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SGI Virident catches up with Fusion-io

Two cards instead of eight

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SGI is pairing up with Virident flash cards to offer a 1U, one million IOPS server with just two flash cards instead of the eight needed by Fusion-io.

Virident supplies tachIOn PCIe-connected flash cards and two of them are used in a 1U SGI Rackable C1103 server to deliver 1 million IOPS at a cost of less than $0.05/IOPS. Doesn't sound much and it comes out at less than $50,000. Virident is making lots of noise about it being able to do with two 400GB cards what Fusion-io, the PCIe flash card leader, needs eight cards and 5TB to do with its ioDrive Octal product.

We should bear in mind that the tachIOn cards use single-level cell flash, whereas Fusion's ioDrive Octal is a slower multi-level cell product; we're not doing an apples and apples comparison here. Also the ioDrive Octal is rated at 1.19 million IOPS doing 512 byte reads whereas the tachION does its 1 million IOPS doing 4KB reads

Virident claims that its tachIOn "enables sustained performance faster than other products on the market, such as the Fusion-io ioDrive Octal, for random access patterns, lower power, and field FLASH upgradability, and is the densest high-performance SLC FLASH-based PCIe SSD (solid state drive) in the market".

We're told that tachIOn cards have on-card hardware providing a flash-aware RAID capability. They come with usable capacities of 300, 400, 600 and 800GB, in a single-slot PCIe Gen 1 or Gen 2, 25 watt card in a low-profile, half-height and half-length form factor.

SGI can supply the tachIOn SSD now, either in stand-alone configurations for existing SGI servers or bundled with new systems. ®

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