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CD-ROM drive clusters get faster

Cutting Edge has announced CD-ROM array technology which makes clusters of CD-ROM drives attached to servers faster.

Cutting Edge has announced CD-ROM array technology which makes clusters of CD-ROM drives attach to servers faster.

CD-ROM drives are inherently slower than hard disk drives when it comes to accessing data, but Cutting Edge is trying to close this gap a bit. The San Diego firm is offering improved technology for an "array" of CD-ROM drives, which store massive amounts of information on specialized CD-ROM server computers.

"Network administrators and users have been demanding higher speeds for data accessed from CD-ROM storage arrays," said Deborah Inman, president of Cutting Edge, in a prepared statement.

The new 16-speed (16X) drives from Cutting Edge allow CD-ROM arrays to deliver an improved data transfer rate of 2,400K/sec with an average seek time of 125 milliseconds. Each drive offers more than 3GB of storage. Disc swap times are also improved.

The new drives are immediately available across the entire line of CD-ROM servers, the company said.

At the heart of these systems is a 16X, five-disk CD-ROM changer drive, based on "SCSI" technology. SCSI, or Small Computer System Interface, is a high-speed data transfer technology.

The drives themselves are manufactured by Nakamichi. CD servers with 7, 14, 21, 28 or 56 CD-ROM drives providing up to 91GB of online storage capacity in a tower or server arrangement are available, Cutting Edge said.

The drives can be used with Cutting Edge's AccessStor-CD or ServStor-CD dedicated CD-ROM servers, which provide an integrated high-performance CD storage/server solution, the company said.

Prices range from $2,957 to $54,366 fully configured with all necessary hardware and software.

AccessStor-CD connects into networks running NetWare, OS/2, LAN Server, Windows NT Advanced Server, Windows 95, UNIX, and the HTTP protocol for the Internet's World Wide Web. Client systems can connect to an AccessStor-CD server through built-in Ethernet 10, Fast Ethernet 100, or Token Ring 4/16 network interfaces.