This follows the first of a two-part series on my latest experiences with Hybrid Hard Disk Drives (HHDD’s) and Solid State Devices (SSD’s). In my ongoing last momentus moment post I discussed what I have done with HHDD’s and setting the stage for expanded SSD use. I have the newer HHDD’s, e.g. Seagate Momentus XT II 750GB (8GB SLC nand flash) installed and have since bought another from Amazon as well as having some of the older 500GB (4GB SLC nand flash) in various systems. Those are all functioning great, however still waiting and looking forward to the rumored firmware enhancements to boost write capabilities.
This brings me up to the latest momentus moment which now includes SSD’s.
Well its two years later and I now have a 256GB (usable capacity is lower) Samsung SSD that I bought from Amazon.com and installed in one of my laptops and just as when I made the first switch to HHDD’s, I also have a backup copy/clone to fall back to in case of emergency.
Was it worth the wait? Yes, particularly using the HHDD’s to bridge the gap and enable some productivity gain which more than paid for them based on some different projects. I’m already seeing productivity improvements that will make future upgrades more easy to justify (to myself).
I deviated from my strategy a bit and installed the SSD about six months earlier than I was planning to do so because of a physical barrier. That physical barrier was my new traveling laptop only accepts 7mm height 2.5 inch small form factor devices and the 750GB HHDD that I had planned on installing was 2.5mm to thick which pushed up the SSD installation.
What will become of the 750GB HHDD? Its being redeployed to help speed up file serving, backups and other functions.
Will I replace the HHDD’s in my other workstations and laptops now with SSD’s? Across the board no, not yet, however there is one other system that is a prime candidate to maybe upgrade in a month or two (maybe less).
Will I stick with the Samsung SSD’s or look at other options? I’m keeping my options open and using this as a gauge to test and compare other options in a real world working environment as opposed to a lab bench test simulation. In other words, taking the next step past the lab test and product reviews, gaining comfort and confidence and then trying out with real use activity.
What will happen in the future as I install more SSD’s and have surplus HHDD’s? Redeployed them of course into file or NAS servers, backup targets that in turn will replace HDD’s that will either get retired, or redeployed to replace older, smaller capacity, higher cost to handle HDD’s used for offsite protection.
I tried using the software that came with the SSD to do the cloning and should have known better, however wanted to see what the latest version of ghost was like (it was a waste of time to be polite). Instead I used Seagate Discwizard (aka Acronis) which requires at least one Seagate product (source or target) for cloning.
Cloning from the Seagate HHDD that have been previously cloned from the Hitachi HDD that came with the laptop, was a none issue. However, I wanted to see what would happen if I attached the Samsung SSD to the Seagate Goflex cable and clone directly from the Hitachi HDD, it worked. Hence another reason to have some of the Seagate Goflex cables (USB and eSATA) like the ones I bought at Amazon.com around in your toolbox.
While I do not have concrete empirical numbers to share, cloning from a HDD to a SSD is shall we say fast, however, what’s really fun to watch is cloning from a HHDD to a SSD using an eSata (GoFlex) connector adapter. The reason I say that it is fun is that you don’t have to sit and wait for hours, it’s not minutes to move 100s of GBs, however you can very much see the progress bar move at a good pace.
Also, I put the HHDD on an eSata port and try that out as a backup or data dump target if you have the need for speed, capacity and cost effectiveness, yes its fast, has lots of capacity and so forth. Now if Seagate and Synology or EMC Iomega would get their acts together and add support for the HHDD’s in those different unified SMB and SOHO NAS solutions, that would be way cool.
Will I be racing to put SSD’s in my other laptops or workstations soon? Probably not as there are things in the works and working their way into and through the market place that I wanted to wait for, and thus will wait for now, that is unless a more interesting opportunity pops up.
Note: For clarification, Greg refers to Seagate’s solid state hybrid drives (SSHD) as hybrid hard disk drives (HHDD). They are one in the same.
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