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About AOS



The A.O.S Approach

    Storage Process  
    Scalable Configuration  
    Optical Backups
  CD-ROM Support
  Devices Support



Advanced Optical Storage

Advanced Information Technologies' Advanced Optical Storage - A.O.S. is a production-class storage management application designed for high-volume document management environments. A.O.S. is now available for Novell NetWare and Microsoft Windows NT Server environments. The software continually proves itself as the industry's choice for back-end storage in production environments, and can be scaled for workgroup, departmental or enterprise-wide solutions.

A.O.S. for Windows NT takes advantage of NT's powerful multi-tasking environment, and utilizes standard Windows socket protocols for requests and file access. A.O.S. for Windows NT is functionally compatible with the NetWare version. In fact, the same client API set is used in both versions.

  • High Performance. Enables optical drives and jukeboxes to be directly connected to a file server, optimizing network traffic and response time. Provides a true multi-tasking and multi-threaded service that allows a single file server to handle thousands of simultaneous requests involving two or more optical devices. Provides intelligent caching of files to reduce access time and request scheduling for efficient device usage.

  • Flexible Storage. Supports a heterogeneous mix of 5.25" and 12" WORM, and CD-ROM drives and jukeboxes from different manufacturers. Multiple devices can connect to a single server using an industry-standard SCSI interface. Applications can access up to 32.7 terabytes of optically stored information.

  • Scalability. Start with a small installation and single optical drive, then easily advance to larger, distributed configurations with multiple drives and/or jukeboxes. A.O.S. maintains compatibility with the original application and its original storage medium.

  • Enterprise Connectivity. Supports cascaded configurations, allowing multiple optical cache servers to be established at the departmental level over a LAN or WAN, and interact with an enterprise- level optical server.

  • Portability. A.O.S. interfaces identically with applications in NetWare or Windows NT environments, and is transparent to the end user. A simple, powerful API set speeds integration with your application.

 The A.O.S. Approach Return To Top

With A.O.S., your application requests storage and retrieval of files from optical volumes; in most cases, a volume is one side of a platter. In a "demigrate" scenario, A.O.S. copies the files from the appropriate optical volume and writes them to the cache directory on the attached file server's hard disk. In a "migrate" request scenario, A.O.S. copies the files to the desired optical volume. This approach provides the most capable optical management solution because the application is not concerned with where a file is written on a volume or how to manipulate the physical devices. A.O.S. handles all of this for you.

The A.O.S. optical cache service efficiently manages requests from multiple clients against multiple platters. The jukebox scheduling algorithms ensure that requests for specific platters are serviced together to minimize jukebox "thrashing." The request queue is also managed for "time-in-queue" to ensure "fairness" of request processing across all platters. The number of clients can grow while maintaining good response for optical retrievals.

The Storage Process Return To Top

Images are stored on optical disks using A.O.S.. A.O.S. offers a quantum leap in speed for retrieval of documents stored on optical disks, allowing large volumes of document to be processed quickly and efficiently. Besides writing to a special Volume and File System designed to optimize performance in a document imaging system, A.O.S. utilizes caching to yield the access speed of magnetic disk storage with the security of Write-Once Read-Many - W.O.R.M. optical storage. The most active documents are maintained in magnetic cache as well as on optical, giving users immediate access to these documents, without users having to wait for documents to be retrieved from slower optical drives and autochangers. A.O.S. optimizes requests using an elevator-logic algorithm, to service requests for data not in cache, from optical media in the most efficient manner possible. The elevator-logic algorithm optimizes these requests for both autochangers and stand-alone drives. Combining optimized volume and file system, caching, elevator-logic, and multi-tasking technologies in A.O.S., provides the best possible performance an information and image management storage system can offer. The flexibility and scalability of A.O.S. provides the most economical storage solution available. A.O.S. can reduce the number of optical devices required for an application and make media management significantly easier, while providing increased performance, and extending the expected life span of optical storage devices.

Scalable Configurations for Enterprise-Wide Solutions   Return To Top

Designed to grow with your organization, A.O.S. is not limited to any maximum number of users; it supports all standard networked PC client workstations in your environment. Cascaded services allow departmental-level servers to maintain their own optical devices, yet connect to an enterprise-level server and its optical devices when required. Files retrieved from the enterprise server are cached to the department server. This enables customers to create departmental cache servers that greatly decrease network traffic, while multiplying available cache resources. A.O.S. is designed to grow with your storage requirements, with minimal impact on server resources. An independent optical file system is used that does not consume server overhead. Furthermore, server RAM is not related to the amount of storage A.O.S. manages, so that storage capacity can expand without impacting the server.

 Optical Backups  Return To Top

Optical backup capabilities are provided by A.O.S. that enable a backup volume to be synchronized with an associated original volume. The backup process can be run while the server is in use; backups can be executed once or periodically to synchronize volumes. A.O.S. has several fault-tolerant features. In the event of a system fault, all file system information and file data are safely contained on the optical platters. No recovery operations are necessary with A.O.S. to make the optical data available to your application. A.O.S. supports shelf storage of optical media by maintaining a database of optical volumes that have been removed from jukeboxes or drives. This feature provides a cost-efficient means for storage for less frequently used files and offers users of individual drives the option of growing into a jukebox as the need arises.

 CD-ROM Support  

Customers can build an archive of files, create a CD master of the database and distribute the database on CD for use on remote standalone PC systems or networks. Migration of files to the CD mastering area and retrieval of files from CD-ROM drives and jukeboxes are transparent to the application.

 Mix-And-Match Device Support  Return To Top

With A.O.S., single or multiple optical storage devices can be connected directly to a server, providing customers flexibility in designing configurations. Combinations of jukeboxes and optical drives (even from different manufacturers) can be supported on a single server. The number of devices that can be connected is limited only by the number of available SCSI addresses on the server. The software supports a wide variety of optical storage peripherals, including 12" WORM, 5.25" WORM, MO, and CD-ROM. Each A.O.S. supported device is extensively tested, including functional tests, configuration tests and endurance tests. This ensures efficient and trouble-free operation of all supported optical devices. Whether for Windows NT or NetWare, A.O.S.'s multi-threaded device drivers are built for performance and reliability. Separate threads of operation allow A.O.S. drivers to perform more than one task simultaneously on multiple devices such as reading data from two platters at the same time or reading and writing to drives with simultaneous jukebox movements. The multi-tasking, multi-threaded architecture enhances throughput and maximizes server processing for the highest performance.


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