From Computer Business Review, a sister publication.
UK multimedia network storage developer start up Avantis Ltd, has come up with a device that it believes will rival traditional juke boxes and compact disc towers and will do away with clogged up networks. Dubbed the tower killer the CDserve is a hard disk-based direct network attach device that enables multiple users to access the same CD-ROM information, without slowing down the network. The CDserve, which is available in either 10 or 20 disk configurations, communicates with an allocated administration workstation that reads the CDs. CDserve then makes a copy of the disk and stores it on its hard disk, bypassing the file server, enabling users to access what appears to be a standard, personal CD-ROM. The device comes with Fast Ethernet and Token Ring interfaces and supports Windows and Windows 95. Avantis says CDserve can support up to 255 users. It also says the product is some 10 times faster than existing CD-ROM towers. Avantis, headquartered in Luton, England was set up in 1996 and now employees 12 people. It sells its products through distributors in 15 countries across Europe, Africa and the Middle East and plans to break into the US before the end of the year. The company believes CDserve can become the de facto standard for the direct network attached market.