Products of the Year 2004:

Storage networking equipment

Gold Award:

Storspeed Inc. SP5000 Application-Aware Cache

Storspeed Inc.'s SP5000 application-aware cache is a gold award winner because of its ability to create a virtual performance layer and selectively apply administrator-created performance profiles to users and applications. The SP5000 started shipping in October 2009, and its $65,000 base price includes 80 GB of dynamic RAM (DRAM), eight bays for flash-based solid-state drives, a storage-usage metrics application and storage optimization tools.

Our panel of judges gave the SP5000 its highest marks when considering the product's innovation. Its ability to ensure that key users and applications will receive adequate resources allows administrators to confidently scale and tier data storage resources and use lower-cost capacity for archival data.

The SP5000 uses fast-packet inspection to determine how to populate a network cache and deliver predictable, high-performance storage to users and their applications regardless of the back-end storage infrastructure. It's standards based and invisible to applications, storage and network infrastructure because it installs between applications and network storage.

One judge commented that "NAS apps are often latency sensitive, so if [the SP5000] can really reduce round-trip time [RTT] without burning tons of CPU on the filer for key apps it will pay for itself." Another judge thought that it's a "great use of SSD."

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