SanDisk Announces Next-Gen Fusion ioMemory PCIe Flash Storage

By Pedro Hernandez

Fusion-io lives on in new hardware from SanDisk. Today, Milpitas, Calif.-based flash chip provider took the wraps off its latest Fusion ioMemory PCIe SX350 and SX300 series PCie cards, tempting enterprises with faster application performance at lower prices.

The new cards use the company's own NAND flash chip along with Virtual Storage Layer (VSL) data access acceleration software to provide a "4x price performance improvement, with up to a 61 percent list price reduction over the previous generation Fusion ioDrive 2 product," the company claimed in a statement. The new cards also fetch data faster than their predecessors, with 2x better random read performance, according to SanDisk.

SanDisk acquired Fusion-io last summer for $1.1 billion. An early pioneer in employing PCIe-based solid-state drives (SSDs) to speed up business applications, Fusion-io's technology portfolio provided SanDisk a foothold in the fast-growing market for enterprise flash storage solutions. The deal, said SanDisk CEO Sanjay Mehrotra in a statement at the time, would help "accelerate our efforts to enable the flash-transformed data center, helping companies better manage increasingly heavy data workloads at a lower total cost of ownership." To date, Fusion-io has attracted 7,000 customers and sales of over 250,000 units, reported SanDisk.

Now, the company unveiled an updated Fusion ioMemory portfolio to help those companies tackle those workloads at up to 6.4 terabytes (TB) at a time.

The SX350 and SX300 series card, both available in capacity of 1.3 TB to 6.4 TB are aimed at read-intensive applications, including: web hosting, data mining and content caching. Random read and write speeds for the top of the line 6.4 TB SX350 model (SX350-6400) are 340,000 and 385,000 input/output operations per second, respectively. On the 6.4 TB SX300 (SX300-6400) version of the card, read speeds are somewhat lower at 285,000 IOPS while write speeds remain the same.

Expect SanDisk's next-generation PCIe flash technology to appear in systems from Dell, the Round Rock, Texas-based server provider. "By providing high-performance storage devices in our PowerEdge portfolio – such as the Fusion ioMemory PCIe accelerators – we're giving our customers powerful solutions to address their most demanding enterprise environments," said Ravi Pendekanti, vice president of Dell Server Solutions, in a statement.

In addition to the SX350 and SX300, SanDisk's ioMemory product line includes PX600 series cards for mixed-use workloads, including virtualization and business intelligence. PX600 PCIe SSDs are available in capacities of 1 TB to 5.2 TB. Also on tap are low-profile Mezzanine series boards for blade servers and FlashSoft bundles that include the company's PCIe flash hardware and caching software in a single solution.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InfoStor. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

This article was originally published on April 27, 2015