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Old Nov 4, 2012, 09:38 AM   #26
orestes1984
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I'd certainly be uncomfortable with a Fusion drive in my machine. I'll stick to a more mundane implementation of the combination of SSDs and spinning rust for the foreseeable future.
I hope its some sort of better managed logical volume, but I don't understand it fully. What it does do is go against every grain of what I know not to do and I think we can all agree on the increased risk of failure.
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 12:53 PM   #27
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which would be the slower of the two IDE controllers (slower on the optical drive). One could also just use SATA-to-IDE-Adapter (there are slim ones for Laptops, though I do not see them in big numbers on Ebay).
Arrgh. You are right. Only 16.7 MBps. I could live with 66 or even 33 MBps, but it's slower than USB 2.0 And it doesn't even use DMA! PIO mode only. I guess I'll have to cancel my order and stick my spare SATA disk in there.
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 12:59 PM   #28
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Why is we think a fusion drive is good? I like controlling what goes where.
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 01:18 PM   #29
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Why is we think a fusion drive is good? I like controlling what goes where.
Do you have a secret on how you "control" what goes where on your HDD?
If so, would you consider sharing it?
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 01:27 PM   #30
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being that fusion is 2 drives it think it's pretty easy..
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 01:29 PM   #31
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It's two physical drives seen as one logical drive, aka JBOD spanning. As for moving files between the two drives. With a little work and some software it could be achieved pretty simply, at worst you could schedule files to be moved using cron scheduling, at best you would work out how to implement it on the fly.
It's much more than that. While RAID 0 technology may have been a starting point, it is nowhere close to a Fusion drive. RAID 0 cannot dynamically move recently used data between two drives. Fusion drives can and do. RAID 0 drives are rather dumb. Fusion drives are smart in that the move the data without any outside help except the the mach_kernel.
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 01:50 PM   #32
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Then there is always the possibility that as soon as someone figures out how to "roll their own" Apple will probably sue them for patent infringement.
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 01:54 PM   #33
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Then there is always the possibility that as soon as someone figures out how to "roll their own" Apple will probably sue them for patent infringement.
Dubious. Unless the implementation works the same way and Apple has a patent on that process, I wouldn't count on it.

However, I'd say the problem is more in the implementation at all. How can this be done without both massive performance issues and massive data integrity issues? I have some ideas, but I still don't know if this is a good idea unless it's working with some sort of abstraction layer that is still aware of the kind of underlying storage. How intelligent is the process? I'm holding out to see some better information than what's out there currently.
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 07:52 PM   #34
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It's much more than that. While RAID 0 technology may have been a starting point, it is nowhere close to a Fusion drive. RAID 0 cannot dynamically move recently used data between two drives. Fusion drives can and do. RAID 0 drives are rather dumb. Fusion drives are smart in that the move the data without any outside help except the the mach_kernel.
I did not say anything about RAID 0 and thats not what JBOD spanning is. JBOD spanning is taking a number of different sized physical drives and making one logical drive out of it. This is what is going on in the most basic sense with Fusion, although one would want to hope that Apple has actually come up with some sort of better logical volume management than this.

You completely missed the point of this discussion, for whatever reason and even if we take it as a fact that Fusion is "smart" I could write a fairly rudimentary Cron script so as my JBOD array seemed pretty smart as well and moved your less frequently used files to a point on the array where they were on the platter disk rather than the SSD.

