Welcome!

@DXWorldExpo Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, William Schmarzo

Blog Feed Post

Apple iMac Fusion Drive SSD

iMac Tastes Sweeter With SSDs

Last October, Apple made the requisite splash with their iPad mini announcement.  That same day they rolled out the latest iMac platform with not as much fanfare since the iPad mini was the star of the day.  Deep into the press release announcing the new iMac was a paragraph touting Apple’s “innovative new storage option called Fusion Drive”.  Fusion Drive….Hmmm, wonder what that is all about?

Not calling an SSD an SSD

The Apple announcement says their Fusion Drive combines “128 GB of flash with a standard 1T hard drive.”  The blogoshere went into hyperdrive after the announcement with speculation and analysis on just what Apple was doing here and in the months since the product introduction, not much detailed information has come out.  I searched high and low to find out exactly what this thing is i.e. who supplied the ‘128 GB of flash’ but was not able to find any reliable data on it.  One thing for sure is it is a self contained device with 128 GB of flash inside.  Looks like an SSD, sounds like an SSD, performs like an SSD but Apple does not seem to want to call it an SSD.

An SSD By Any Other Name

So, we will let the marketing gurus at Apple have their day (after all, they are pretty good at marketing) and not call it an SSD.  The point I want to make here is that Apple is clearly recognizing the importance of SSDs and/or flash in their products and there are many good reasons for this.  The Fusion Drive is an integrated (some might say hybrid, Seagate for example) solution that combines the flash with a standard HDD.  OS X presents the combination as a single drive to the user so there is no user configuration or adjustments to make.  This solution fits perfectly with Apple’s walled garden approach to products – customers have no idea of how their products do what they do and frankly, most don’t care.

What Fusion Drive Brings to The Garden

Why is Apple going hybrid?  Simple – Performance.  Using SSDs in their products enables faster boot times by storing OS and application code in the SSD.  Apple’s iMac website shows this performance graph to illustrate some sample application performance increase provide by using the flash in the Fusion Drive. Using the hybrid approach also enables maximum capacity of the 1T HDD while adding the speed of an SSD. 

Figure 1. iMac Fusion Drive Performance Examples

Source: http://www.apple.com/imac/performance/

Driving Consumer Demand for SSDs

If there is one company that can get complex, new technology into the hands of less tech savvy consumers it is Apple and it appears they are doing that in a big way with SSDs.  Even though the Apple ‘walled garden’ solution may profit Apple the most, the spillover effect into the rest of the consumer space will benefit all SSD suppliers and SSD caching software vendors as the idea becomes more mainstream.  While it may be hard to imagine an average Joe Sixpack walking into Staples and ordering up a 256 GB SSD to put in his 5 year old Dell desktop he has at home, it is easy to see little Joey Sixpack telling dad to include an SSD in the new Alienware gamer box he wants to order.  Consumers buying SSDs from OEMs is a good way to accelerate the adoption of this valuable new technology.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Peter Velikin

Peter Velikin has 12 years of experience creating new markets and commercializing products in multiple high tech industries. Prior to VeloBit, he was VP Marketing at Zmags, a SaaS-based digital content platform for e-commerce and mobile devices, where he managed all aspects of marketing, product management, and business development. Prior to that, Peter was Director of Product and Market Strategy at PTC, responsible for PTC’s publishing, content management, and services solutions. Prior to PTC, Peter was at EMC Corporation, where he held roles in product management, business development, and engineering program management.

Peter has an MS in Electrical Engineering from Boston University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

DXWorldEXPO Digital Transformation Stories
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Ed Featherston has been named the "Tech Chair" of "FinTechEXPO - New York Blockchain Event" of CloudEXPO's 10-Year Anniversary Event which will take place on November 12-13, 2018 in New York City. CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York will present keynotes, general sessions, and more than 20 blockchain sessions by leading FinTech experts.
Apps and devices shouldn't stop working when there's limited or no network connectivity. Learn how to bring data stored in a cloud database to the edge of the network (and back again) whenever an Internet connection is available. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Ben Perlmutter, a Sales Engineer with IBM Cloudant, demonstrated techniques for replicating cloud databases with devices in order to build offline-first mobile or Internet of Things (IoT) apps that can provide a better, faster user e...
Charles Araujo is an industry analyst, internationally recognized authority on the Digital Enterprise and author of The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change. As Principal Analyst with Intellyx, he writes, speaks and advises organizations on how to navigate through this time of disruption. He is also the founder of The Institute for Digital Transformation and a sought after keynote speaker. He has been a regular contributor to both InformationWeek and CIO Insight...
Bill Schmarzo, Tech Chair of "Big Data | Analytics" of upcoming CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York (November 12-13, 2018, New York City) today announced the outline and schedule of the track. "The track has been designed in experience/degree order," said Schmarzo. "So, that folks who attend the entire track can leave the conference with some of the skills necessary to get their work done when they get back to their offices. It actually ties back to some work that I'm doing at the University of ...
"Peak 10 is a national cloud data center solutions managed services provider, and part of that is disaster recovery. We see a growing trend in the industry where companies are coming to us looking for assistance in their DR strategy," stated Andrew Cole, Director of Solutions Engineering at Peak 10, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Rodrigo Coutinho is part of OutSystems' founders' team and currently the Head of Product Design. He provides a cross-functional role where he supports Product Management in defining the positioning and direction of the Agile Platform, while at the same time promoting model-based development and new techniques to deliver applications in the cloud.
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
The revocation of Safe Harbor has radically affected data sovereignty strategy in the cloud. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Jeff Miller, Product Management at Cavirin Systems, discussed how to assess these changes across your own cloud strategy, and how you can mitigate risks previously covered under the agreement.
Digital Initiatives create new ways of conducting business, which drive the need for increasingly advanced security and regulatory compliance challenges with exponentially more damaging consequences. In the BMC and Forbes Insights Survey in 2016, 97% of executives said they expect a rise in data breach attempts in the next 12 months. Sixty percent said operations and security teams have only a general understanding of each other’s requirements, resulting in a “SecOps gap” leaving organizations u...
Cell networks have the advantage of long-range communications, reaching an estimated 90% of the world. But cell networks such as 2G, 3G and LTE consume lots of power and were designed for connecting people. They are not optimized for low- or battery-powered devices or for IoT applications with infrequently transmitted data. Cell IoT modules that support narrow-band IoT and 4G cell networks will enable cell connectivity, device management, and app enablement for low-power wide-area network IoT. B...