Welcome!

Blog Feed Post

Apple iMac Fusion Drive SSD

iMac Tastes Sweeter With SSDs

Last October, Apple made the requisite splash with their iPad mini announcement.  That same day they rolled out the latest iMac platform with not as much fanfare since the iPad mini was the star of the day.  Deep into the press release announcing the new iMac was a paragraph touting Apple’s “innovative new storage option called Fusion Drive”.  Fusion Drive….Hmmm, wonder what that is all about?

Not calling an SSD an SSD

The Apple announcement says their Fusion Drive combines “128 GB of flash with a standard 1T hard drive.”  The blogoshere went into hyperdrive after the announcement with speculation and analysis on just what Apple was doing here and in the months since the product introduction, not much detailed information has come out.  I searched high and low to find out exactly what this thing is i.e. who supplied the ‘128 GB of flash’ but was not able to find any reliable data on it.  One thing for sure is it is a self contained device with 128 GB of flash inside.  Looks like an SSD, sounds like an SSD, performs like an SSD but Apple does not seem to want to call it an SSD.

An SSD By Any Other Name

So, we will let the marketing gurus at Apple have their day (after all, they are pretty good at marketing) and not call it an SSD.  The point I want to make here is that Apple is clearly recognizing the importance of SSDs and/or flash in their products and there are many good reasons for this.  The Fusion Drive is an integrated (some might say hybrid, Seagate for example) solution that combines the flash with a standard HDD.  OS X presents the combination as a single drive to the user so there is no user configuration or adjustments to make.  This solution fits perfectly with Apple’s walled garden approach to products – customers have no idea of how their products do what they do and frankly, most don’t care.

What Fusion Drive Brings to The Garden

Why is Apple going hybrid?  Simple – Performance.  Using SSDs in their products enables faster boot times by storing OS and application code in the SSD.  Apple’s iMac website shows this performance graph to illustrate some sample application performance increase provide by using the flash in the Fusion Drive. Using the hybrid approach also enables maximum capacity of the 1T HDD while adding the speed of an SSD. 

Figure 1. iMac Fusion Drive Performance Examples

Source: http://www.apple.com/imac/performance/

Driving Consumer Demand for SSDs

If there is one company that can get complex, new technology into the hands of less tech savvy consumers it is Apple and it appears they are doing that in a big way with SSDs.  Even though the Apple ‘walled garden’ solution may profit Apple the most, the spillover effect into the rest of the consumer space will benefit all SSD suppliers and SSD caching software vendors as the idea becomes more mainstream.  While it may be hard to imagine an average Joe Sixpack walking into Staples and ordering up a 256 GB SSD to put in his 5 year old Dell desktop he has at home, it is easy to see little Joey Sixpack telling dad to include an SSD in the new Alienware gamer box he wants to order.  Consumers buying SSDs from OEMs is a good way to accelerate the adoption of this valuable new technology.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Peter Velikin

Peter Velikin has 12 years of experience creating new markets and commercializing products in multiple high tech industries. Prior to VeloBit, he was VP Marketing at Zmags, a SaaS-based digital content platform for e-commerce and mobile devices, where he managed all aspects of marketing, product management, and business development. Prior to that, Peter was Director of Product and Market Strategy at PTC, responsible for PTC’s publishing, content management, and services solutions. Prior to PTC, Peter was at EMC Corporation, where he held roles in product management, business development, and engineering program management.

