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Professionals in various fields such as medical imaging, biology, and civil engineering require rapid access to huge amounts of pixmap image data. Multimedia interfaces further increase the need for large image databases. To fulfil these requirements, the GigaView parallel image server architecture relies on arrays of intelligent disk nodes, each disk node being composed of one processor and one disk. This contribution reviews the design of the GigaView hardware and file system, compares it to other storage servers available on the market, and evaluates fields of applications for the architecture