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New CD/Maxtet networks offer expandability.

Optical Access International (OAI) claims a breakthrough in CD-ROM networking technology with its new line of CD/Market Servers, a family of high-performance CD-ROM tower systems for workgroup, departmental, and enterprise-wide solutions. Based on a brand new RISC processor, the new CD//Maxtet family offers improved speed, performance, and operability.

RISC Processor Expands SCSI Addressing Capabilities

The new RISC processor technology is included with a new line of CD-ROM servers, the CD/Maxtet family, models 800, 1400, 1600, 2100, and 3500. With the new built-in processor and multiplex-or, these new models enable up to eight CD-ROM drives to use a single SCSI address, enabling expansion of networked CD-ROM resources. With traditional SCSI ID addressing technology, a computer system is limited to just seven drives per SCSI channel. With OAI's new RISC processor, up to 56 CD-ROM drives can operate from a single SCSI channel. The new CD/Maxtet architecture extends the system's capacity while maintaining the speed and data integrity that has been the hallmark of the CD/Maxtet family for years, according to OAI.

CD/Maxtet Adds New Features

The new CD-Maxtet models include:

* 8-to-1 SCSI address utilization

* Interactive video display for enhanced control and operational flexibility

* Active Termination for "plug-and-play" installation and reconfiguration

* Fastest data access and transfer speeds in the industry at 110 msec and 1,000 Kbytes/second, respectively

* Modular configurations to support from eight to 35 drives in a cabinet Included with the CD/Maxtet models is OAI's award-winning software, SuperCache. By caching directory, index, and other key data elements, CD-ROM speed is increased by a factor of 10, enabling simultaneous, widespread use of CD-ROM data by multiple users over a network. The new CD/Maxtet models revolutionize the utility of CD-ROM servers, the company says, by providing direct, on-the-unit feedback of operational activity and configuration status. On-board SCSI plug-and-play active termination automatically detects if the tower is on the end of the SCSI bus, and, if so, provides active termination, insuring greater data integrity and eliminating worry about SCSI termination.

"With the increasing availability of high-quality, mission-critical titles that need to be put online for maximum usefulness, organizations require an expandable solution for CD-ROM management," said Willard K. Rice, OAI's CEO. "The CD/Maxtet family provides direct, simultaneous access to every CD, a must for product usage of CD-ROM material in any multi-user environment."

Specs and Prices

The new CD/Maxtet models, the 800, 1400, 1600, 2100, and 3500, include eight, 14, 16, 21, and 35 drives respectively. Equipped with 6.7x speed CD-ROM drives and SuperCache software, average data access is under 110 msec, and data transfer exceeds 1,000 Kbytes/sec, setting the industry's standard for performance.

The CD/Maxtet family supports a wide range of personal computer networks, including AppleShare, NetWare, Windows NT and Windows NT Advanced Server, and Banyan's Vines. CD/Maxtet models are available with either 4x or 6.7x CD-ROM drives. Manufacturers suggested list price starts at $5,595 for the eight-drive CD/Maxtet 800 system.

The CD/Enterprise Server 6400

At press time, OAI announced the significant expansion of the company's family of CD-ROM networking solutions: the CD/Enterprise Server 6400, a 64-drive rack-mount server that provides access to all drives in a single cabinet.

Designed for enterprise-wide computing environments that require instant access to applications, data, and information stored on CD-ROMs, the new CD/Enterprise Server 6400 provides simultaneous access to 64 CD-ROM drives and more than 42 gigabytes of data in a single configuration. Rack-mount server solutions are also available for 24-, 32-, 40-, 48-, and 56-drive systems. All rack-mount servers include hot-swappable CD-ROM drives.

OAI's rack-mount server systems support a wide variety of operating systems and local and wide area network environments. Users on DOS, Windows, Windows NT, OS/2, and Macintosh workstations can directly access the rack-mount servers on networks from Novell (NetWare, IPX/SPX), Microsoft (Windows NT, NetBIOS/Net BEUI), IBM (OS/2, LAN Workplace), Banyan (Vines), and Apple (AppleShare, AppleTalk).

Each rack-mount server is a unified system, integrating many different technologies and components for networking CD-ROM drives.

Two primary network connection methods are supported: Network and File Server. In the Network connection, the rack connects to the local area network with its own PC-based host processor. This fully configured host processor fits inside the rack and includes a Pentium CPU, 64 MB RAM, 1.2 GB hard drive, monitor, network interface card, and SCSI adapter card.

For the File Server connection, the rack connects to the local area network through the network file server. With the File Server connection, the host processor is not needed because all management is performed by the file server's CPU and other resources.

The height of the rack cabinet for 24-and 32-drive systems is approximately 44 inches. The height of the rack cabinet for 40-, 48-, 56-, and 64-drive systems is approximately 79 inches.

Optical Access International, Inc. (OAI) is a developer of software and hardware solutions for optical storage in both PC and Macintosh environments. With a special emphasis on CD-ROM networking, OAI's products provide high-speed access to CD-ROM storage systems and software in all fields of computer applications.

For more information, call OAI, Boston, 617/937-3910.
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Title Annotation:CD-ROM networking technology innovations from Optical Access International
Publication:Information Today
Date:Jun 1, 1996
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