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Fusion-io Claims Fastest, Server-Based SSD

Fusion-io has introduced what it claims is the fastest server-based solid-state drive.

The ioDrive Duo doubles the slot capacity of the company's PCI Express-based ioDrive, Fusion-io said. In addition, multiple ioDrive Duos scale linearly, so using four of the SSDs, for example, allows companies to scale performance to 6 GBps of read bandwidth and more than 500,000 read input/output operations per second. IOPS is a common benchmark used with servers to find the best storage configuration.

Fusion-io claims its application-centric SSDs can be a better option than disk arrays used in storage area networks.

"Many database and system administrators are finding that SANs are too expensive and don't meet performance, protection and capacity utilization expectations," David Flynn, CTO of Fusion-io, said in a statement released Wednesday. "The ioDrive Duo offers the enterprise the advantages of application-centric storage without application-specific programming."

The ioDrive Duo can sustain 1.5 GBps and 1.4 GBps read/write bandwidth, respectively. The SSD can also achieve 186,000 read IOPS and 167,000 write IOPS. For security, the new product is available with optional RAID-1 mirroring between two ioMemory modules on the same ioDrive Duo for full redundancy on a single PCIe card.

The ioDrive Duo is scheduled for release in April in capacities of 160 GB, 320 GB, and 640 GB. In the second half of the year, the SSD will be available in 1.28 TB. Pricing wasn't disclosed.

Fusion-io launched its ioDrive last April. Prices at the time were about $2,400 for 80 GB, $4,800 for 160 GB, and $8,900 for 320 GB.

Solid-state drives, which have no moving parts, are being pitched as faster, more reliable devices than traditional drives. Storage vendor EMC, for example, has added flash-based SSD to its high-end Symmetrix arrays. The drives are being positioned for use in processing-intensive applications, such as database backup and replication, for data that's frequently accessed.

SSDs, however, carry a steep premium. While a conventional 1 TB hard drive costs about $550, an SSD of similar capacity can run more than $10,000.


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