Fusion-io makes a splash with all-flash datacentres

News Caroline Donnelly Jan 18, 2013

Flash memory firm claims new product has already been trialled by Facebook

Fusion-io has unveiled a flash-based product that it hopes will replace traditional solid state disk (SSD) and mechanical hard drives in the affections of datacentre owners.  

The vendor claims its new flash memory, PCIe-based Fusion ioScale range will lower the cost of building all-flash datacentres. It is being targeted at enterprise firms operating in the hyperscale, cloud and high performance computing markets.

Pricing for the product starts at $3.89 per GB and customers must purchase a minimum of 100 units.

Prior to release, the technology was trialled by social networking giant Facebook, who the company hailed as a keen adopter of flash technology.

Speaking to Cloud Pro, David Flynn, CEO of Fusion-io, said few firms in the hyperscale market have adopted flash to the same degree as Facebook.

“We have done a lot of business with those guys...[which has allowed us to] perfect the product for that marketplace,” he said.

“But, we want more customers to have access [to this type of technology] and this is why there is just a minimum order quantity of 100,” Flynn added.

For companies like Facebook, the product offers them a host of operational benefits, said Flynn, especially ones that use it to replace SSD and HDDs in their datacentres.

“The benefits of flash against mechanical [hard drives] are so dramatic, there really is no competition,” said Flynn.

“It takes about eight SSDs to match the capacity of an ioScale. When you add in a RAID controller [to aggregate the SSDs] on top, you have nine failure points.”

As a result, the company claims ioScale is more reliable, less costly, offers better performance and takes up less space in a datacentre than SSD and mechanical disk drives.

Gary Orenstein, senior vice president of products at Fusion-io, explained to Cloud Pro: “From a datacentre perspective, [one of the main benefits] is the dramatic savings that start with moving to a more reliable server that requires less power, cooling and allows you to build a smaller datacentre."