SOURCE: Diskeeper Corporation

February 26, 2009 12:57 ET

Optimizing Solid State Drive Performance

BURBANK, CA--(Marketwire - February 26, 2009) - In the last 3 years, flash drives -- or solid state drives, as they're also known--have come to the fore of the computer marketplace as the "next big thing." Given that solid state drives will eventually replace mechanical magnetic drives with storage speed approaching that of memory, this comes as no surprise. Since the advent of modern computers, users have had to suffer along with hard drives and data transfer rates many times slower than that of electronic circuitry. Despite the many compensations made for the broad speed difference, such as on-board caching for drives and even memory itself, this disparity has still imposed severe limitations on overall system speed. With solid state drives, this "ceiling" is virtually blown away.

In addition to single usage, solid state drives have also been incorporated into RAID sets. The RAID configuration provides even more efficiency beyond that of single flash drives as well as other benefits such as a smaller footprint and savings in energy consumption. It is certain that it won't be long before flash drives have replaced hard drives altogether, especially in mission-critical applications.

Flash drives yet suffer from a limitation -- which, if not addressed, can lead to substantial performance degradation and shortening of drive life.

The issue is the "shattering" of free space as data is saved to solid state drives. The NTFS file system -- utilized in all of Microsoft's current operating systems -- is designed to save data onto hard drives, not solid state drives. As a result, free space is broken up into small pieces. This phenomenon slows write performance dramatically and within a month can cause it to degrade by as much as 80 percent.

Solid state drives have a limited number of erase-write cycles, the number differing with each manufacturer. Hence, anything that increases the number of erase-write cycles performed decreases the life of the drive. The breaking up of free space increases the number of erase-write cycles, shortening drive life in addition to hampering performance.

The solution to this problem is HyperFast™ solid state drive optimizer from Diskeeper Corporation. HyperFast creates and maintains optimized free space, increasing the controller's ability to write sequentially and thereby enormously increasing the peak speed and life of the solid state drive.

HyperFast operation requires no scheduling or maintenance thanks to the Diskeeper Corporation's proprietary InvisiTasking® processing technology. InvisiTasking employs only unused system resources to operate with zero resource conflict on the system, therefore transparently increasing speed and reliability.

Solid state drives open up whole new vistas for computing. The inclusion of HyperFast with solid state drives will ensure that the future will be as blazingly fast as expected.

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