May 30, 2007
Houston, Texas

IC Source swaps hard disk drives for RamSan solid state disk to keep 40 million records and 3,000 customers up to date
“We are better than our competitors because we are faster than our competitors,”

After hard drive RAID system fails to deliver needed performance, electronic component clearinghouse IC Source, turns to Texas Memory Systems’ RamSan solid state disks to keep 40 million SQL Server database records and 3,000 customers up to date.

Texas Memory Systems, Inc., makers of the World’s Fastest Storage®, announced that IC Source, Inc., a major clearinghouses for electronic components, has accelerated its SQL Server database with a RamSan solid state disk to give over 3,000 customers instant access to 40 million inventory records.

IC Source brings over 3,000 buyers and sellers of electronic components together online. The company lists over 40 million inventory items, many of which become obsolete after a limited shelf life. Ensuring that component inventory data is accurate and up to date is the key to helping customers pinpoint the best deals. Therefore, real time inventory data is core to IC Source’s business.

With its customer base and the number of listed components growing daily, performance delays started to create a backlog of inventory updates. Unless the company could eliminate this backlog and improve database performance its ability to remain competitive by offering the industry’s fastest, most accurate component inventory was threatened.

“We are better than our competitors because we are faster than our competitors,” said Peter Moran, President of IC Source. “Database speed is critical to us so we did what most IT people do to boost data access speeds. We optimized the database and doubled the number of hard disk drives in our RAID storage system. This didn’t work, despite the high cost of such monolithic RAID systems. We saw a zero-percent improvement in performance.”

Conventional hard disk drives cannot deal with the simultaneous read and write access requests required by IC Source. 70,000 inventory line items might need to be written to the database while users need read access to search and view available inventories at the same time. A solid state disk, not a hard disk solution was required.

Solid state disks allow IT managers and database administrators to increase the number of concurrent users and simultaneous transactions without adding servers, RAM, or monolithic RAID. IC Source installed a single RamSan-400 solid state disk from the market leader, Texas Memory Systems. The RamSan-400 used by IC Source can deliver 400,000 I/Os per second, 3,000 megabytes per second of bandwidth, and sub-15 microsecond response times compared to above 5 millisecond response times for disk-based RAID systems. With the RamSan solid state disk, IC Source immediately saw a 400% performance improvement in their database.

“For us that was a major breakthrough in speed,” said Mr. Moran. “Let’s say you update inventory at 8:00 AM. With the old RAID array you would be lucky to have it in the database by 1:00 PM. Now with the RamSan, you can expect to see it online within the hour. In some cases the inventory is updated in just seconds.”

“IC Source operates a very tight ship and was very clear about the performance improvements it needed for its core online component trading application without compromising reliability,” said Woody Hutsell, Executive Vice President at Texas Memory Systems. “We are delighted that once again a RamSan-400 deployment has paid off so quickly and that it is helping IC Source retain its leadership position in the component trading marketplace.”

“I don’t think hard disk is the way to go if you have a serious, heavy duty database that needs a performance boost,” concluded Mr. Moran. “I don’t think you have an option. You just have to go with solid state disks. We got back every penny of our investment in the RamSan. It was money well spent.”

A more detailed case study of IC Source’s use of a solid state disk for competitive advantage is available HERE.

About IC Source, Inc.
IC Source, Inc. ( is a privately held clearinghouse for electronic components. Founded in 1996, it was the first company to serve the unique needs of electronic components brokers. IC Source is the only electronic component source that can promise instant inventory updates in a secure environment. IC Source has in excess of 3,000 members and its database lists over 40 million line items.

About Texas Memory Systems
Texas Memory Systems ( manufactures the World's Fastest Storage® and is the market leader in solid state disk technology. Their RamSan line of solid state storage is used to accelerate enterprise applications like OLTP databases, batch processes, and data warehouses, modeling and video editing up to 2500%. Founded in 1978, they sell direct to large enterprise and government organizations. They also sell through OEM and reseller partners.

Texas Memory Systems, World's Fastest Storage, RamSan and Active Backup are trademarks or registered trademarks of Texas Memory Systems, Inc.