A start-up founded by former Sun Microsystems computer scientists is tapping IBM and Intel hardware to accelerate the enormous server workloads of burgeoning Web 2.0 businesses.
Menlo Park, Calif.-based Schooner Information Technology announced Monday that it is readying a server appliance based on Intel's newest Nehalem processors and its solid-state drives. The first products are due by the end of May with volume shipments in the third quarter of 2009.
Hewlett-Packard and Fusion-io said recently that they are working on analogous technology and had achieved extremely high performance using Fusion-io's solid-state drives running on HP servers.
Schooner Information Technology's President and CEO John R. Busch was formerly research director of computer system architecture and analysis at Sun laboratories. Chairman and CTO Tom McWilliams was a lead engineer at Sun, working on server architecture and advanced CAD tools. Prior to that, McWilliams was a director in the MIPS division of Silicon Graphics. Both men were involved in moving Sun to multicore server architectures, according to Busch.
The company is funded by CMEA Capital and Redpoint Ventures. The current total investment is $15 million.
In a phone interview Monday, CEO Busch explained that the company has set out to fuse standalone high-performance server technologies into a faster organic whole. "Computer companies are pretty much selling boxes while others are selling networking. They're basically just selling component technologies," he said. "If you just speed up the processor or speed up the interconnect or add in flash drives, it will have a small effect."
"The observation I had when we started the company was that we really need to make a shift and we really need to put the middleware application and (our) new operating environment together with these technologies--tightly coupled with parallel flash memory and with Intel multicore processors. As opposed to loosely coupled, in order to bring their real inherent benefits through," Busch said. … Read more