Facebook’s Appetite for SSD Boosts Fusion-io

A look at the new Facebook data center in Prineville, Oregon, which is nearing completion (Photo credit: Chuck Goolsbee, Facebook).

Facebook’s appetite for solid state storage has made it the largest customer for Fusion-io, which this week announced plans for an initial public offering. The social network is using Fusion-io ‘s NAND Flash memory products in its new data centers in Oregon and North Carolina, and Facebook’s purchases as it equips those facilities have eclipsed Fusion-io’s sales to its leading OEM partners, IBM and HP.

In an SEC filing associated with its IPO plans, Fusion-io said  Facebook “accounted for a substantial portion of revenue” during the six months ended December 31.

” We expect revenue from sales to Facebook and one other end-user to account for a substantial portion of revenue for the three months ending March 31, 2011, but that revenue from sales to Facebook and the other end-user will decline significantly for the three months ending June 30, 2011 as they complete their planned deployments. As a result, our quarterly revenue and operating results are likely to fluctuate in the future and will be difficult to estimate,” the company said in its filing.

Facebook’s use of solid-state drives align with the company’s relentless focus on performance and speed in optimizing its data center infrastructure to support more than 600 million global users. SSD Flash storage offers performance gains compared to hard disk drives, and Fusion-io has been an innovation leader in the space, benefiting from strong buzz from users.

Fusion’s software solutions are built on the ioMemory Virtual Storage Layer (VSL), a new, flash-optimized OS subsystem that allows ioMemory to interact with the CPU and system memory as a new tier of memory, and yet emulates a block-based storage device to applications.

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About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.

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