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Alacritech Turns to Linux

With iSCSI still on hold, storage adapter startup Alacritech Inc. has redoubled efforts to tailor its TCP/IP acceleration technology for the NAS market with a push into Linux.

Alacritech on Monday announced partnerships with three small software vendors -- FalconStor Software Inc., Mountain View Data Inc., and OptiFacio Software Services Inc. -- each of which are planning to use Alacritech's network acceleration cards in Linux-based NAS offerings (see Alacritech Signs Linux NAS Partners).

"The NAS vendors are absolutely figuring out they need TOEs [TCP Offload Engines] today," says Joe Gervais, director of product marketing at Alacritech. "We expect that to continue for some years ahead."

Alacritech's new Linux drivers provide acceleration, link aggregation, and failover for NAS environments. The company developed the software around the 2.4 Linux kernel and it supports Red Hat Inc. (Nasdaq: RHAT) Linux versions 7.2 and 7.3. The Alacritech code doesn't replace the TCP/IP stack in Linux; rather, it intercepts certain network calls in order to speed them up. "This is hard work integrating this into the operating system, because these operating systems don't have hooks for TOEs," Gervais says.

But will Alacritech get much moolah from its expanded Linux strategy? The idea is that Alacritech and its software partners will jointly pitch original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) on Linux-based NAS packages that provide souped-up performance using the Alacritech network-acceleration cards.

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