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Fusion-io, Intel Tout Enterprise SSD Flash

News from the SSD frontier: Fusion-io says it has sold 15 petabytes of enterprise flash storage in 2010, while Intel rolls out its new SSD 510 Series NAND Flash product.

Enterprise flash sales records are set, broken and sure to be claimed many more times. In a'year for records, EMC had motorcycles jumping over 40 storage units and claimed to hold the record for the most sales of enterprise  flash solid state drives (SSDs), shipping 10 petabytes of enterprise flash in its storage products.  Shortly after EMC's claim was announced, Utah-based Fusion-io said it shipped more than 15 petabytes of enterprise flash in 2010.


ioMemory is one of Fusion-io's products, and provides flash-based, server-attached, storage-class memory. Fusion-io grew rapidly in 2010, and hired Steve Wozniak as a Chief Scientist. Dell, HP and IBM are selling its products, and the company claims more than half of the Fortune 50 as customers. Enterprise flash drives are designed specifically for the applications requiring high I/O performance (IOPS), reliability and energy efficiency. A majority of SSD's on the market today utilize NAND flash memory.

"With a hundred times the capacity density of DRAM and less expensive on a per gigabyte basis, NAND Flash stands to solve the fundamental data supply problem that has led to 20 percent or lower average processor utilization, even in the face of virtualization,” said David Flynn, CEO of Fusion-io. “By integrating flash directly into servers using memory controller methodologies and virtual memory management techniques, ioMemory and the Fusion-io Virtual Storage Layer (VSL) make it possible for even large data sets to be housed effectively in memory. As applications can then utilize the full processing potential of the server, workloads can often be increased by 500 percent or more.”

On Tuesday Fusion-io announced that IBM will offer eight versions of High IOPS Adapters based on Fusion ioMemory technology for deployment in its System x Server line. Recognizing the value of Fusion-io products in I/O intensive workloads, IBM has also bundled Fusion-io products into the IBM Smart Analytics System 5600 and IBM WebSphere DataPower XC10.

“As data demands continue to exponentially grow in the enterprise, Fusion’s innovative server-deployed memory solutions can offer our customers a way to significantly and safely accelerate their database and application infrastructure,” said Bob Galush, IBM’s VP System x High Volume Servers and Options.

Fusion-io also announced an OEM relationship with server manufacturer Super Micro (SMCI). To begin the relationship the two companies demonstrated a new1U Twin SuperServer running on the flash-based, server-attached ioDrive Octal from Fusion-io achieving 1.4 million random IOPS from the simple to deploy configuration.

Intel's 6Gbps SSD 510

Intel announced the next in a line of new solid-state drives, the SSD 510 Series.  The SSD 510 features fast SATA 6 Gigabits per second (Gbps) performance and utilizes higher speed SATA bus interfaces on the recently introduced second generation Intel Core processor-based platforms. has a (really) in-depth look at the 250GB SSD 510 model.

Using 34-nanometer NAND flash memory  to deliver 500MB per second sequential read speeds and up to 315MB per second writes, the product is aimed at applications that require high sequential media transfers.  The SSD 510 is available immediately and is priced at $584 for 250GB, or $284 for 120GB, for 1,000-unit quantities.

Intel also announced that the NVMHCI (Non-Volatile Memory Host Controller Interface) Work Group has released the NVM Express 1.0 specification that will allow the industry to create PCI Express-based SSDs that will improve the performance of SSD's operating on multi-core architectures, as well as improve time to market.

SSD and Flash Markets Thriving

There are a number of other interesting companies to watch in these thriving markets -- such as Pliant Technology, Nimbus Data and PureStorage, who has an impressive lineup of private investors.

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