Randy Kerns, senior strategist for the Boulder, Colo.-based Evaluator Group analyst firm, said Starboard’s storage systems have a unique way of handling I/O acceleration through a multi-tier cache. The cache has three levels, starting with level 1, which stores, reads and writes data in DRAM. Starboard’s level-2 cache is a mirrored SSD that optimizes random writes. Read data that has less activity when stored in DRAM is moved to level 3.
“Large sequential writes are put in hard disk drives because they are rarely referenced,” Kerns said. “Their I/O accelerator is somewhat different than competitors, but it performs well based on the minimal amount of hardware, so it gives them a price advantage.”