Feeds

Intel serves flashy speed to penguins after eating Nevex's cache

Flash cache for Linux servers

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Intel has launched its Cache Acceleration Software (CAS), the renamed Nevex CacheWorks software, integrating it with its DC S3700 SSD and and 910 Series server flash card.

CacheWorks and now CAS provides a policy-based flash cache for application data stored on disk drives, utilising a server's SSD or PCIe flash card, and then applies a faster, second-level cache using the host server's DRAM, with support originally for Windows and now Linux later this month. The idea is that such 2-tier caching can be faster than using flash alone.

Intel bought Nevex for an undisclosed amount around August 2012. In February of that year Nevex and TMS did a deal for TMS RamSan hardware to use CacheWorks software. Later in the year, IBM bought TMS and so, we imagine, inherited that deal - with Intel apparently inheriting it on the Nevex side. It's an open question whether the deal will survive with Intel supplying the software to IBM when Intel has bought the software to help sell its own flash products and not IBM's.

The Nevex/Intel software is aware of certain applications and, we understand, accelerates their access to data better than non app-aware flash cache software would do. We're told individual database tables can be pinned in the cache to improve access to their data. The cache can be targeted to specific applications, files, virtual machines or, as already noted, individual database tables.

CAS will compete with other server flash caching software such as:

  • The coming Cachebox
  • EMC's VFCache
  • Fusion-io's ioTurbine
  • NetApp's FlashAccel
  • OCZ's SANRAD
  • Samsung's NVELO
  • SanDisk FlashSoft
  • Seagate/Virident's vFAS storage memory software
  • STEC's EnhanceIO
  • VeloBit's HYperCache

We think Intel wants to add value to its DC S3700 and 910 flash products rather than set the world of flash caching software on fire, as caching software is heading towards commoditisation at a fast clip. Development directions for flash caching that would avoid commoditisation include back-end array integration and/or front-end storage memory using PCIe flash to add a tier of low-access memory to servers rather than a flash cache. Which route Intel will take is unclear.

General target application areas for data access acceleration are database, OLTP, virtualisation, cloud and Big Data. Intel says CAS supports automated vMotion and Live Migration with a hot cache maintained while these are taking place. CAS and the DC S3700 and 910 flash card are available through Intel's channel but note that the Linux version of the software will be generally available within 30 days, both as an enterprise subscription and an open source release. There is a CAS FAQ here. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
VVOL update: Are any vendors NOT leaping into bed with VMware?
It's not yet been released but everyone thinks it's the dog's danglies
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
SHOCK and AWS: The fall of Amazon's deflationary cloud
Just as Jeff Bezos did to books and CDs, Amazon's rivals are now doing to it
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.