HYBRID DRIVES HAVE as yet to really take off and we’ve seen a few DIY solutions to date from various smaller industry players, but now HighPoint has come up with a couple of solutions of its own that might have some appeal. The company has announced a pair of host bus adapters (HBAs) called the RocketHybrid that will allow users to create their own DIY hybrid drive.
The two cards are the RocketHybrid 1220 and 1222 and the only difference between the two is that the 1220 supports internal SATA 6Gbps drives, while the 1222 supports external SATA 6Gbps drives. Both cards sport a Marvell 88SE9130 SATA 6Gbps host controller and a pair of SATA ports, or eSATA ports in the case of the 1222. Either card would work just like a regular “fake RAID” card when used with a pair of hard drives, but with an SSD and a hard drive hooked up to the cards, you end up with a hybrid drive.
HighPoint has a special management suite that is required to create the hybrid drive and it offers two options, safe mode and capacity mode. The first mode mirrors all the data on the SSD onto the hard drive while the second mode uses all available space for storage. HighPoint claims that this solution offers 80 percent of the performance of an SSD, yet somehow you’re only paying a third of the cost. Presumably what they’re talking about is cost per GB, but it’s not very clear from the product page.
The question that remains is how reliable solutions like this are, although at least the safe mode option means that you shouldn’t lose any data unless you have a catastrophic failure. That said, mirroring the data of the SSD onto the hard drive doesn’t seem all that useful, as neither SSDs nor hard drives are free from failures. HighPoint’s HBAs should become available later this month for a yet unknown price.S|A
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