At Flash Memory Summit, we sat down with the team from CacheBox, an emerging provider of server-side caching software. Their software CacheAdvance is a software-only, hardware agnostic, server-side caching solution. What makes the CacheBox solution unique is that it does more than just monitor I/O at a block or LUN level, it also provides an application specific cache acceleration solution, something they call “Application Centric Caching”.
Application Centric Caching is more than just a file based cache that places certain files into a high performance storage area like Flash SSD. The solution will also monitor application I/O requests and make specific adjustments to the cache, to tailor it to the I/O needs of the application. This application awareness is delivered by an application specific module that CacheBox provides. The result is a solution that provides accurate application acceleration without the IT professional having to do an exhaustive inspection of the application environment. In short, the CacheBox solution does this for them automatically.
The foundational CacheAdvance solution that provides block level acceleration will be available on Linux this quarter. In addition, they should have application specific modules for MySQL and MongoDB this quarter. By the end of the year, they plan on delivering Windows solutions, including an application specific module for MS-SQL.
Storage Swiss Take
Four years ago at the Flash Memory Summit, we noticed what seemed like a parade of cache solutions coming to market. Those solutions have begun to mature and many were purchased by larger flash hardware providers. What we are seeing now is the next generation of flash solutions. IT professionals have moved beyond being impressed by the performance increase that a flash/cache combination can provide. Now they are looking for that solution to be more intelligent and efficient with the underlying application it is accelerating. CacheBox is one of the early examples of this new era in cache intelligence.