Feeds

Big Blue flashing its x servers

Fusion-io notches up another OEM win

High performance access to file storage

IBM is OEM'ing Fusion-io's PCIe-connected flash for its x servers to accelerate data-heavy applications.

The big blue one is adding 160GB and 320GB ioDrive options to its Intel-based x server line, calling them High IOPS SSD PCEe Adapters (HISPA). They form a tier of memory between the server's DRAM and disk with IBM saying that, in some instances, they obviate the need for rack storage altogether.

Such cases will involve relatively small amounts of data overall, gigabytes rather than terabytes, which all needs to be accessible as quickly as possible. Equally the HISPA could be used as a cache for hot data.

Fusion's ioDRive uses fast single-level cell (SLC) NAND chips plugged into a server's PCIe bus. IBM is following in HP's footsteps, as Hurd's company introduced its IO Accelerator card, also based on Fusion-io's technology, back in March. Dell is the other major X86 server supplier and it resells Fusion's ioDrive cards.

IBM and Fusion announcement material talks about faster data access than for hard disk drives, much lower power consumption, less physical space needed - all the usual SSD benefits. The ioDRive has an extra NAND chip on its product, serving as an XOR parity chip, which it says eliminates "data loss due to chip failures and extending the usable lifetime of the card". This reliability enhancement impressed IBM, it appears.

Seagate's SATA-connected Pulsar SSD, announced a couple of days ago, is also targeted at general server I/O acceleration applications, as is a STEC PCIe-connected product. Big Blue uses STEC solid state drives (SSDs) in its x server-powered SAN Volume Controller (SVC) product, apparently because the STEC form factor met SPC enclosure space limitations whereas the Fusion-io products did not.

Micron is also intending to introduce a PCI-e-connected solid state product, so this server flash area is a hotbed of competition with four credible SSD suppliers chasing the three big established server OEMs - Dell, HP and IBM - and no doubt talking energetically to wannabe server supplier Acer.

This Big Blue deal is a big one for Fusion-io which has recently received an undisclosed amount of funding from Samsung, amongst whose interests is a NAND chip foundry operation. After the flashiness of the hiring of Steve Wozniak as chief scientist and the earlier million IOPS demos with IBM and HP, the company is notching up some impressive design wins. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Seagate brings out 6TB HDD, did not need NO STEENKIN' SHINGLES
Or helium filling either, according to reports
European Court of Justice rips up Data Retention Directive
Rules 'interfering' measure to be 'invalid'
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Cisco reps flog Whiptail's Invicta arrays against EMC and Pure
Storage reseller report reveals who's selling what
Bored with trading oil and gold? Why not flog some CLOUD servers?
Chicago Mercantile Exchange plans cloud spot exchange
Just what could be inside Dropbox's new 'Home For Life'?
Biz apps, messaging, photos, email, more storage – sorry, did you think there would be cake?
IT bods: How long does it take YOU to train up on new tech?
I'll leave my arrays to do the hard work, if you don't mind
Amazon reveals its Google-killing 'R3' server instances
A mega-memory instance that never forgets
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.