Schooner intros SSD appliance that replaces 8 servers

SSD servers can consolidate SQL server environments, start-up says

Schooner Information Technology Inc. emerged from its development stage this month to launch the first two products in its family of flash-based data center servers: the Schooner Appliance for MySQL Enterprise applications and the Schooner Appliance for Memcached distributed memory caching systems.

The appliances are aimed at Web 2.0 and cloud computing companies that require high I/O operations; Schooner claims that one of its boxes can replace up to eight traditional servers. Each Schooner server offers up to eight times the performance of traditional servers, Schooner CEO John Busch said.

The new appliances, which are built on Intel Nehalem-based IBM System x servers, each have eight Intel X25-E enterprise-class solid-state disk (SSD) drives arranged in parallel. Each SSD has 64GB of capacity for a total appliance capacity of 512GB, according to Busch. Each server has a retail price of US$45,000.

Peter Zaitsev, co-founder of technology consulting firm Percona, said the appliances could allow a company to significantly consolidate its existing MySQL servers and address "many current MySQL industry challenges around scaling and administrative overhead."

Schooner appliances are now in customer trials and will be available for volume shipment in the third quarter of 2009.

The Schooner Memcached appliance can serve up to 850,000 cached operations per second; the Schooner appliance for MySQL delivers up to 65,000 data transfers per minute running IBM's DB2T.

"Schooner has addressed the three biggest problems facing today's internet data centers: cost, complexity, and energy consumption," said Jim Watson, a managing general partner at CMEA Capital. "Schooner is a game-changing solution that's right for today's economic realities. It's not technology for technology's sake. It's technology that solves real-world problems."

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