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Professionals in various fields such as medical imaging, biology, and civil engineering require rapid access to huge amounts of image data. Multimedia interfaces further increase the demand for high-performance image and media servers. We consider a parallel image server architecture that relies on arrays of intelligent disk nodes, each disk node consisting of one processor and one or more disks. The multiprocessor multidisk design is applied in an original way to provide both high-performance real-time access and unlimited, inexpensive mass storage capacities through the use of removable CD-ROM medium. Reading uncompressed or lossless compressed image data striped across multiple CD-ROM disks yields sustained performance of up to 2.5 Mbytes/s. Unlike RAID storage devices, the proposed CD-ROM architecture offers information distribution control and local processing capabilities. Two application fields that benefit from such features are presented.