Winmodem-like solid state storage
Posted Apr 11, 2009 23:09 UTC (Sat) by jzbiciak
(✭ supporter ✭
In reply to: Winmodem-like solid state storage
Parent article: Linux Storage and Filesystem Workshop, day 2
So it still looks to me like Winmodem-style flash storage would be a bane to Linux and free software.
Nonsense. There are plenty of machines out there that have just plain NAND or NOR flash hooked up to the CPU and Linux reads/writes these effectively. The issue is that currently we only see that in the embedded space, and it's typically just enough flash to hold the code for whatever that machine is supposed to do. For example, be a WiFi router or a set-top box or a cell phone.
What I'd like to see is something I can get off the shelf at my local Computer Mart (or on the web) that plugs into my PC and gives me raw flash. Instead of focusing on "right sized" and "small" and "maximizing battery life", it instead can be a bank of parallel flash such as what Intel's SSD disks are, but with a raw interface. We can then use our existing flash filesystems and infrastructure to drive those in a desktop and laptop space, rather than just the netbook/smart-phone/smart-router space.
Now, these (potentially) massively parallel performance oriented disks will need additional software support. You want something akin to RAID striping across the media along with maybe some redundancy in addition to wear leveling. That's just enhancements on top of our existing wear leveling filesystems and infrastructure.
The only real issue is that once you give raw flash to the OS and put the smarts in the OS, it'll be harder for dual-boot systems to communicate on the same media, because the likelihood that $VENDOR's Windows driver organizes the disk the way Linux does is slim to none unless $VENDOR works with the Linux community also.
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