Microsoft is looking to boost Xbox LIVE online gaming speed, server farms and cloud apps using an injection of flash memory. Microsoft FlashStore works in a similar way to Seagate’s hybrid Momentus XT drives, using a flash-based bridge between RAM and a traditional HDD; that bridge maintains not only a “working set” of the most commonly accessed data, but provides a computer’s RAM with a hash-table-based index for speedier recall.
It also reduces the number of random writes subjected to flash and HDD alike. Interestingly, while when we tested Seagate’s Momentus XT we discovered performance fell in-between a traditional HDD and a proper SSD, Microsoft claims that FlashStore is quicker than both. Used in Xbox LIVE databases, a FlashStore setup was 60x faster than a standard RAM/HDD system and 5x faster than a top of the line commercial SSD.