waremax 1 WareMax does platform and OS independent SSD caching

Computex might be over, but we still have quite a bit of content left from the show and we've kept quite a few goodies for you. We bumped into a company called WareMax hidden away at hall 2 of the show that was demoing a solution that allows for SSD caching of hard drives on just about any platform and OS.

Computex might be over, but we still have quite a bit of content left from the show and we've kept quite a few goodies for you. We bumped into a company called WareMax hidden away at hall 2 of the show that was demoing a solution that allows for SSD caching of hard drives on just about any platform and OS.

The solution is called CacheHybrid and consists of a small PCB in a 2.5-inch drive caddy. The PCB has a standard SATA data and power connector, as well as an additional SATA data connector, a few chips and then on the other side a SATA data and power connector into which the SSD is fitted. The PCB is connected to any SATA port on a motherboard and the extra connector is daisy chained to a hard drive. It might sound a bit complicated, but have a look at the picture below and we're sure you'll understand how it works.

waremax 1 WareMax does platform and OS independent SSD caching

The neat thing here is that the CacheHybrid is OS independent, unlike current solutions from Intel and Marvell which rely on a special driver for their SSD caching solutions to work. The downside is higher cost, although we don't know how much it'll cost as WareMax is an OEM/ODM and was at the show looking for partners to take on its solution.

CacheHybrid can be set up in a couple of different modes. In safe mode the SSD acts as a simple cache for the hard drive with the data stored on both devices. If a large SSD is used, a part of it can be set up to clone a part of the hard drive for an additional performance boost for the programs located in the cloned area. In extended mode part of the SSD is acting as cache while the rest of the SSD is used to “extend” the hard drive set to improve performance, although there's a slight risk of data loss in this mode in case one of the drives was to fail.

waremax 2 WareMax does platform and OS independent SSD caching

WareMax also offers another unit called the RealCache which has two SATA ports which allows for a pair of hard drives in RAID with the SSD still acting as a cache for the hard drives. Only RAID 0 and 1 are supported, but the SSD should help boost the performance by more than a RAID 0 hard drive setup would.

Both these solutions are looking pretty good, especially if you're running a non-Windows OS. Performance was demoed using a Kingston SSDnow 100 V+ 128GB SSD and a WD Green 1.5TB hard drive and we're looking at a pretty healthy performance boost compared to using a hard drive alone. It's worth taking into account that this Kingston SSD is far from the fastest available in the market. The only downside is that so far WareMax is only offering SATA 3Gbps solutions, something that could potentially limit the performance. You also need to use a fairly fast SSD and the company recommends using at least a 64GB SSD for optimal performance.