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OCZ Storage Solutions' ZD-XL SQL Accelerator Reduces SAN Bottlenecks and Accelerates SQL Server Performance for Leading Online Gaming Provider

888.com Reduces Its External SAN Load by 50 Percent Eliminating the Need for Costly Storage Upgrades

SAN JOSE, CA--(Marketwired - April 08, 2014) - OCZ Storage Solutions -- a Toshiba Group Company and leading provider of high-performance solid-state drives (SSDs) for computing devices and systems, today announced that The 888 Group, one of the world's leading online gaming providers, has reduced SAN bottlenecks and significantly improved SQL Server performance for its flagship 888.com gaming website using OCZ's ZD-XL SQL Accelerator. With ZD-XL SQL Accelerator's unique ability to provide optimized flash caching for hot SQL Server data enabled The 888 Group to accelerate database performance while reducing I/O traffic placed on its Storage Area Network (SAN) by 50 percent. No new SAN equipment, upgrades or additional hard disk drives (HDDs) were required saving The 888 Group from large IT purchases in 2013. 

The combination of more content being added to its data warehouse, more data analysis to improve business intelligence, and more transactions being processed, data traffic within The 888 Group's SQL Server environment increased substantially causing disk I/O bottlenecks, system performance limitations and costly upgrades. The SQL Server database did not scale very well using conventional HDDs and adding more to the SAN drove up Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and Total Operating Cost (TOC) in the enterprise increasing SAN equipment purchases, power and cooling consumption, as well as maintenance, service and deployment costs. The storage challenges that The 888 Group faced required solid-state capabilities that enable flash caching and improve SQL Server data warehouse access, OnLine Transaction Processing (OLTP) and OnLine Analytical Processing (OLAP). 

With the mantra of improving database performance while reducing I/O workload traffic and the strain it placed on its SAN, The 888 Group selected OCZ's ZD-XL SQL Accelerator, a tightly integrated hardware/software solution designed specifically to provide optimized and efficient flash acceleration of SQL Server applications. It delivers lightning-fast flash speed and a unique cache mechanism that makes advanced and statistically-optimized decisions on what data to cache. This ability to uniquely partition its flash volumes enabled The 888 Group's temporary database (tempDB) files, such as transient calculation tables, to benefit from high flash performance while hot data was cached on flash locally for immediate use by SQL Server resulting in optimized and accelerated data types.

"ZD-XL SQL Accelerator has performed very well, increasing ETL (Extract/Transform/Load) performance while alleviating storage I/O leaving enough room for other applications to use the performance benefits of flash storage," said Tzahi Hakikat, ICT for The 888 Group. "Each year, we upgrade main storage to a more powerful system, and this year for the first time as a result of our ZD-XL SQL Accelerator deployment, we didn't have to."

When compared to The 888 Group's SAN configuration without accelerated flash caching, ZD-XL SQL Accelerator with its proprietary Direct Pass Caching Technology and flash volume partitioning reduced the average I/O load on the SAN from 23,000 I/O operations down to 11,000. This success is not just about how many input/output operations per second (IOPS) were delivered by ZD-XL SQL Accelerator, but even more critical about the effect that I/O database loads have on data traffic to the SAN. As a result, ZD-XL SQL Accelerator was able to dramatically improve SQL Server performance even in an environment with a full tier of SSDs and HDDs, auto-tiering and internal caching.

The complete case study outlining how The 888 Group was able to reduce SAN bottlenecks and accelerate SQL Server performance is available at http://ocz.com/enterprise/literature/case-studies.

About 888 Holdings and The 888 Group
888 Holdings Public Limited Company (PLC) is the umbrella organization for one of the world's most popular online gaming providers (The 888 Group) having been at the forefront of this industry for over a decade. They are a publicly traded company on the London Stock Exchange (LSE: 888) and employ over 800 full-time workers around the globe. Players are afforded 24x7x365 customer support with assistance available in 11 different languages by phone, email or live online chat.

The 888 Group's consumer facing websites offer more than just online gaming and are entertainment destinations where people can enjoy an interactive experience and be part of an online community that shares this common interest. Players are afforded a variety of games such as 888.com, Casino-on-Net, Reef Club Casino, 888poker, 888ladies, 888bingo, 888sport and 888games. All 888 online gaming sites are backed by complete security and over twenty different deposit methods as credit card details are stored on servers protected by the latest firewall security to prevent the thousands of transactions performed daily from unauthorized access. 

About OCZ Storage Solutions
OCZ Storage Solutions -- a Toshiba Group Company is a leading provider of high performance client and enterprise solid-state storage products and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Toshiba Corporation. Offering a complete spectrum of solid-state drives (SSDs), OCZ Storage Solutions leverages proprietary technology to provide SSDs in a variety of form factors and interfaces to address a wide range of applications. Having internally developed firmware and controllers, virtualization, cache and acceleration software, and endurance extending and data reliability technologies, the Company delivers vertically integrated solutions enabling transformational approaches to how digital data is captured, stored, accessed, analyzed and leveraged by customers. More information is available at www.ocz.com.

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