More information about the unconventional SSD used in Apple’s new MacBook Air. As I discussed in my previous coverage of this new flash form factor, it resembles a PCI Express Mini Card but is much smaller. Toshiba has now proved my speculation that the device uses SATA signals rather than the PCI Express lane used by the similar AirPort card. We also know that the lauded performance of the device is due to its chips and controller rather than skipping SATA in favor of PCIe as some had speculated.
How fast is a hard disk drive? How about the various flavors of SATA and Fibre Channel? Check out this handy Pack Rat infographic to answer the question, “how fast is it?”
It is tempting to think of storage as a game of hard disk drives, and consider only The Rule of Spindles. But RAM cache can compensate for the mechanical limitations of hard disk drives, and Moore’s Law continues to allow for ever-greater RAM-based storage, including cache, DRAM, and flash. But storage does not exist in a vacuum. All that data must go somewhere, and this is the job of the I/O channel.
Apple updated the ultra-slim don’t-call-it-a-netbook MacBook Air this week. Along with a wimpy out-of-date CPU, the new Air features all-SSD storage of an entirely new and apparently proprietary type. Let’s take a look and see what we can see.
With Apple almost certain to introduce a new MacBook Air, questions have turned to the specifics of the hardware to be used. A leaked pre-production photo features an odd memory configuration (not to mention four batteries), a device I immediately recognized as an SSD-on-a-stick. With this high-profile introduction of a new SSD stick form, I thought it was time to cover these unconventional new storage formats.
My late-2009 27″ Intel iMac now has an eSATA port. I’m documenting how I did it here mainly for posterity. Although it works fine, I cannot recommend that others attempt to perform the same surgery on their own crazy-expensive Apple computers. eSATA mods like this won’t be satisfying to most users, and the operation is risky and destructive enough that non-crazy people shouldn’t attempt it!
The latest Intel iMac line is a killer desktop, from its brilliant screen to its excellent performance. But it’s a little lacking when it comes to expansion: A workstation really needs more I/O than five USB and one FireWire port! Since I’m a storage fanatic, my attention naturally turns toward eSATA, and I’m not the only one. Although I’ve come up with three different methods of adding eSATA to my iMac, I haven’t yet taken the plunge and made it happen.
I bought a 3rd SATA drive, and have nowhere to put it in my PowerMac G5. I forgot there was only room for 2 inside! I do audio recording: Lots of Digital Performer, plus a bit of Pro Tools. I recently bought a new 1 TB Hitachi drive and don’t know how to house it.
The external hard disk drive market is incredibly hot right now, but it’s also ultra-competitive. The latest trend is dockable multi-function drives that are friendlier to use and offer advanced features like video playback. Most docks rely on USB 2.0, but Seagate just dropped a bomb on the industry with a simple twist: They moved the intelligence outside the case, repackaging the standard internal SATA connector as GoFlex, an external link to a variety of docks and adapters.
Like clockwork, VMware has cranked out another update to their flagship enterprise product, ESX 3.5. The last update came out in early November, 2008, and included some major new functionality. What’s in store this time to intrigue storage folks? Not much. For more information on earlier updates, see my articles: Storage Fixes in VMware ESX […]