What's different about it is that we make a massive array of it."
"It's not going to replace disk drives, and it's not going to replace RAM. What it will do, is it will allow both of those to do what they do best."
David Flynn's company Fusion-io of Utah and Redwood City is the big player in this new space. Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak was so impressed he joined the company as Chief Science Officer. Apple is one of a few companies offering solid state storage in personal computers. But, the technology is still very expensive.
Ed Buck's company, United Layers, hosts many of the biggest companies on the Web. He says, "In the next 3 to 5 years, you'll see prices come down and you'll see a lot more use of solid state drives. And actually, a lot of our customers have already begun using a lot of solid state drives in their servers."
Elsewhere, MySpace estimates that this solid state technology saves it $10,000 a month in electricity and has cut its carbon footprint in half. What this means for consumers is more and faster video for example, and much less power consumption.
That sounds like a solid state of affairs.
drive to discover
- Frigid temperatures grip Bay Area, break records 21 min ago
- At 50, new-look Mustang still has plenty of muscle
- Teen found murdered in 1994 ID'd as Pacifica girl 29 min ago
- Third day ends without finding missing SJ CEO
- Officer-involved shooting shuts down I-5
- 50 people displaced by San Leandro apartment fire
- Fast-food strikes return amid push for wage hikes
- Libyan officials say US teacher killed in Benghazi
- Northern California couple has rare triplets
- 3 Good Samaritans honored for Alameda water rescue
- Lost wallet returned to little boy with note from Santa
- abcnews: Who's getting early Oscar buzz?
- roundup: Former SF supe sued; New Sebastopol mayor
- weather: Bay Area weather forecast for Thursday