"Pinning" caches: not a good idea

Hybrid hard drives: Can Samsung and Microsoft invent a new market for 2007? | TG Daily

When NetApp spends money to have a NVRAM cache on their boxes, they do it so that writes can be committed faster and to avoid fragmentation. This way, high-transaction-rate writes don't cause a whole lot of seeks, and if you lose power halfway through a "writeback" kind of operation, things work just fine. High-end RAID cards do the same thing, often at a cost of hundreds of dollars.

But in a spectacularly stupid move, Microsoft is trying to apply Samsung's hybrid Flash drives to improve startup and shutdown times for Vista. They let the OS "move" certain sectors to Flash, a thing they call "pinning". This sounds really dumb to me - it limits the usefulness of this product to one tiny feature, and I don't believe they can even do it that well.

I know, people are starting up and shutting down a lot with their laptops, so speed might matter here. But startup and shutdown should not be seek-bound in any sane world, and hard drives currently have more linear-read performance than flash does.

So close, but so far away...makes no sense to me.

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