Fusion-io Updates ioTurbine Virtualization Caching Software

By Pedro Hernandez

Fusion-io debuted an updated version of its ioTurbine virtualization caching software today. Timed to coincide with the VMworld conference this week, the announcement marks the company's biggest move to speed a wider variety of virtual machine (VM) workloads to date.

The software hails from Fusion-io's deal to buy IO Turbine for $95 million last year. The software, when used in conjunction with the company's flash memory products, extends the application acceleration benefits to VMs and increases the number of VMs a physical server can handle.

ioTurbine works by dynamically rebalancing flash storage resources -- like the company's own flash PCIe cards -- as VMs pop in and out of a virtualized environment. Fusion-io claims that ioTurbine's deep hooks into the guest OS file system's I/O routines allows it to transparently redirect I/O patterns "so flash storage is shared across all hosted virtual machines (VMs)."

According to the company, the latest version of ioTurbine now includes intelligent application caching for Linux guest OSes and support for Windows guest OSes. Fusion-io says the software now boasts increased virtual machine (VM) density, vMotion support and tweaks that boost the performance of data-intensive applications. Native support for VM snapshots is also included.

The result is an industry first -- a cross-platform VM acceleration solution that drives cost savings, says Fusion-io CTO, Neil Carson.

"Fusion ioTurbine is the only open server-side caching software on the market today that supports both Linux and Windows guests simultaneously while maintaining seamless vMotion operation," said Carsonin a statement to the press. "Software defined virtualization solutions like Fusion ioTurbine and Fusion ION Data Acceleration are designed to allow IT experts to affordably build virtualization platforms customized to their enterprise, making it possible to scale infrastructure without compromising on performance."

Also new is a vCenter Server plug-in that allows native, centralized management over ioMemory in VMware environments. The software also supports ESX 4.0 Update 1 and 4.1, as well as ESXi 4.1, 5.0 and 5.0 Update 1.

The ioTurbine update is part of Fusion-io's continued push into storage management software.

Earlier this month, the company unveiled ION. Available in October, ION creates a "Software Defined Storage Acceleration" platform for SANs when used with the company's ioMemory flash storage products and servers.

So far, early access customers are reporting big application performance gains on ION, reports Fusion-io -- up to a 40x in some cases. ioTurbine is compatible with ION, extending the company's software defined storage strategy in a direction that enables the virtualization of very data-intensive applications onto VMware environments, claims Fusion-io.

Together, "data cached on ioTurbine can be supported by a Fusion ION Data Accelerator enabled server to provide an open virtualization platform built on the systems customers know and trust," says Fusion-io.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

This article was originally published on August 28, 2012