In the latest sign that SanDisk is serious about strengthening its enterprise flash storage portfolio, the company announced that it had just acquired Schooner Information Technology for an undisclosed amount.

“Schooner represents another step in SanDisk’s expansion in the enterprise space,” said SanDisk’s Greg Goelz, vice president and general manager of the Enterprise Storage Solutions division, in a company statement. Given the growth of the flash caching market, it’s easy to see why Schooner made such a tempting acquisition target for SanDisk.

Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Schooner is a software maker whose Membrain software is billed as a multi-threaded, flash-optimized implementation of memcached, an open source distributed memory caching system that is commonly used to speed up database-driven applications. The company also sells SchoonerSQL, a MySQL-compatible online transaction processing (OLTP) database it claims can deliver five-nines availability on commodity x86 systems.

“Engineered for flash acceleration and enhanced with enterprise features, Schooner’s products deliver up to five times the throughput of competing configurations,” says SanDisk.

Schooner isn’t SanDisk’s first stab at software that exploits flash storage architectures. In February, the company bought FlashSoft, a solid-state drive (SSD) caching software maker whose technology can boost Oracle and MySQL performance on Linux by up to 400 percent.

SanDisk hints that Schooner’s tech not only solidifies its foothold on the flash caching market — the company unveiled a new line of Lightning PCIe Solid State Accelerator cards earlier this month — it also has another IT hotspot in its sights: Big Data analytics.

“Schooner’s ability to combine DRAM and flash memory seamlessly in a single solution offers near-DRAM performance at a lower cost,” states the company after referencing in-memory database solutions as game changers in business intelligence and database processing.

Schooner’s database and flash optimization team is now part of SanDisk’s Enterprise Storage Solutions (ESS) unit. According to SanDisk, Schooner’s tech will be enhanced for the company’s enterprise SSDs and those of third-party providers.

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