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The article analyses the behavior of two kinds of multiprocessor multidisk storage server architectures for a data intensive application, namely for spatial queries in geographical information systems (GIS). The two kinds of servers are: (1) a workstation cluster architecture with multiple processors, multiple disks, and a shared bus shared memory architecture; (2) a distributed memory architecture, similar to the T9000 transputer based architectures, where processing nodes and disk nodes are connected by a high throughput crossbar switch. The GIS application under investigation is the map overlay with map at different scales and resolutions