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Fusion-io fortifies flashy SAN box - but it lacks handy real-world features

Shane Robison's rescue squad still on the uphill stretch

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The Shane Robison rescue squad has turned its attention to Fusion-io’s lagging flash SAN box, updating it so it can compete better with Pure Storage and Violin Memory's products.

The ION Data Accelerator was announced in August last year as Fusion’s play in the networked external flash array space.

It wasn't bad performance-wise, being capable of “1,000,592 random 4K IOPS, 6GB/sec bandwidth and less than 0.06 millisecond access latency,” according to Fusion – but it lacked a few things.

Although it had high availability and sync replication it did not have snapshots, clones, backup, deduplication, compression or thin provisioning. So … what has been added?

Fusion says it has “broader high availability (HA), increased performance and scalability, as well as simplified sharing and manageability.”

Afshin Daghi, Fusion-io’s systems engineering veep, said: “Fusion ION Data Accelerator delivers outstanding performance for enterprise database workloads and has also recently set a number of world records in VMware VMmark scores with our OEM partners.”

In v2.2 of the product HA support is extended from Fibre Channel to InfiniBand and iSCSI environments “for critical applications like Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server databases.” We also get support added for 56Gbit/s InfiniBand and 40Gbit/s Ethernet.

Management has been improved; the Fusion ioSphere management software offers simplified ION Data Accelerator manageability. Independent storage pools can be concurrently created and managed within ioSphere for each application sharing the flash. Administrators can dynamically expand host connectivity as applications horizontally scale performance with the addition of new servers.

That’s it. It’s a performance sell, with no storage efficiency aspect. The product still lacks deduplication, thin provisioning, snapshots and cloning. Back to your workstations, Fusion engineers; CEO Shane Robison and his rescue squad will be cracking the whip.

Check out the datasheet here. ®

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