You're treating this like it's rocket surgery and that somehow the devs at Apple are geniuses, when the term genius and Apple does not belong in the same sentence from a lot of my own personal experiences.
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 08:35 PM   #35
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A Fusion drive isn't a JBOD, it's what Apple calls a "Concatenated Disk Set". A "Concatenated Disk Set" is derived from the RAID design with a few tweaks of their own. The "Concatenated Disk Set" has existed since 10.4. Apple has solved some rather big problems like permissions, open files, data integrity, and duplicate data on the drive. You're treating this like it's something simple. If it was so simple then it would have been done ages ago on another *NIX system.
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 08:39 PM   #36
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A Fusion drive isn't a JBOD, it's what Apple calls a "Concatenated Disk Set". A "Concatenated Disk Set" is derived from the RAID design with a few tweaks of their own. The "Concatenated Disk Set" has existed since 10.4. Apple has solved some rather big problems like permissions, open files, data integrity, and duplicate data on the drive. You're treating this like it's something simple. If it was so simple then it would have been done ages ago on another *NIX system.
It IS something rather simple, there are far too many people on this forum that treat Apple like God... Irony is what happened with the poisoned Apple if you ever read your scripture.
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 08:39 PM   #37
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Then there is always the possibility that as soon as someone figures out how to "roll their own" Apple will probably sue them for patent infringement.
Unless you can point to the patent in question, we can't assume that Apple will do anything. Everything that I have read on this suggests that this technology isn't unique enough to warrant a patent.
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 08:47 PM   #38
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It IS something rather simple, there are far too many people on this forum that treat Apple like God... Irony is what happened with the poisoned Apple if you ever read your scripture.
When you say scripture I'm assuming you're talking about the Cristian bible. In the original Hebrew texts upon which the old testament was written from, there are no mentions of apple anywhere within the text. This is likely because apples simply did not exist with that geographical area at that time.

I do not treat Apple as a god of any kind. It is a corporation and corporations can and often do wrong. Once again, if it was so simple then why hasn't it been done ages ago on another *NIX system. UNIX has been around longer than Apple. Why hasn't the Fusion drive technology never arrived then? Why is it not a grand marketing point of Ubuntu or Android?
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 08:50 PM   #39
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If there is enough interest, itwill be rolled into every other *nix distro, it may even be rolled into Windows. The only thing I can see that is patentable is the name Fusion. Apple haven't even been particularly lazy about this, there is no fusion going on in a physical sense, Seagate do that with the Momentus XT with mixed reviews. For Apple it is a formatting trick.
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 08:55 PM   #40
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It IS something rather simple, there are far too many people on this forum that treat Apple like God... Irony is what happened with the poisoned Apple if you ever read your scripture.
Unless you have proof that Intell is one of these people (which it doesn't sound like he is - in fact his arguments sound rather logical) than making ad hominem attacks isn't very wise and are not helping your case.

What is your proof that Fusion Drive is similar to JBOD as you assert? What basis is this based off of and if it were so simple, why hasn't it shown up elsewhere in UNIX systems?


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The only thing I can see that is patentable is the name Fusion.
You can't patent a name, only a process. You are thinking of a trademark which can be copy written.
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 09:04 PM   #41
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The distro maintainer isn't necessarily the one that would have to make this. If the simplicity of it is so great, why has Mr. John Doe not made something like this in his free time and post it to a WordPress blog yet? The "Fusion Drive" name would be trademarkable, not patentable. The "process of determining and relocating recently used data" would and is something that is patentable if Apple could word it correctly with the proper example.

This isn't a trick of formatting. The drive's format does not possess the needed abilities to carry out the process of determining and relocating recently used data. The OS is what does that. Apple is likely formatting the drive in such a way so that non-Fusion drive OS' cannot disturb the data on the drives. Just like how the Apple TV 1's internal hard drive was HFS+ formatted, but used a different header to prevent stock Mac OS X from mounting it. Fusion drives need at least one SSD connected to a SATA port to be able to access the drive's SMART status to determine that it is a SSD. That requirement alone shows that the formatting of the drive is irrelevant and that the OS needs to know which drive is the SSD.
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 09:12 PM   #42
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blah blah blah... snip snip snip... etc... etc... etc... The thing with Apple is that they are very good at spotting a niche market segment and making something happen. People LIKE solid state drives but for various reasons they want more capacity and production costs of high cap SSDs at this stage are still too expensive. Hybrid drives are good, people like them too, but they're still not SSD fast.

Apple brought to common market a standard, whatever that was we don't agree about, but that's kind of not the point. It was however that, that was already out there made user friendly with a buzz word "Fusion" because no else had just like the iMac, the iPod, the iPhone etc. If it succeeds we will see countless other "Fusion" drives out there if it fails to gain market traction like Thunderbolt then it will largely disappear from the mainstream market like the largely ignored niche market Firewire. I've already pointed to the biggest issue with logical volumes or whatever else you want to call them and it IS multiple points of failure, how Apple goes about protecting users against this is yet to be seen.

