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OCZ Technology Acquires SANRAD For SSD Performance

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SSD maker OCZ will use SANRAD’s software to improve access to stored data in virtualised environments

High-performance solid-state storage device maker OCZ Technology added a key ingredient to its software lineup on 9 January in announcing the acquisition of privately held flash caching and virtualisation software/hardware provider SANRAD. Terms of the deal were not revealed by OCZ.

SANRAD, founded in 2000, has its research and development centre in Tel Aviv, Israel. SANRAD currently sells flash caching and virtualisation software and hardware to storage and networking OEMs such as Nexsan and Brocade as well as directly to the enterprise through a channel network.

Performance

OCZ will use SANRAD’s intellectual property to speed up its new Peripheral Component Interconnect Express (PCIe) NAND flash storage cards. The NAND flash-powered PCIe interface (championed by Intel, Fusion i-o and a few others) is becoming dominant in the enterprise solid-state disk market, with unit shipments greater than the combined shipments of its SAS and Fibre Channel counterparts expected in 2012.

SANRAD improves access to stored data in virtualised environments with its NAND flash-optimised software. It allows data centres to use more of their flash-based storage, extending the lifespan of the storage infrastructure and maximising efficiency.

Using this software, virtualised data centres gain the benefits of NAND flash performance while retaining the key benefits of server virtualisation, such as VMware’s vMotion (for location changes), high availability and disaster recovery.

SANRAD’s virtualisation software is VMware-, Microsoft- and Citrix-certified. OCZ made the purchase expecting to speed up performance (and thus, sales) of its PCIe-based flash storage packages in virtualised environments.

Dynamic distribution

SANRAD’s VXL software works with VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V and Citrix Xen hypervisors. It enables efficient dynamic distribution of host-based flash resources to guest virtual machines via its application optimised cache engine.

The VXL SCSI connectivity enables support of most modern operating systems, including all variants of Windows, FreeBSD, Solaris and Linux servers, in contrast to other caching solutions which require an installation of an agent or driver on each virtual machine.

OCZ Technology, which used to make niche dynamic RAM (DRAM) products, changed its focus a year ago when it withdrew from the memory business to focus on its solid-state-drive business.

OCZ launched its first 1TB solid-state storage drive last autumn – the first, the company claimed, in a 2.5-inch form factor.