Peter has an MS in Electrical Engineering from Boston University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Latest Stories
The current age of digital transformation means that IT organizations must adapt their toolset to cover all digital experiences, beyond just the end users’. Today’s businesses can no longer focus solely on the digital interactions they manage with employees or customers; they must now contend with non-traditional factors. Whether it's the power of brand to make or break a company, the need to monitor across all locations 24/7, or the ability to proactively resolve issues, companies must adapt to...
After more than five years of DevOps, definitions are evolving, boundaries are expanding, ‘unicorns’ are no longer rare, enterprises are on board, and pundits are moving on. Can we now look at an evolution of DevOps? Should we? Is the foundation of DevOps ‘done’, or is there still too much left to do? What is mature, and what is still missing? What does the next 5 years of DevOps look like? In this Power Panel at DevOps Summit, moderated by DevOps Summit Conference Chair Andi Mann, panelists loo...
"Loom is applying artificial intelligence and machine learning into the entire log analysis process, from start to finish and at the end you will get a human touch,” explained Sabo Taylor Diab, Vice President, Marketing at Loom Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"Tintri focuses on the Ops side of the DevOps, which basically is pushing more and more of the accessibility of the infrastructure to the developers and trying to get behind the scenes," explained Dhiraj Sehgal of Tintri in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo taking place Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 21st International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is ...
You know you need the cloud, but you’re hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You’re looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you’re concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies.
In the world of DevOps there are ‘known good practices’ – aka ‘patterns’ – and ‘known bad practices’ – aka ‘anti-patterns.' Many of these patterns and anti-patterns have been developed from real world experience, especially by the early adopters of DevOps theory; but many are more feasible in theory than in practice, especially for more recent entrants to the DevOps scene. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Chair Andi Mann, panelists discussed...
A look across the tech landscape at the disruptive technologies that are increasing in prominence and speculate as to which will be most impactful for communications – namely, AI and Cloud Computing. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Curtis Peterson, VP of Operations at RingCentral, highlighted the current challenges of these transformative technologies and shared strategies for preparing your organization for these changes. This “view from the top” outlined the latest trends and developments i...
The current age of digital transformation means that IT organizations must adapt their toolset to cover all digital experiences, beyond just the end users’. Today’s businesses can no longer focus solely on the digital interactions they manage with employees or customers; they must now contend with non-traditional factors. Whether it's the power of brand to make or break a company, the need to monitor across all locations 24/7, or the ability to proactively resolve issues, companies must adapt to...
"We focus on composable infrastructure. Composable infrastructure has been named by companies like Gartner as the evolution of the IT infrastructure where everything is now driven by software," explained Bruno Andrade, CEO and Founder of HTBase, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Hardware virtualization and cloud computing allowed us to increase resource utilization and increase our flexibility to respond to business demand. Docker Containers are the next quantum leap - Are they?! Databases always represented an additional set of challenges unique to running workloads requiring a maximum of I/O, network, CPU resources combined with data locality.
For organizations that have amassed large sums of software complexity, taking a microservices approach is the first step toward DevOps and continuous improvement / development. Integrating system-level analysis with microservices makes it easier to change and add functionality to applications at any time without the increase of risk. Before you start big transformation projects or a cloud migration, make sure these changes won’t take down your entire organization.
Cloud promises the agility required by today’s digital businesses. As organizations adopt cloud based infrastructures and services, their IT resources become increasingly dynamic and hybrid in nature. Managing these require modern IT operations and tools. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Raj Sundaram, Senior Principal Product Manager at CA Technologies, will discuss how to modernize your IT operations in order to proactively manage your hybrid cloud and IT environments. He will be sharing bes...
Artificial intelligence, machine learning, neural networks. We’re in the midst of a wave of excitement around AI such as hasn’t been seen for a few decades. But those previous periods of inflated expectations led to troughs of disappointment. Will this time be different? Most likely. Applications of AI such as predictive analytics are already decreasing costs and improving reliability of industrial machinery. Furthermore, the funding and research going into AI now comes from a wide range of com...
In this presentation, Striim CTO and founder Steve Wilkes will discuss practical strategies for counteracting fraud and cyberattacks by leveraging real-time streaming analytics. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Steve Wilkes, Founder and Chief Technology Officer at Striim, will provide a detailed look into leveraging streaming data management to correlate events in real time, and identify potential breaches across IoT and non-IoT systems throughout the enterprise. Strategies for processing massive ...