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Toshiba Corp. has already announced plans to release hybrid hard drives later this year and seems to be very excited about the technology. But although the company sees high potential of hybrid hard drives - which employ both rotating magnetic media as well as NAND flash memory - on the market of consumer storage, it does not forecast strong demand for such storage on the market of consumer storage.

"Toshiba continuously watches the market and see if a hybrid solution can benefit in the enterprise space. We do see some potential benefit for such a device, however, at this time Toshiba offers SSDs and HDDs for all required tiers in the enterprise segment. We do not see much demand for a hybrid enterprise HDD at this time," said Joel Hagberg, vice president of marketing at storage products business unit of Toshiba America Electronic Components, in an interview with X-bit labs, which will be published in the coming days.

Given the fact that enterprises use multi-tier storage systems, each of which is optimized for particular function and provide different levels of performance, it is pretty obvious that integration of hybrid hard disk drives (hybrid-HDDs) into enterprise ecosystem is a rather complicated task without obvious benefits.


Seagate Momentus XT hybrid hard disk drive with 750GB capacity and 8GB SLC NAND flash cache for frequently used LBAs

Hybrid hard drives are supposed to significantly boost bandwidth and I/O performance as well as responsiveness of hard disk drives by adding solid-state storage for advanced caching of large frequently used chunks of data. Toshiba does not comment on exact implementation of its hybrid hard drive, but asserts that such storage solutions need a number of important components to be available to be successful.

"There are a number of sophisticated elements that need to come together in order to realize the full potential of hybrid HDD technology in user applications. The level of responsiveness and performance that we would like to see associated with this upcoming generation of hybrid HDDs requires cooperation and collaboration from components in the ecosystem. Early caching solutions and hybrid drives have been waiting for the operating system providers to enable features that deliver performance value to the end customers," said Mr. Hagberg.

Tags: Toshiba, HDD, NAND, Flash

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