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Tuesday, July 23, 2013
OCZ Delivers the Plug-and-Play SQL Server Optimized ZD-XL SQL Accelerator

OCZ today announced the general availability of its ZD-XL SQL Accelerator, a tightly integrated hardware/software storage solution that accelerates and optimizes Microsoft SQL Server database applications in enterprise environments.

The ZD-XL SSD is based on OCZ's Z-Drive r4, featuring 4 or 8 SF-2000 series controllers on a single PCIe Gen 2 x8 card, depending on capacity.

ZD-XL SQL Accelerator includes a flash-based PCIe solid-state drive working in combination with acceleration and caching software to deliver the right and relevant SQL Server data when the application needs it. Through graphical user interface, ZD-XL provides simple step-by-step implementation wizards that guide database administrators (DBAs) through best practice models of its flash-based resources to deliver efficient deployment into SQL Server environments.

The ZD-XL SQL Accelerator architecture exposes its PCIe-based on-host flash as both local and cache volumes, and efficiently distributes random database workloads in parallel between all of its available flash. According to PCZ, it provides up to 25 times improved database performance depending on the application load. The ZD-XL SQL Accelerator's ability to partition its flash between local volumes and cache enables data files, such as tempDB, to benefit from high flash performance while hot database data is cached to flash for immediate availability by SQL Server.

Direct Pass Caching Technology is a key component of ZD-XL SQL Accelerator as it intelligently selects what data to insert into flash cache. The technology utilizes a data path cache director, cache analysis engine, and advanced policy-based algorithms that enable DBAs to use pre-optimized SQL Server-specific caching policies. This decision-engine performs deep 'out-of-band' statistical analysis of both OLTP (transactional) and OLAP (analytical) loads, making knowledgeable selections that ensure high hit ratios of the most frequent and important hot data to cache within ZD-XL SQL Accelerator without having to perform cycle-consuming analysis in the data path itself.

Another key feature of ZD-XL SQL Accelerator is its business-rule pre-warming cache engine and cache warm-up analyzer that monitors SQL Server workloads and automatically pre-loads the cache in advance of critical, demanding or important SQL Server jobs. It achieves this by identifying repeated access patterns that enable DBAs to set periodic time schedules to pre-load the cache. This feature assures that this critical data resides on the ZD-XL SQL Accelerator's cache at the exact time SQL Server needs it.

To round out its capabilities, ZD-XL SQL Accelerator is designed to enable complete high availability (HA) through Microsoft SQL Server AlwaysOn technology, so not only can SQL Server environments function at the speed of flash, but in the event of planned or unplanned downtime, can continue operations from the stopping point, retaining all of its data as if no downtime had occurred.

ZD-XL SQL Accelerator is available in three configurations supporting 600GB, 800GB and 1.6TB storage capacities with service and support options available for each. It is priced at $7800, $9800 and $15,200 for 600GB, 800GB and 1.6TB capacities.

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