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Today we were invited out to the Acer headquarters here in Taipei, Taiwan where we were given an introduction to the company's take on cloud storage which they named AcerCloud.
Acer's cloud system is different ones such as Apple's iCloud, Google's Drive or Dropbox. Instead of sending your data up into the cloud, AcerCloud is more personal in nature. In technical terms, that means that your data is not stored on servers on the web. The data is instead accessed from your PC or laptop which has AcerCloud software installed and is of course connected to the internet.
AcerCloud launched towards the end of last year, but it was our first chance to go hands-on with it today, and it's quite good. Within AcerCloud are separate applications including clear.fi Media, clear.fi Photo, clear.fi Music, clear.fi Video. Each app handles different files and allows you to view saved files on any device with AcerCloud - that is a PC running Windows 7 or Windows 8, and iOS device running OS version 5.0.1 or above and any Android device running OS version 2.3 and above.
CeBIT 2013 - OCZ have taken the time out of CeBIT to unveil their new Vector PCIe device, a PCIe-based Vector SSD. The new PCIe Vector has improved IOPS performance, which provides the user with superior sustained performance, no matter if the data streamed are compressed, or uncompressed.
The new drive comes on a PCI Express 2.0 x4 interface, which provides it with plenty of bandwidth and on the PCIe Vector itself we find dual Indilinx Barefoot 3 controllers. The PCIe Vector outpaces OCZ's current SATA 3.0-based Vector SSDs and RevoDrive 3 Series, which is really saying something. We're looking at up to 1GB/sec in transfer speeds, and a crazy 140,000 IOPS. The new PCIe Vector includes a huge 5-year warranty, and comes in 240GB, 480GB and 960GB capacities.
The PCIe Vector is bootable as a direct-attach storage device, and has been designed for Windows-based client, and workstation machines. No word on price just yet.
Seagate ships its first 3.5-inch hybrid drive 'SSHD', third-gen 2.5-inch hybrid drives also hit the market
Hybrid Hard Drives are nothing new, and certainly not something Seagate is a rookie at. The company has been shipping 2.5-inch hybrid drives for years now, which have been awesome for the laptop market, but desktop PC enthusiasts who demand high capacity as well as speed have been left out until now.
This week Seagate has finally shipped a 3.5-inch version hybrid drive that features 2TB of spinning platters alongside 8GB of flash storage that help speed up disk intensive task without sacrificing precious storage or buying a dedicated SSD. Seagate says that the new SSHD should be as much as four times faster than traditional HDDs. That claim, of course, will depend on what you're doing on your system at the time.
The company also announced that it has updated its line of 2.5" hybrid drives and is now shipping 1TB regular height laptop drives as well as 500GB super slim versions that measure in at just 7mm thick. The new 2.5-inch hybrid drives are said to be as much as 40 percent faster than previous generations.
It looks like 2.5-inch 7200RPM HDDs are about to get their first nail in the coffin from Seagate, who has confirmed they will discontinue their faster 7200RPM 2.5-inch drives later this year. RIght now we have four drives in the 7200RPM 2.5-inch lineup, Momentus 7200.4, 7200.2, Momentus Thin 7200 and Momentus XT.
The move shouldn't be a shock with the massive price shifts we're seeing in SSDs, where they're close to $1 per GB now. Not only are they cheaper, but they offer far superior performance to mechanically-driven drives, with less heat and noise which is all better for a notebook. Just because Seagate are moving in this direction, it doesn't mean we'll see them completely dive out of the performance HDD Market, as they'll put more focus into hybrid drives.
As time goes on, we'll most likely see HDDs expand past 4TB and SSDs level out at around 512GB to 1TB at less than $1 per GB. Storage, like all technology, is a constantly changing market and we as consumers all benefit the most.
Solid-state drives contain more NAND than is required to meet the listed capacity on the box. The reasoning for this is that the controller requires some of it for garbage collection and to replace cells when they go bad. The concept of over-provisioning an SSD is one that isn't always understood by the consumer, so Kent Smith of LSI has written an article to help you understand.
