Solid Data Speeds Access to Storage Resources

SANTA CLARA, CALIF. (07/05/2000) - Solid Data Systems Inc. is expected to announce new storage devices for data- and traffic-intensive Web sites, messaging systems and back-end databases next week.

Dubbed the Excellerator 100, 800 and 1000 Ultra SCSI, these drives use solid state disk technology to speed access to data. With solid state disk technology, files that are frequently used are cached on the disk so the server CPU does not become overloaded and files can be accessed quickly.

These frequently used or "hot files" make up less than 5% of the total storage but account for more than 50% of server traffic, experts say.

Solid state disks sit between the server and a RAID subsystem, Just a Bunch of Disks or Fibre Channel array, and they front end files for quick access. Using this technology, performance reading data off disks can improve by 200% to 800%, the company says.

"Unfortunately, too often the servers that drive the transaction process are unable to perform to their potential because of excessive I/O waits," says David Hill, an analyst with Aberdeen Group Inc. in Boston. "Solid Data's Systems Excellerator [products] for file caching may solve the storage-related performance problem."

The Model 100 is a 1 7/8-inch high Ultra SSCI rack-mountable drive that holds from .5G byte to more than 2G bytes of data. The box features a single disk controller and memory board.

The Model 800 and 800FC are 9-inch-high boxes with a capacity of 10G bytes.

They each contain five memory boards capable of storing 2G bytes of data. The 800 and 800FC have a SCSI for direct connection to a server or a Fibre Channel connection for linkage to a Fibre Channel-based storage-area network.

Like the Model 800 and 800FC, the Model 1000 and 1000FC contain Fibre Channel and SCSI connections.

The Model 1000 has 16 memory boards capable of holding 32G bytes of data. The box has larger power supplies and fans than the 800 series models, and is capable of supporting a larger load.

The Model 100 will be available in August for $12,500 for .5G byte of data capacity; the Model 800, which will be available this month, starts at $35,000 for 1G byte of data capacity. The Model 1000 starts at $56,700 for 1G byte of capacity, scaling to $270,000 for 16G bytes.

All drives work on Windows NT or Unix networks.

Solid Data: www.soliddata. com

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