Support and Q&A for Solid-State Drives

There’s a
lot of excitement around the potential for the widespread adoption of
solid-state drives (SSD) for primary storage, particularly on laptops
and also among many folks in the server world.  As with any new
technology, as it is introduced we often need to revisit the
assumptions baked into the overall system (OS, device support,
applications) as a result of the performance characteristics of the
technologies in use.  This post looks at the way we have tuned Windows
7 to the current generation of SSDs.  This is a rapidly moving area and
we expect that there will continue to be ways we will tune Windows and
we also expect the technology to continue to evolve, perhaps
introducing new tradeoffs or challenging other underlying assumptions. 
Michael Fortin authored this post with help from many folks across the
storage and fundamentals teams.  –Steven

Many of today’s Solid State Drives (SSDs) offer the promise of
improved performance, more consistent responsiveness, increased battery
life, superior ruggedness, quicker startup times, and noise and
vibration reductions. With prices dropping precipitously, most analysts
expect more and more PCs to be sold with SSDs in place of traditional
rotating hard disk drives (HDDs).

In Windows 7, we’ve focused a number of our engineering efforts with
SSD operating characteristics in mind. As a result, Windows 7’s default
behavior is to operate efficiently on SSDs without requiring any
customer intervention. Before delving into how Windows 7’s behavior is
automatically tuned to work efficiently on SSDs, a brief overview of
SSD operating characteristics is warranted.

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