Raidon has announced a SSD/Spinning hard drive combo called the HyBrid Disk. From Macworld:
Designed to replace 3.5-inch hard drive mechanisms, users read and write files to the SSD while the hard drive mirrors the SSD contents at scheduled intervals, creating a back up of the data.
Seems like an interesting concept, but I see 2 possible issues:
1. SSDs are pretty much only for geeks at this point. If a geek wants to install an SSD and a spinning hard drive to back it up, it’s pretty easy and a simple backup script completes the setup. Raidon has not announced pricing, but I imagine it’s much more expensive than what a geek could build themselves.
2. The concept is to fit two 2.5″ drives in the space of a single 3.5″ spinning hard drive. The truth is that almost all computers with 3.5″ drives have room for more than one. The only computers that come to mind that have only one 3.5″ slot are iMacs and other all-in-ones. Computer users with all-in-ones that want SSD drives with built-in redundancy seems like a pretty small market to me.
What I find more interesting would be a true SSD/spinning hard drive hybrid. Something that places your OS and applications on the SSD portion of the drive, and all the big media files on the spinning hard drive part. This plays to the strengths of SSDs – fast random read/writes; and hard drives – cheap and fast at large file sizes. To really take off, it would have to be smart enough to put files where they would be most optimal, without user intervention. You could also think of it as a spinning hard drive with a massive 20GB or so cache. This could bridge the gap as we wait for SSDs to drop in price at higher capacities.
This reminds me of the P2 Store. When P2 cards were first released, they were only 4GB. That’s only 4 minutes of DVCPRO HD at 1080i60. Panasonic released the P2 Store so users could offload 4GB cards to its 60GB hard drive, so they could keep shooting. The problem, is that 32GB and 64GB P2 cards are now common. So this stop-gap only worked for a year or 2. The question is, how fast will the price of SSDs fall?