Samsung acquires SSD caching software

Samsung is one of a select group of SSD vendors that makes not only its own controller silicon, but also its own NAND. Now, the electronics giant has added another asset to its storage divison. Samsung has acquired Nvelo, a Santa Clara-based software company specializing in SSD caching.

Nvelo’s Dataplex software is similar to Intel’s Smart Response Technology but isn’t restricted to specific Intel chipsets. Corsair, Crucial, Mushkin, and OCZ have been bundling Dataplex with their caching-oriented solid-state drives for some time. While it’s unclear whether those relationships will be renewed, it seems likely Samsung will want to keep any new innovations to itself. The Nvelo press release notes only that the acquisition encompasses all of the firm’s technology and personnel.

SSD caching is becoming more popular as flash prices continue to fall, and Samsung is uniquely positioned to take advantage with both its standalone storage products and with complete systems like notebooks. If Samsung hadn’t sold its hard drive business to Seagate, it would have that side of the equation covered, too.

Although SSD caching seems likely to be rolled into a new version of Windows eventually, I suspect a lot of folks will be sticking with Windows 7 for the foreseeable future. Indeed, adding a caching-friendly SSD should be a good way to extend the useful life of those systems. That should be an easy upgrade; unlike adding a solid-state system drive, dropping in a caching SSD doesn’t require cloning the OS or choosing how to distribute applications, games, and files between the SSD and mechanical storage.

Comments closed
    • ashleyw2934x
    • 7 years ago
    • spuppy
    • 7 years ago

    I think every system with a mechanical drive should have a cache for it. Even if you have a ‘main SSD’ for Windows and some programs, if you have an HDD for anything other than archiving, cache it up! It’s cheap and has real world benefits.

    • spigzone
    • 7 years ago

    I use only SSDs in daily use to avoid potential crashes and rev up a 3gb hard drive only long enough to upload or download pertinent files to or from my SSDs. I keep the hard drive in a hot swap bay so it’s very easy to gently engage or disengage without shutting down the computer.

    Makes for a very secure feeling.

    And it’s very very quiet.

    By the way, Easeus todo backup free contains an excellent dead easy 3 click cloning function that allows cloning to a smaller disk from a larger one as long as the data fits. Makes it very easy to move the OS from a hard disk to an SSD.

    • stacey1x0pp
    • 7 years ago
    • Bensam123
    • 7 years ago

    RAM caching is becoming more popular as RAM prices continue to fall.

    Google Fancycache

      • Joe Miller
      • 7 years ago

      I have been thinking about it. Have you used it? Does it provide substantial gains over using just plain Windows 7 x64 with 16 GB memory?

    • not@home
    • 7 years ago

    Just a little off topic…

    So, did TR ever do a review of Samsung’s 840 PRO?

      • Dissonance
      • 7 years ago

      We’ve been testing one, ran into some issues, then did some retesting with a new firmware rev. The review should be up in the next couple days.

        • MadManOriginal
        • 7 years ago

        You’re going to give AbRaSi0N a heart attack when that review goes up.

    • jessterman21
    • 7 years ago

    Love my 50GB Mushkin Enhanced Catalyst. Not quite as quick as a straight SSD, but I didn’t have to reinstall Windows, and I don’t have to worry about managing my programs and files between the two drives – Dataplex does an amazing job. It’s a $70 set-and-forget speed boost 🙂

      • davidbowser
      • 7 years ago

      I have a Crucial M4 boot drive and I am using a Crucial Adrenaline with Nvelo in front of a 2TB Samsung for my secondary data drive. It was dead easy to install, and it has made the stuff that used to cause the 2TB drive have to spin up from power save (directory listing, search, open one file) happen instantly.

      I think this type of caching hardware/software is a viable time/cost option for folks that need the space, but want the speed. A 128-256GB SSD is fine for OS and some apps, but having lots of games and media just begs for a multi TB drive.

      $100 – decent 120GB boot/OS
      $75 – decent caching SSD
      $125 – decent 2TB secondary drive

      versus

      $175 – decent 240GB boot/OS
      $125 – decent 2TB secondary drive
      manually choosing/balancing slow apps/data and fast apps/data

    • thesmileman
    • 7 years ago

    Hopefully they still update the Dataplex software as they don’t have support for win 8 yet.

    • Chrispy_
    • 7 years ago

    An alternative to Intel’s SRT would be good.

    SRT is great for people that don’t want to fork out for a large SSD, in other words, it’s ideal for low-budget buyers.

    A Z-series motherboard is the opposite of low-budget.

    I’d take a 32GB 840-based samsung drive if it came bundled with platform independent caching software. OCZ have tried this with the Synapse drive, but silly pricing and awful software execution made it yet another OCZ stillborn.

