As most computer professionals know, cache is a very effective way of speeding up hard disk performance in PCs and servers by storing frequent read (and write) operations. So operators of busy file and web servers often put as much RAM as they can afford or which the server can take for additional cache space. Adaptec has announced its own caching card, the MaxIQ, which uses an Intel X25-E Extreme SLC solid state drive (SSD) instead of RAM for the cache and coding ideas licensed by Microsoft that covers using SSDs for read caching.
While SLC based SSD storage still costs a lot more per gigabyte than HDD based storage, not to mention MLC based storage, even SLC based SSD drives are still much cheaper per gigabyte than RAM. SSD also has another advantage in that it retains its content even after a power loss.
According to Adaptec, this MaxIQ PCIe card, which is also a RAID controller, achieved a 3.2x I/O performance increase in a benchmark over a similar system that did not use SSD caching. The benchmark simulated a brokerage firm database along with a 50,000 user environment. They claim that this could also translate into a 70% saving in capital and operating costs.
As this PCIe card is a RAID controller, it will also be a competitor against SSD PCIe cards such as LSI’s SSS6200, which are just pure SSD controllers.