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Adaptec's caching card uses MS code

MaxIQ uses Redmond algorithms

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Adaptec has announced benchmark results for its MaxIS solid state drive (SSD) caching card and revealed it's based on licensed Microsoft code.

The MaxIQ card is equipped with 32GB Intel X25-E SSDs and is an add-on card to Adaptec's RAID controllers such as the 5Z, which link to SATA and/or SAS hard drives.

In effect Adaptec has made a PCIe-connected flash memory card that happens to be a RAID controller as well. As such it competes with pure SSD PCIe cards that have no RAID functions on them, such as Fusion-io's ioDrive and LSI's SSS6200.

Adaptec claims its MaxIQ card is more cost-effective than other PCIe flash cards.

The benchmark simulated a brokerage application database environment with 50,000 users, and showed a 3.2X increase in system I/O (input/output) performance over the best results of a similar system without SSD caching. Adaptec claims such a performance increase "can translate into a savings in capital and operating costs of up to 70 per cent".

Adaptec said it licensed ideas from Microsoft about using SSDs as read caching devices. Its release about the benchmark quoted David Kaefer, general manager of Microsoft's Intellectual Property Licensing, saying: "When our datacenter team came up with some innovative ideas around using solid state devices as read caching devices, we determined it made good sense to license these advances to Adaptec because Microsoft itself doesn't sell these types of products."

Adaptec is up for sale, following activist investor Steel Partners' takeover of the board. What we appear to have here is a demonstration of Adaptec's product prowess and intellectual property assets - potential buyers take note. ®

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