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Gear6 Shifts Out of Neutral

Gear6 isn't completely out of stealth yet, but the startup put some flesh on the bones of its technology story today and gave an indication of what it is doing with the $14.5 million in funding it has raised. (See Gear6 Unveils Appliance and Gear6.)

Gear6 says it is beta-testing a storage caching appliance and expects to release it in the next few months. The first appliance it rolls out will accelerate NAS devices. Plans are underway for a block storage appliance to follow.

Here's what we know: The Gear6 device will sit in the data path on an Ethernet link between NAS filers and storage. It will use high-speed RAM to increase the rate of I/O.

Here's what we don't know: How well it will work, how much it costs, and product specs such as how many terabytes it will scale to.

Here's what Gear6 promises: The appliance will serve cache files 10 to 50 times faster from RAM than is possible from disk. Gear6 says its appliance scales better than server or controller-based caching devices, does not cause a performance hit on each server, and does not require the additional cost of memory cache in storage systems.

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