Fusion-io makes all flash datacentres a reality for the enterprise


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.

The benefits of flash against mechanical hard drives are so dramatic, there really is no competition.

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 IT 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 IT 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."

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.