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Appeared on: Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Sandisk Updates Flashsoft Software For Server-side Solid State Caching

SanDisk today announced a significant upgrade to its enterprise software portfolio with a new version of its FlashSoft software for Windows Server and Linux operating systems.

FlashSoft 3.2 server-side solid state caching software complements and enhances the performance of existing applications, and server and storage systems.

Key benefits of FlashSoft 3.2 software include:

- multiple SSD support, with SSD mirroring for "safe write-back" caching;
- support for up to four caches on a single server;
- acceleration of up to 2048 volumes per cache;
- maximum cache size increased to two terabytes per cache; and,
- support for volume-based storage architectures, including direct-attached storage (DAS) and storage area network (SAN) configurations.

By caching frequently accessed data on solid-state memory installed in the server, FlashSoft software allows read and write operations for hot data to execute via the solid state device rather than underlying storage. This optimizes server performance by reducing input-output latency ("I/O latency") from storage. The software dynamically allocates the cache space to volumes based on their I/O activity for optimal efficiency in SSD utilization, while minimizing use of server CPU and memory resources.

FlashSoft software supports SanDisk's own enterprise solid-state devices, and it's also compatible with all vendors' enterprise flash-based systems, including those using PCIe, SAS or SATA technology.

SanDisk has improved the FlashSoft caching engine to meet requirements for accelerating data-intensive workloads. FlashSoft 3.2 allows four separate caches on a single server, with each cache on its own SSD. In addition, SanDisk has increased the maximum size of each cache from 1TB to 2TB, and the number of volumes supported by a single cache has increased from 255 to 2048. Multiple SSD Support

In addition to supporting multiple caches on separate SSDs, FlashSoft 3.2 supports the concatenation (linking) of multiple solid state devices to provide one larger logical SSD. When a larger solid state cache is needed, FlashSoft software gives the option of simply adding more solid state devices for incremental growth, rather than requiring replacement of the existing SSD. Additionally, when implementing multiple caches, an IT manager can employ higher performing or larger SSDs for caching higher priority workloads, and more economical solid state devices for less demanding applications.

FlashSoft software has always provided the option of a write-back mode for "read-write" caching, which can improve performance for certain database applications. FlashSoft 3.2 also supports data mirroring, using two identical SSDs for "safe write-back" caching where data is written to both SSDs concurrently and is available even in the event of an SSD failure. If one SSD fails, FlashSoft automatically flushes the data from the other SSD and switches to write-through mode, providing read-only caching until the SSD failure is remedied.

FlashSoft 3.2 for Windows Server ($3,000 USD), FlashSoft 3.2 for Linux ($3,500) and FlashSoft 3.1 for VMware vSphere ($3,900) are available now and may be purchased from SanDisk or through authorized resellers.


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