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Flash fettlers Fusion-io scoop IBM as reseller partner

So that's why Big Blue dumped TMS' server flash cards

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Big Blue is gonna flog Fusion-io server flash cards, and is doing its bit to rehabilitate the floundering flash fettler after its founder and CEO fled earlier this year.

IBM's announcement is here, and says the Fusion-io cards are available for System x and BladeCenter servers. Users get from 825GB to 3.2TB of MLC flash per PCIe slot to accelerate apps in these servers, which no longer have to wait at the data access bus-stop for disk drive latency to send the heads to the right tracks.

IBM's Flash Adapters (F825, F1650, and F3200 Enterprise Value) for System are based on Fusion's ioScale product, its cost-reduced PCIe-interface server flash card.

Initially the ioScale products were for resellers and not OEMs, but this caused channel conflict. Fusion-io changed is strategy, bringing in OEM qualification for, and availability of, ioScale cards. That looks to have been a smart thing to do.

This ioScale product could become, and possibly already is, Fusion-io's volume sales leader. It says such cards support "hundreds or thousands of distributed servers [which] support millions of remote, often mobile, users."

Stifel Nicolaus analyst Aaron Rakers said in a note: "Fusion-io ioScale solutions accounted for approximately half of the company’s eleven $1m+ customer orders received in the June 2013 quarter."

Fusion-io ioScale 3.2TB card

Fusion-io ioScale.

When IBM acquired TMS it gained a PCIe server flash card product set, and discarded it. Now we know why.

IBM's planned availability date is 22 October this year and the products will have a 1-year limited warranty. Big Blue's documentation carefully states: "IBM's warranty for the solid-state storage is limited to devices that have not reached the maximum guaranteed number of program/erase cycles, as documented in the Official Published Specifications for the product."

Best get hold of that spec document before splashing your cash. ®

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