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What is Fusion Drive and how it works?

Aside from the expected iPad mini, one of the most exciting developments by Apple in yesterdays is Fusion Drive, a solution that tries to combine the performance of an SSD with the storage capacity of a traditional hard drive. Signing Cupertino leverages technology already existed to create a system that has the classical advantages of company developments: the perfect integration of hardware with software.

Fusion Drive

To explain what Fusion Drive should start, what it is not: it is not a solution based on RAID 0 (no sense given the difference in performance between an SSD and a HDD), or a hybrid hard drive as those presented by Seagate or Toshiba, or a cache system (data not duplicated at any time). Fusion Drive is shown to users as a single storage unit, and is the operating system that decides in real time when using solid memory as hard drive, depending on each scenario.

The first generation of Fusion Drive consists of a NAND flash drive of 128 GB with a hard drive from one to three terabytes of capacity at 7,200 RPM. The similar Intel Smart Response technology, introduced in 2011 but still with little presence in the final product (although there are several chipset that support it).

The algorithm implemented by Apple automatically selects which applications run directly on the SSD (which most use the user) and automatically moves all the files needed to achieve a rate similar to that of a solution based solely on solid memory. All other applications, libraries or files that are saved are used less hard disk. Importantly, everything works automatically, without requiring any intervention from the user.

Another important variable is how the process of writing takes place in Fusion Drive:
Fusion Drive is designed so that all write operations go first to the SSD and it reserves 4 Gbytes of flash memory available. If, subsequently, the system decides that the data should be in the traditional hard disk moves them (not copy) then transparently, freeing up space in flash for software that needs it.
Before finishing obvious the proposed merger Drive requires backup drive like one (which will see the system as solutions and backup). Therefore, stored data are vulnerable to failures such as the hard disk SSD traditional.

The bad news about Fusion Drive is that only available on the new iMac; hopefully soon see solutions like this in the rest of the range and the new Windows 8 start to bet on alternatives as Interesting as Intel Smart Response.
This was all regarding the what is Fusion Drive and how it Fusion Drive works.