But the hair brained genius and probably the reason why no one else has done this is in the fact that it doesn't make sense in terms of data security and retention using traditional common sense when it comes to disk drives.

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This isn't a trick of formatting. The drive's format does not possess the needed abilities to carry out the process of determining and relocating recently used data.D.
All drives have this to some degree or another, it's what we call in layman terminology, a cache it just so happens that Seagate has a rather large one on their Momentus XT drives that does what Fusion does by moving commonly accessed files onto the "SSD"... What Apple has done here is most definitely not a party trick. Cache is what Fusion is more correctly, it's high speed fused memory to the circuit board of the hard drive for almost instantaneous access to recently used files. You are talking that which is almost as old as hard drives themselves technologically... In essence what apple has created is a large "cache" out of an SSD drive.

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Old Nov 4, 2012, 09:24 PM   #43
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Apple brought to market standard that's already out there that can determine and relocate recently used data? The only thing that's close to a Fusion drive is a hardware implementation made by Intel that came out within the last few years and is a part of their Sandy/Ivy Bridge chipset. Nothing else exists. Nothing.

People like hybrid drives? The only hybrid drive out is Seagate's XT series. Based on your own statements, it got mixed reviews. I don't see how that equates to people liking it. Most of those poor reviews are from people with Macs. Those reviews may have even turned people away from Seagate's second generation XT drives just like the early reviews turned people away from WD's Green drives or Hitachi's DeskStar drives.

Thunderbolt and FireWire have gotten considerable traction in the professional media market. If you think they haven't, you may want to think about your current profession and its budget. And in the days before USB 2, FireWire was the only thing for fast and easy data transfer and external storage.

A hard drive's cache is not a SSD. Nor is the XT's cache the SSD. A hard drive's cache is much faster than a SSD and is roughly equivalent to a ram chip on the hard drive. These caches typically don't exceed 64 megebytes. Its job is to buffer the read/write operations. So that the slower drive can locate and read or write the data as the system continues to request operations to be done. Hard drives have had this cache since the late 1980's. The XT's hybrid functionality is done through its firmware, not its formatting. If it really was two drives made one via a logical system, then you would be able to access the 500GB HDD and the 4/8GB SSD separately from the OS.

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Old Nov 4, 2012, 09:30 PM   #44
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Apple brought to market standard that's already out there that can determine and relocate recently used data? The only thing that's close to a Fusion drive is a hardware implementation made by Intel that came out within the last few years and is a part of their Sandy/Ivy Bridge chipset. Nothing else exists. Nothing.
This is wrong, logical volumes are as old as the hills as well, the only trick going on is how the files are being moved. But as I have stated this is a VERY rudimentary process.

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People like hybrid drives?
Yes, in fact I am running one in my Mac right now and have had ZERO problems with it, most of the problems encountered are end user problems that can be resolved with firmware updates from Seagate. It's what we like to call PEBCAC or id10t errors.

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The only hybrid drive out is Seagate's XT series.
And it does reasonably well enough for Seagate to see a reason to continue marketing it.

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Thunderbolt and FireWire have gotten considerable traction in the professional media market. If you think they haven't, you may want to think about your current profession and its budget. And in the days before USB 2, FireWire was the only thing for fast and easy data transfer and external storage.
None of these are mainstream markets... you missed the point, the point is gone, where it is I don't know but whence after it flew over your head BAZINGA!
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 09:32 PM   #45
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And fusion is exactly a JBOD, with some smarts to know what disks in it are faster than others. The file (block, actually) moving around stuff is likely just an extension of the code apple has had for years for on the fly defrag when files are opened and closed.

The clever bit was having the insight to make the relevant bits of code talk to each other with a little bit of brains to glue it together.

