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Solid State for Small Biz

It may cost a small fortune, but could solid-state disk (SSD) be the answer to customers' data performance worries? Vendor Texas Memory Systems thinks so, today taking the wraps off an SSD offering aimed at small and medium-sized businesses. (See Texas Memory Intros RamSan.)

Specifically, Texas Memory is touting the RamSan-300 as a way for users to speed up database applications and metadata from large file systems. The device is a good fit for transactional databases such as Oracle and SQL Server that need to be accessed extremely quickly, according to Woody Hutsell, executive vice president for firm's SSD division.

The idea behind solid state is that it can speed up the transfer of data for I/O-intensive processes, enabling applications to run faster. But the cost associated with SSD makes it a bad fit for large chunks of unstructured data, not all of which is typically valuable to a business.

"I can't think of a customer that is using us for unstructured data," admits Hutsell.

SSD products use random access memory (RAM), as opposed to traditional magnetic or optical media, to store and access data. As a result, access speeds are typically much higher than traditional disk: 5 milliseconds for magnetic versus as little as 20 microseconds for solid state. Backers of this approach also promote it as a way to minimize or eliminate server I/O bottlenecks.

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