Essentially, over-provisioning allocates a portion of the total flash memory available to the flash storage processor, which it needs to perform various memory management functions. This leaves less usable capacity, of course, but results in superior performance and endurance. More sophisticated applications require more over-provisioning, but the benefits inevitably outweigh the reduction in usable capacity.
You can read the entire article over at EDN.
It's not like you needed any persuasion to buy OCZ'z awesome Vector SSD, but this might just tip you over into buying one. The SSD maker are offering a free copy of Far Cry 3 with 256GB and 512GB models of the Vector SSD.
You can only secure yourself two copies of Far Cry 3, if you were to buy two Vector SSDs, and the offer expires on July 14, 2013. The offer is available to North America, South Ameria, EMEA and Asia region customers only.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has come out swinging during an interview with Bloomberg, where he was bragging up their just-released Office 2013 which would beat Dropbox, saying that the 100 million users that use Dropbox, myself included, "sounds like a pretty small number to me".
Ballmer must've realised he was dropping a pretty big bomb, recovering himself by saying "I'm not beating on Dropbox", adding "They're a fine little startup and that's great". 100 million users constitutes "a little startup" now does it, Ballmer? Wow. Considering from what I've seen and used, Dropbox seems far more popular and easier to use than SkyDrive, I don't know what Ballmer must be thinking other than defending his company.
With Intel shifting gears and reversing out of the motherboard business, moving into their Next Unit of Computing (NUC) and reducing power consumption on their processors, a new SSD has been unveiled by the Santa Clara-based chipmaker.
Welcome the new Intel SSD 525 Series, which comes in an mSATA form factor attached to the 6Gb/s SATA standard. Intel will be providing the SSD 525 Series to OEM customers, channel and tech enthusiasts as an ultra-portable, low-power storage solution in "one-eighth the space of a traditional 2.5-inch hard disk drive". In other words, Ultrabooks, tablets and embedded applications.
Thanks to its PCIe mini-connector, the SSD 525 Series drive will sport the same performance of the Intel SSD 520 Series, making the SSD 525 the perfect choice for all-in-one desktops, notebooks, Ultrabooks and more - such as cars, digital signage, embedded video and retail solutions, too.
I have multiple systems here in my home office, and every single one of them features an SSD or three. I can't stand to use mechanically-driven storage drives as my OS drives anymore, and with the price dropping almost on a weekly basis, most users are doing the same.
According to IHS analyst, Ryan Chien, the "fate of the SSD business is closely tied to the market for Ultrabooks and other ultra-thin PCs that use cache drives." The SSD market is set to really expand this year thanks to the push of Ultrabooks and other new form factors, such as SFF and Intel's NUC-type systems.
According to IHS' Storage Space Market Brief, worldwide shipments of SSDs will go from 39 million units in 2011 to 83 million units this year. By 2016, we should be in a world where 239 million SSDs are shipped, which will represent around 40% of the entire HDD market in that year. This is all thanks to the constantly declining price of SSDs, which is helping them get pushed into more and more systems and new form factors thanks to its low-power consumption, noise and heat.
Facebook's Jay Parikh, VP of infrastructure engineering, wants to move everyone's photos to flash memory for both quality and energy saving purposes. The only issue is that the proper kind of flash memory needed simply does not exist in commercial scale.
Our own Anthony Garreffa recently reported that Facebook users uploaded a massive 1.1 billion photo uploads on New Year's day alone, and it is metrics like that that is pushing Facebook into looking for better image storage methods than the old school mechanical hard drive method.
It's not that the hard drive storage method isn't working, but rather it is inefficient, slow, and consumes a ton of power when compared to solid state storage. That is why Parikh is calling upon the world to create a new kind of flash memory that is designed for occasional data retrievals, unlike current technology that is designed for persistently accessed files - that is, high performance NAND. This truly is one of those "If you build it, Facebook will come" scenarios.