    I have faith in Samsung’s ability to execute well, let’s hope this doesn’t take too long to turn up a real product.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      The funny thing about this timing is that caching software is becoming less relevant pretty quickly. SSD $/GB is dropping fast and has at least one more ‘easy’-ish node to go, so 250-ish GB SSDs ought to be reasonably priced soon enough. That covers non-mobile systems well enough imo, although there will still be some people who want 500GB+ on their main OS drive. (ugh)

      Where it will still matter is laptops, which Samsung is big in as Geoff rightly mentions. OEMs still charge ridiculous prices for SSD options, but unlike desktops people with only a laptop may legitimately want 500GB+ on ‘one drive’ (from the user perspective.) Maybe there’s some other technology this company has as well that relates purely to SSDs that Samsung wants too. OR maybe this company licenses tech to Apple and Samsung wanted to stop that. lol

        • Flying Fox
        • 7 years ago

        Even the >240GB drives are coming down in prices fast with the new TLCs. Although long term reliability is still to be proven. The 250GB 840 non-pro has reached its Black Friday price again already. I take it as a sign that the cost of making those drives is definitely less than MLC-based ones.

        Improved wear-leveling algorithms and under-provisioning, combined with higher raw capacity at the same (or lower) price should make these TLC-based drives more affordable with hopefully the same longevity.

          • MadManOriginal
          • 7 years ago

          Yes, for us as enthusiasts SSDs have been well-priced for over a year now. I was thinking more of mainstream users whose entire computer with all peripherals, monitor and OS might cost $500 – the typical Dell or HP email/internet/light use buyer.

          • Farting Bob
          • 7 years ago

          The only TLC drive out is the 840, and that is about the same price as the 830 (which itself is not the cheapest drive). TLC isn’t really having much of a effect on prices in the lower end of the market where it will sit once the other drive makers put out TLC SSD’s of their own.

          Yes TLC should be cheaper than MLC once the manufacturering ramps up but right now it’s not any cheaper for consumers. Im sure once a few of the other big players offer cheaper TLC drives we’ll see things shake up a bit, although im more interested in an 830 or 840 pro right now. Probably make the jump next month.

        • Chrispy_
        • 7 years ago

        I wouldn’t mind putting an SSD cache in front of my 4TB array, and it’s going to be a long time before that much NAND is within reach of the average person.

          • MadManOriginal
          • 7 years ago

          I wonder if such a large array would even benefit from an affordable amount of SSD cache. If it’s so large and you use a lot of different data, how would it even cache it?

            • Chrispy_
            • 7 years ago

            Well, small files should be cached, large files left alone; Simple.

            Say you have a 20GB game folder. The game consists of a boatload of engine files that are a few kilobytes, all perfect for the SSD cache, and a whole load of hundred-megabyte texture packs that get streamed into RAM.

            Running games off mechanical disks is a seek-fest, I’d like a good cacheing system to run the small, SSD-friendly files off the SSD and the large, mechanical-friendly files off the mechanical drive. Is that really too much to ask/hope for?

            • MadManOriginal
            • 7 years ago

            Yes.

      • Flying Fox
      • 7 years ago

      As the “bigger” SSDs are dropping in price, this has to be priced really low to be worth it IMO.

      A 32GB 840 drive will mean there is only like a couple channels (or just 1?) used, which won’t give you much.

    • Flying Fox
    • 7 years ago

    I am reporting pretty good success with imagex and no other cloning software (thanks Ryu Connor!). Will be posting my logs in the forums soon. It is not as scary as it seems.

      • flip-mode
      • 7 years ago

      Um, more explanation needed. First, does this relate to SSD caching? Second, are you creating deployment images, or just using to make backup images of your personal computer?

        • Flying Fox
        • 7 years ago

        In a way it was, MMO echo’ed the premise of “with larger SSD drives dropping in price to reasonable levels, why not just get a real drive?” (except the ultra low budget ones obviously). I was suggesting that migrating from one drive to another is not necessarily as scary as previously feared, especially to us enthusiasts. 🙂

        I just upgraded from 1 SSD to a larger one using imagex, pretty much my backup image. I will be handing the old SSD to my bro soon, and he is still on mechanical. I now have pretty good confidence that I can do it smoothly.

          • DarkMikaru
          • 7 years ago

          I recently used the Samsung Cloning Software that is free on there website to migrate from my 830 128GB to 256GB version. Dad gets my old 128 to upgrade from that crappy old 80GB seagate drive.

          [url<]http://www.samsung.com/us/support/owners/product/MZ-7PC128N/AM[/url<] Works flawlessly!

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