LONDON Diamond Point International (Rochester, England) has been appointed a specialist reseller and distributor for Fusion-io's innovative NAND flash based soild state drives, the ioDrive and ioDrive Duo.
The drives are said to be the industry's most advanced NAND-based enterprise storage solutions and are designed specifically to eliminate application I/O bottlenecks and improve server I/O performance.
Fusion-io (Salt Lake City, Utah) released in September 2007 its first ioDrive, which packs 80 to 640 Gbytes of NAND flash on a PCI Express card, aiming to replace both hard drives and traditional solid-state drives. Its novel controller design allows performance of up to 100,000 I/O operations per second (IOPS), matching the throughput of the PCI Express bus the card rides.
The card is pushing the limits for today's server architectures. Just one of Fusion's high-end 640 Gbyte cards will swamp a host processor in I/O handling jobs for block-based storage.
At the heart of the Fusion-io drives are Xilinx Virtex FPGAs for which the company has written software to control the drives so that they offer such tight integration and high performance.
The company is one of many drive and controller makers vying for a slice of an expanding pie in flash drives. Initially critics said its approach was flawed because it was wedded to the PCI Express bus while most implementations were aimed at more typical storage interfaces such as Serial ATA and Serial-Attached SCSI.
"Specifically designed for the enterprise, the ioDrive and ioDrive Duo offer a best-of-breed solution for drop-in storage," said Mathew Fleming, director of international sales for Fusion-io.
Fleming added that a major design criterion was also that "for rapid adoption, we had to come up with a solution that would be simple and could be plugged easily into a server’s PCI Express bus. This we have achieved."
The ioDrive is a radical departure from traditional storage solutions and will change the way businesses think about their storage architecture, said John Vaines, managing director, Diamond Point.
The ioDrive is currently available in 80GB, 160GB and 320GB capacities; the ioDrive Duo is available in 160GB, 320GB and 640GB models. Multiple cards can be software RAID configured to further scale performance.
The NAND flash used in the devices comes from Samsung, Single Level Cell versions for the lower capacity models, and Multi Level Cell for the higher end drives.
Fleming said a version with 1.2TB capacity is scheduled to be released by the end of the year, and that the company is also readying lower capacity versions, dubbed the ioExtreme, targeted at consumer oriented applications such as gaming.
Founded in 2006, Fusion-io employs almost 200 people around the world, and last month raised $47 million in a Series B funding round led by Light Speed Ventures. It had previously raised $19 million.
Fleming said the deal with Diamond Point is not an exclusive one and that the company already has partnerships with other groups in Europe, and in the U.K.
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