Gear6, a 2-year-old Menlo Park, Calif., startup that makes an appliance that accelerates NAS/NFS deployments, announced mid-October it is testing a beta version of the industrys first centralized storage caching product for the data center.
This marks the first time that high-capacity, high-performance cache can be deployed as a scalable, shared network resource, a company spokesperson said.
The new Gear6 development closes a performance gap experienced by a number of IT systems, the spokesperson said—a gap created by decades of server and CPU advances that have left disk data access, a purely mechanical process, far behind.
Gear6 provides increased I/O throughput, reduces disk access time from milliseconds to microseconds, and scales to terabytes of capacity, the spokesperson said.
This new approach complements existing NAS/NFS deployments and installs transparently in the data center without requiring changes to current applications or infrastructure, the spokesperson added.
Data center managers have had difficulty overcoming inherent capacity constraints and limited sharing capabilities involving server or storage device caching.
Centralizing cache allows data to be accessed and shared by multiple applications and hundreds—or even thousands—of clients.
Centralized storage caching fits a broad range of applications—including transaction processing and other database workloads—and industries.
Any application that is I/O-intensive or requires rapid data access will realize immediate performance improvements and improved quality of service, the Gear6 spokesperson said.
“The business goals of almost every strategic IT initiative are to improve performance and user experience while reducing costs and complexity,” said Michael Dortch, principal business analyst and IT infrastructure management practice leader at Robert Frances Group in Westport, Conn.
“The innovative shared network caching offered by Gear6 helps enterprises to achieve these goals by overcoming the latency and throughput constraints of traditional disk-based storage systems.
“In addition, the Gear6 solution interoperates seamlessly with incumbent data center infrastructures, maximizing business benefits while minimizing operational disruption and additional complexity. Such features should appeal to almost any organization that relies upon IT to do business—which today is almost every enterprise.”
The Gear6 product is currently in beta testing, and general availability will be announced in the coming months. More information is available at the Gear6 Web site.