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Fusion-io spins up ioTurbine, enhances server flash caching

Meanwhile, SanDisk's doing the same thing

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Fusion-io has tweaked its acquired ioTurbine software to offload up to 96 per cent of mixed read/write requests from a SAN, by caching data in server flash caches.

This version of ioTurbine can:

  • Cache in the virtual machine (VM), the hypervisor or a physical server
  • Dynamically re-allocate flash memory during a vMotion VM transfer across servers, including heterogeneous ones
  • Be hardware-agnostic with users able to work with whatever flash in the server they want, either PCIe or SSD

The software supports vMotion; high availability; VMware snapshots; and VMware vSphere dynamic resource scheduler (DRS), without any need for manual vMotion scripting or pre-allocating identical caches across servers.

The dynamic cache reallocation dynamically provisions all available cache capacity to live VMs when other VMs power off or are migrated from the host, thus making sure that full cache capacity is always used.

The ioTurbine caching works with Fusion's own ioCache hardware and with its acquired Nexgen hybrid storage system.

Management of ioTurbine can be done through a vSphere plug-in and with Fusion's own ioSphere monitoring software. VMware's ESXi, Windows and Linux server environments are supported by ioTurbine.

Coincidentally, SanDisk has just revved up its FlashSoft caching software, with version 2.0 branded as FlashSoft 3.2 for Windows Server and also Linux. Version 3.1 for VMWare vSphere, announced in April, continues as before.

The new software can:

  • Combine multiple heterogeneous SSDs into one logical flash resource
  • Cache size up to 2TB from 1TB
  • Provide up to four caches per server, with one per SSD and multi-tier caching
  • Accelerate up to 2048 volumes per cache from either direct-attached storage or a SAN. IT was 255 volumes previously
  • Mirror two identical SSDs for safe write-back caching

FlashSoft 3.2 for Windows Server has a price of $3,000, with the Linux version costing $3,500 and the VMware vSphere FlashSoft 3.1 version priced at $3,900.

Fusion-io ioTurbine is available as stand-alone software or bundled with the Fusion-io ioCache data accelerator platform. The stand-alone software has a manufacturer's suggested list price of $3,900, while the ioTurbine/ioCache bundle is $7,500. ®

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