Intel to Launch SSD Cache Acceleration Software for Linux

Posted on February 13, 2013 By Pedro Hernandez

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Intel currently offers flash cache acceleration software for Windows, but the company is assuring Linux shops that the company hasn't forgotten about them.

The chipmaker and burgeoning flash storage provider announced a version of its Cache Acceleration Software (CAS) for Linux set to launch within "30 days as an enterprise subscription and open source release," said Intel in a statement. The software is compatible with the company's line of PCIe flash acceleration products, dubbed Intel SSD 910, in addition to its DC S3700 solid-state drives (SSDs) for data center workloads.

Intel's Cache Acceleration Software comes from NEVEX, a Toronto-based application optimization cache software specialist that the company acquired in August. Aimed at database/OLTP, virtualization, cloud and Hadoop Big Data workloads, CAS employs policy-based caching to target "performance to specific applications, files, VM or individual database tables," according to Intel.

This "selective optimized caching" enables administrators to prioritize workloads and speed I/O to the applications that offer the biggest business impact. Now, Intel intends to bring the same I/O boosting benefits that it currently offers Windows servers to Linux.

In a statement, Intel's general manager of Attached Platform Storage Software, Steve Dalton, outlined what the impending release could mean for Linux systems administrators. The answer, in short: a big performance boost for storage-intensive applications that's independent from storage area networks (SAN).

"Attempts to solve I/O performance issues at the SAN tier have resulted in wasted spend, wasted productivity, and frustration to both users and IT administrators," stated Dalton.

Servers, along with some software and a dash of flash storage, are the answer. "We have the seamless answer with our Cache Acceleration Software solution. Intel CAS allows administrators to target storage performance to those applications that need it the most, offloading IOPS from primary storage to the servers themselves, providing a win-win with previous storage spend," said Dalton.

Storage Strategies-NOW senior analyst James Bagley agrees.

"With the combination of Intel CAS and the Intel 910 PCIe SSD, Intel has a solution that is a game changer for server-side caching. It allows IT to easily add more performance to their existing storage infrastructure, delivering SSD levels of speed without a complete data migration," said Bagley in prepared remarks.

Intel isn't the only SSD maker to invest in the software side of the enterprise flash storage market.

A year ago, SanDisk snapped up FlashSoft for its solid-state drive (SSD) caching software that speeds up Oracle and MySQL databases. In December, Samsung acquired NVELO and its DataPlex caching software.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

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