Fusion-io debuts solid-state drives

By Kevin Komiega

—Another start-up has joined the emerging fray in the enterprise solid-state storage market. Fusion-io recently announced the general availability of the company's first product, the ioDrive PCIe card.

The ioDrive uses Fusion-io's proprietary ioMemory architecture to create a single PCIe card that operates as either local storage or storage cache. Capable of being installed transparently at multiple points in existing data centers or workstations, the ioDrive requires no changes to applications or management software.

"The ioDrive is, in essence, a storage array," says David Flynn, Fusion-io's chief technology officer. "Each drive contains 160 SSD chips, each chip with its own seek head. We're talking response times in the microseconds—orders of magnitude faster than traditional disk drives."

The ioDrive is based on NAND flash memory technology and provides access rates comparable to DRAM, with storage capacity on par with disks, according to Flynn. It is designed to deliver 100,000 I/Os per second (IOPS) per card, and sustained data rates of 800MBpsec for reads and 600MBps for writes.

"The ioDrive fits in the memory hierarchy between disks and RAM. It's slower than RAM and faster than disk," says Flynn.

The ioDrive will be available next week at a cost of approximately $2,400 for an 80GB model, $4,800 for 160GB, and $8,900 for a 320GB version.

Fusion-io has also made inroads with the venture capitalist community. The company has closed a $19 million Series A funding round from a group of investors led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA).

This article was originally published on April 04, 2008