The tech/theory behind it isn't rocket science. The initiative to actually do it is inspired, though.
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 09:37 PM   #46
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The initiative to actually do it is inspired, though.
This is something I wont argue about, but that is Apple for you in a nut shell.
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 09:43 PM   #47
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This is wrong, logical volumes are as old as the hills as well, the only trick going on is how the files are being moved. But as I have stated this is a VERY rudimentary process.

And it does reasonably well enough for Seagate to see a reason to continue marketing it.

None of these are mainstream markets... you missed the point.
While logical drives have been around since the early 1970's, they haven't had the ability to dynamically identify and relocate user's recently used data to faster hard drives. This is what Apple has done. They are likely one of the first companies to do such a thing as well.

People must not like XT drives enough for WD to see it as a potential market. The point wasn't missed by me. I'm only pointing out the flaws in your arguments. I suggest looking at the larger picture and not limited your views based on what you have. Thousands, if not millions, of end users have bought a digital movie camera from the late 1990's to the late 2000's that use FireWire/iLink. These end users then used this protocol to edit and save their movies. If it wasn't for FireWire's mainstream ubiquity, these devices would not have existed in the form they did and that market would have never taken off. These digital movie cameras brought FireWire mainsteam. It's very likely that they are still used everyday by many people as well.

A hard drive's cache is not a SSD. Nor is the XT's cache the SSD. A hard drive's cache is much faster than a SSD and is roughly equivalent to a ram chip on the hard drive. These caches typically don't exceed 64 megebytes. Its job is to buffer the read/write operations. So that the slower drive can locate and read or write the data as the system continues to request operations to be done. Hard drives have had this cache since the late 1980's. The XT's hybrid functionality is done through its firmware, not its formatting. If it really was two drives made one via a logical system, then you would be able to access the 500GB HDD and the 4/8GB SSD separately from the OS.
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 09:52 PM   #48
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I am not arguing that the Momentus XT is a logical drive, it's clearly something else. I am stating it is a HDD with a small fused SSD on the circuit board for the hard disk drive. I am stating that this is a fusion of two technologies at a hardware level where Apples Fusion drive does this ipso post facto at a rudimentary software level.

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People must not like XT drives enough for WD to see it as a potential market.
Yet Samsung have, and Seagate continues to increase its range of Hybrid drives, these things are incredibly strange whence we begin to insert our own opinion based on bad personal experiences and put our feet in our own mouths

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. I suggest looking at the larger picture and not limited your views based on what you have. Thousands, if not millions, of end users have bought a digital movie camera from the late 1990's to the late 2000's that use FireWire/iLink.
I suggest you do the same then look at just how many motherboards actually had an Apple Firewire, or Sony iLink port, or if they did/do how many of them have more than one Firewire is a niche market as it always has been that never cracked the mainstream market in the way USB did and continues to do.
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 09:56 PM   #49
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You completely missed the point of this discussion, for whatever reason and even if we take it as a fact that Fusion is "smart" I could write a fairly rudimentary Cron script so as my JBOD array seemed pretty smart as well and moved your less frequently used files to a point on the array where they were on the platter disk rather than the SSD.

You're treating this like it's rocket surgery and that somehow the devs at Apple are geniuses, when the term genius and Apple does not belong in the same sentence from a lot of my own personal experiences.
Except fusion works on a bock level in real time, not overnight or scheduled like your cron script.


And no, as I said above the little bits of tech aren't rocket science. Joining them together in a consumer device however is something no one else has done before, and apple coming up with the idea, and code to do it is what sets them apart.

It's an elegant solution to the problem we all currently face when dealing with HD vs SSD.
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 10:02 PM   #50
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Except fusion works on a bock level in real time, not overnight or scheduled like your cron script.
Cron was just my very own fly by the pan rudimentary solution I'm sure there's something more elegant going on at an OS or sub OS level allowing all of this to occur.

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It's an elegant solution to the problem we all currently face when dealing with HD vs SSD.
Yeah it is, but with one major fault either way you look at it of having two points of failure which is why I would shy away from it until all the cards are on the table as to just how often it does fail. It is an elegant solution I agree though and I'm not contending that it is anything otherwise.
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