IBM Makes Quantum Leap with SSD OEM Agreement

IBM plans to make the Extended Adaptive Cache enhancement option announced on July 29 available to the AS/400 market through an OEM licensing agreement with Quantum Corp. (Milpitas, Calif.) that takes advantage of the company's Rushmore Ultra Solid State Disk (SSD) storage system.

"IBM is the first major system supplier to combine caching with solid state disk technology," says Bob Murphy, manager of SSD marketing for Quantum. "This integrated caching harnesses the performance muscle of Quantum's solid state disk and the brains of IBM's intelligent firmware to deliver superior performance to IT managers who require virtually instantaneous access to data for corporate survival."

The Extended Adaptive Cache for OS/400 V4R4, combined with Quantum's SSD device, increases the storage and deployment of the data most in demand by system users. Using intelligent algorithms, information the user is most likely to access is stored on the SSD. Rushmore Ultra SSD devices can handle up to 9,000 I/0 requests per second and function up to 200 times faster than conventional magnetic disk drives. The SSDs are also equipped with a SCSI-3 single-ended interface, providing sustained data-transfer rates of more than 30 MB per second and access time of less than 50 microseconds.

SSD is used for business functions that require quick response time, such as financial transactions. According to Murphy, SSD is just coming into the mainstream because of cost. "The technology is much more affordable than it used to be," he says, adding that it was previously used by large corporations in areas of utmost importance.

Also part of IBM's July 29 announcements, the company introduced three new PCI adapters and a 10K 8.58 GB disk unit. According to IBM, a combination of a new PCI controller and 10K RPM disk can result in a 60 percent performance increase. When adding Extended Adaptive Cache to that combination, an additional 50 percent performance increase can be achieved.

The 1.6GB Read Cache Device for IBM AS/400e servers is scheduled to be generally available through IBM resellers and distributors on August 20. For users who have already purchased AS/400e systems, the Extended Adaptive Cache option is available as a retrofit.

-- J. Martin