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Slim is in: Solid Data debuts 1U solid-state file-caching appliance

Kevin Komiega

Solid Data Systems, Inc., is on a mission to make solid state disk technology more attractive and accessible to ISPs and ASPs that are grappling for space in the co-location arena. The Santa Clara, Calif. - based manufacturer has unwrapped the newest addition to its Excellerator family of solid state file caching appliances-- the Excellerator e-100.

"It's the same technology, available in a thinner, 'pizza box' form factor," said Michael Casey, vice president of marketing at Solid Data Systems. "We're giving somebody the ability to buy up to 2G bytes of capacity in a 1U (one standard storage unit of rack space or 1.75 inches space.) Casey said that the e-100 is a prime solution for the ISP space due to the constant battle for rack space in a co-location environment.

"The e-100 allows rack-spaced constrained organizations, such as ISPs and ASPs, to take advantage of the benefit of a solid state disk," said David Hill, research director of storage and storage management for The Aberdeen Group, Boston, Mass.

"That benefit is the ability to solve I/O wait performance constraints caused by skewed files." Hill explained that skewed files represent a small portion of files but support more than 50 percent of the I/O activity. Storing these skewed files on a solid state device can dramatically improve performance because the solid state device retrieves data at a much high rate than rotating disk devices, he said.

"The price and performance

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of an e-100 may well encourage some organizations to try a solid state device for the first time. Enterprises that have I/O wait problems will, more and more, look at solid state disk systems as a possible solution to that problem," said Hill.

The e-100 repackages the technology of Solid Data's existing rack-mount products into a smaller form factor, offering up to 2G bytes of solid-state disk (SSD) in 1U, and allowing more equipment to fit into a standard 19-inch rack.

The e-100 incorporates an industry-standard Ultra SCSI interface, and can be integrated into any UNIX or NT server. The appliance's plug-and-play installation process is quick and easy to set up, requiring no special configuration or device drivers. Each unit supports capacities of 536M bytes, 1.07G bytes or 2.14G bytes.

Excellerator e-100 will be generally available in production volumes by mid-September. Prices start at $12,000 for a 0.5G byte unit.


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