something I have been thinking about for a while is the idea of a RAID array on Flash cards. Its been done before by Big Bruin and they used 4 USB Thumb keys and made a RAID array, and it got me thinking: What about CF Cards? I though about this, and did some price checking. its not cheap. a RAID array with 16 8Gb CF Cards, and 16 CF readers, will cost roughly EUR2200. you will more than likely need some USB Hubs for this too (My Mac Pro only has 5 USB slots). so, we say EUR20 for a 4 port hub, and your total goes to nearly EUR2300. for that price, you would get 128Gb of RAW Storage, which would also equal 128Gb in a RAID 0 Array (striped), 64Gb in RAID 1 (mirrored), 32Gb in RAID 10 (Striped and Mirrored) and estimating something like 96Gb or so in RAID 5 array.
Now, I probably wont go out and order 16 8Gb CF Cards and 16 memory card readers tomorrow, but I wonder what kind of speeds you would actually get out of a system like this? What about latency? Just some Friday fun!
[update] After posting this, i found something interesting. I was thinking that CF Cards would be cheaper, but it seems i was very wrong. the place i buy most of my memory from, Shop4Memory.com, is selling 8Gb CF Cards for about 120EUR. an 8Gb USB 2 Key is 75EUR. which means my array above, without the need for Memory card readers, will set me back 1200EUR, plus the 4 Hubs at 80EUR total. So, in reality, for the same price as 128Gb with CF Cards, I could have 256Gb with USB Keys! now wondering if someone should build a USB RAID Card, so booting a machine would be possible… </p>