Diskeeper aims at Intel with ExpressCache tech

Intel's Smart Response Technology promises to bring the benefits of SSD-based caching to Z68 chipset owners, but what about the rest of the world? Storage technology specialist Diskeeper has a suggestion: ExpressCache.

Smart Response Technology is clever piece of technology: designed by Intel for users of its Z68 chipset, it allows a small SSD to be used as a staging post for data from a larger traditional hard drive. The result: a significant improvement in performance without the need to switch entirely to an SSD-based system.

While Smart Response Technology is a software solution, Intel has artificially restricted it to the Z68 platform in order to drive sales. In doing so, however, it's left itself open to imitators. That's where Diskeeper comes in.

While the company is best known for its enterprise-grade defragmentation solutions, Diskeeper has been keeping a weather eye out for trends in the industry. Spotting Intel's SRT and thinking it's a good idea, the company has developed a version of its own with impressive results.

Capable of being used with SSDs as small as 4GB, ExpressCache promises to reduce boot times by over 60 per cent compared to a non-ExpressCache enabled system. During use, application data is also cached in order to improve overall performance and responsiveness in daily use.

Users are also able to adjust the amount of storage space taken up by the ExpressCache buffer on a given SSD, allowing those with larger models to split the drive between standard storage and ExpressCache use. Unlike Smart Response, there's also no limitation in terms of the hardware platform on which ExpressCache runs.

The company makes some impressive claims for its technology, including that an ExpressCache-enabled system can enjoy "superior overall performance than SSD systems at a fraction of the cost." There's a catch, however: unlike Intel's SRT, you can't actually get your hands on ExpressCache just yet.

Rather than selling the product directly to consumers, as it has done in the past, Diskeeper is aiming to license ExpressCache to OEMs and computer manufacturers to include on their systems as a factory-installed option. Quite why this would be the case isn't clear, but Diskeeper runs the risk of having its technology sidelined if it can't convince OEMs as to the benefits of a partnership.

So far, Diskeeper hasn't announced any active partnerships for the ExpressCache technology, but it claims that it is on track for broad-scale deployment before the end of the year.

If you're wondering just how accurate the company's claims are, Diskeeper offers up a demonstration video below.