Adaptec has announced a new technology for improving I/O in storage array controllers, claiming to combine the best of SSDs and HDDs.

MaxIQ SSD Cache Performance Solution is an industry "first" claimed Adaptec. Allowing data centre managers to benefit from a five-fold improvement in I/O performance while saving up to 50 percent on capital and operating expenditure.

Juergen Frick, EMEA marketing manager, Adaptec said that the key to the improved performance was the way that the controller reads data and assesses which is most important. "The controller sits in the middle and identifies the data that is frequently read. The next time that the data is delivered from the server, it can be delivered via the SSD - wee call it this hot data. The point is that we do not read all the data equally. We identify which data has been accessed the most by using a self-learning algorithm. He added that the technology was ideal for read-intensive application such as large databases and said that cost-savings would be most apparent among users of large data centres such as those driving cloud computing environments.

Frick said that users of existing Adaptec controllers would not have to install a new set of drivers as the technology worked with existing Adaptec software. He added that technology had the theoretical ability to improve performance 11-fold although in reality, users could expect to see a five-fold increase in storage capability. "That's a bigger leap in capacity than any other vendor has managed," he said.

Adaptec is also using two technologies that were announced last year: power management through spinning disks up or down, according to whether they're being used or not, and the 5Z family of battery-free controllers. MaxIQ technology is the latest part of the strategy in reducing power costs and improving performance, said Sundi Sundaresh, president and CEO of Adaptec.

The new technology will be featured as part of a new initiative from Adaptec, the Data Conditioning Platform aimed at lowering costs within public and private data centres, coupled with a drive to reduce power consumption.

"Continued growth in cloud computing will inevitably lead to increased competition among cloud providers which will in turn put pressure on these providers to find new ways of increasing the efficiency and performance of their services without having to redesign their entire operation," said Gene Ruth, Burton Group senior storage analyst. "Innovation that can reduce up front capital cost and ongoing operating expenses, that can ensure optimal utilisation of existing hardware resources, and can make a measurable dent in energy usage, will be of real interest to any data center managers running demanding applications in high-performance environments."