FalconStor, Violin team on SAN accelerator

The appliance can increase SAN performance by more than 100%

FalconStor Software Inc. and Violin Memory Inc. today announced a new appliance designed to accelerate data transfers on storage-area networks through the use of solid-state drives as a massive cache.

The FalconStor NSS SAN Accelerator is a SAN gateway that boosts I/O performance on Fibre Channel and iSCSI SANs for critical applications, such as online transaction processing.

The new appliance combines FalconStor's Network Storage Server (NSS) Gateway storage management software and a 4TB Violin 1010 flash memory appliance to create a virtual SAN from which data can be served.

FalconStor claims that in benchmark tests, an NSS SAN accelerator that accounted for only 1% of the capacity on the SAN to which it was attached showed an I/O performance boost of more than 100%.

"There are no other solutions on the market today that can yield as much performance enhancement out of a modest investment in a solid-state tier of a virtualized SAN," Fadi Albatal, vice president of marketing at FalconStor, said in a statement.

FalconStor's SafeCache storage management application provides a segment of the solid-state memory array for application writes, so all disk writes can be received and acknowledged with low latency. The data is then written transparently to the destination storage volumes on an attached SAN. Then, FalconStor's HotZone software accelerates the read process of random-access database applications by monitoring disk access patterns and copying the so-called hot data to a HotZone cache on the solid-state memory array.

When data on the NSS SAN Accelerator is no longer experiencing heavy use, it's deleted and referenced back to its original location on the attached SAN.

The FalconStor NSS SAN Accelerator is immediately available in the U.S. with a price tag of $32,000, which includes one solid-state memory array with 500GB of RAID-protected storage capacity.

Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed . His e-mail address is lmearian@computerworld.com.

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