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SSD Strategies Target Enterprise Servers

When Hewlett Packard and Fusion-io announced an agreement earlier this month for an HP StorageWorks Accelerator that was capable of boosting enterprise server performance for HP blade server customers, it was a signal that enterprises could see more solid-state technology applied within servers, rather than outside of them.

"When you look at what we're trying to achieve, we want an infrastructure that can be used by applications," says Lee Johns, HP's director of marketing. "Many sites are doing large-scale media rendering on the high end or they are profiling seismic information or performing financial transactions and modeling. There is a need for extremely high IOPS [input/output operations per second] in this environment from the storage side."

The conventional method for achieving high IOPS with hard drives is to use a large number of spindles. "We felt there was a better way to achieve it. That's why we collaborated with Fusion-io to provide a solution within the server itself," Johns says. "The result is low power consumption, high IOPS performance, and a dramatic improvement in infrastructure."

The move isnt likely to trigger an enterprise stampede into solid-state drive (SSD) adoption, but it does provide product options for high-performance computing organizations like financial companies with high volumes of transactions and financial modeling, media companies charged with rendering as many movies as soon as they can, and scientific organizations doing seismic and other types of modeling.

"Enterprises interested in the StorageWorks accelerator are looking for the most IOPS they can get," Johns says. "The only alternative they have right now without an accelerator solution is to add greater numbers of spindles. The fact that we've taken the technology and applied it within the blade enclosure without taking up space is significant to them."

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