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All-flash and hybrid arrays dangled in front of channel

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PCIe flash card supplier Fusion-io has launched an all-flash array and a hybrid flash/disk array for its channel partners to sell.

These two appliances are essential server/controllers running Fusion-io software with their innards stuffed full of Fusion’s PCIe flash cards, plus disks in the hybrid appliance product. The company says they are “for accelerating enterprise applications including Oracle, SAP HANA, and Microsoft SQL Server, as well as virtualisation workloads.”

The ION Accelerator is the all-flash appliance:

It scales up to 32TB of flash capacity in 1U to 4U off rack shelf space and delivers, Fusion says, “1.7 million random IOPS, 56 microsecond access latency and 23GB/sec bandwidth for transactional and sequential workload acceleration.” .

Stifel Nicolaus MD Aaron Rakers was at a Fusion-io analyst briefing and said: “This compares to EMC’s XtremIO supporting 10TB of raw capacity per node and capable of scaling to 40TB of raw capacity (i.e. a four X-Brick Cluster), Pure Storage’s FlashArray 400 series controller supporting 12TB of raw capacity per controller, and Violin Memory’s 6264-series array offering up to 70.3TB of raw capacity per controller.”

ION Accelerator

Get an ION Accelerator data sheet here (pdf).

The ioControl appliance is the hybrid box, intended for SME customers, with Fusion-io saying it “accelerates databases, applications and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) by up to 10x. Its software assigns “automated performance policies to define IOPS, throughput and latency performance minimums for each application.”

ioControl

With SPX server caching added to ioControl the hybrid appliance’s hot data can be moved to a server flash cache.

There are three models:

  • n5-50 with 730GB - 1.46TB flash and 16TB - 160TB capacity-optimised disk capacity
  • n5-100 with 1.56TB - 3.14TB of flash and 32TB-176TB of disk
  • n5-150 with 2.4TB - 4.8TB of flash and 498TB - 192TB of disk

The software includes real-time data movement between ioMemory and disk, data reduction through inline pattern matching, thin provisioning, thin snapshots and replication, and quality-of-service guarantees.

SPX technology provides real-time data tiering from ioControl systems to ioMemory server flash cards. Rakers reckons this is “a competitive offering against EMC’s XtremSW / XtremSF portfolio.”

There are two SPX-based configs. One is an ioControl n5-SPX 2-Server Application Cluster Solution and the other a 3-host equivalent. They use, we understand, n5-150 ioControl products.

Rakers said: “Relative to another vendor’s NVM + SSD + HDD hybrid solution, Fusion-io highlighted 2x higher IOPs, or up to 4.6x higher IOPs with the company’s n5-SPX solution.”

John Spiers, Fusion-io’s SVP for ioControl products, says the product’s architectural approach is focussed on PCIe flash rather than traditional SSDs, which is Nimble Storage’s design point. Rakers reports him as saying ioControl provides Quality of Service (QoS) capabilities by application – provisioning IOPs by capacity tiering (e.g., 250GB at 30,000 IOPs vs. 900GB with 5,000 IOPs).

Access an ioControl datasheet here (pdf).

The ION Accelerator appliance is available now to early access customers and will be widely available in Spring 2014 from Fusion-io VARs in North America. The ioControl appliance is available now from Fusion’s VARs in North America and EMEA.

An ioVDI system for, ahem, VDI, should be announced on Monday. ®

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