*EXCLUSIVE* Fusion-io ioDrive Duo

Our evolution today of getting the fastest out of each system constantly is to the fore.  As each article produced here we have demonstrated whether by CPU or GPU constant leaps in performance output.   Within Hard Drive scenario’s we find many different variants, Spindle, SSD, OCZ’s PCI Express Z drive, Seagate’s Hybrid Drive are to name a few. Todays feast is an exceptional piece of equipment from the specialist solid-state storage makers Fusion-io.   From the very onset we must stress that this is not an SSD but an actual drive – and a very complex one.  However we have sat down and looked at a process that even the most technologically hindered will be able to understand. 

The uptake of this specialist solid sate storage has been phenomenal and like all high-end peripherals end users are constantly looking to enhance their systems to be more robust and; within mission critical systems absolute.   Therefore with the marketplace embracing this technology fully, there is now a growing trend by many end-users to utilise these types of drives made by Fusion in other scenario’s as we have just mentioned.   Today this is what we are going to look at giving some of you an idea just what one of these drives can do for you in many walks of life.

Everyone talks about read/write speed,  IOP’s at certain density blocks and for many this means an awful amount of understanding just what the current drive does that they are intending to purchase – enter our every faithful synthetic tests that show just how long it takes X to complete Y and vice versa.  Before we traverse into our article we need to understand a little about Fusion-io and it’s current marketplace. 

With the aid of Fusion-io’s Public relations we get some insight of the company profile and a snippet from Siggraph on were they have advanced certain parts in the film industry and a few meaningful quotes.

About Fusion-io

The increasing demand for a next-generation, solid-state storage technology is driven by advancements in computer processors which, following Moore’s Law, have grown exponentially in performance. Mechanical disks, on the other hand, follow Newtonian Dynamics and experience lackluster performance improvements, introducing a performance gap.   Ushering in a new era of application-centric, solid-state storage solutions for the enterprise, Fusion-io is revolutionizing the way database, application and system administrators architect their data centers. The company is closing the gap between processing power and storage needs by delivering breakthrough performance at a fraction of the cost of traditional disk-based storage systems. Now, the performance of an entire disk array can be placed inside a server.

Fusion-io’s executive team has a long history of building companies that deliver game-changing and innovative technologies to the marketplace. Fusion-io was founded in 2006 by a team of experts with successful track records in the fields of transaction processing, high-performance networking, storage and superclusters, and computing and image processing.   Coming out of stealth mode in late 2007, Fusion-io was backed with an initial round of funding led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Dell Ventures, and Sumitomo Ventures. In 2009, Lightspeed Venture Partners joined these forward-thinking organizations to lead Fusion-io’s second round of financing.

The Management team are without doubt a gifted group of men coming from many walks of life within the I.T.  industry.   Once an understanding has been fully grasped of these gifted individuals it becomes abundantly clear why Fusion-io has risen so quickly within the top 10 performers of todays high-end performing computer peripherals.

The Best Performance Density Doubled

Using the same award-winning ioMemory technology as the ioDrive, the ioDrive Duo doubles the performance and capacity available on a single device. Multiple ioDrive Duos combined can easily achieve gigabytes of bandwidth and hundreds of thousands of IOPS with a single server.

·         Doubles the performance of the industry leading ioDrive

·         Integrates with servers at the system bus and kernel level, creating a new Flash memory tier

·         Not an SSD (—easily outperforms dozens of SSD’s  and a single server

·         Accelerates applications, improves response times, and boosts efficiency

·         Reduces storage latencies and eliminates I/O bottlenecks

·         Delivers the performance of thousands of disk drives in a single server

·         From 320GB – 1.28TB of enterprise-grade, solid-state Flash

·         Easy to use, highly reliable

ioDrive Duo Capacity

320GB

640GB

1.28TB

 

NAND Type

SLC (Single Level Cell)

MLC (Multi Level Cell)

MLC (Multi Level Cell)

Read Bandwidth (64kB)

1.5 GB/s

1.0 GB/s

1.1 GB/s

Write Bandwidth (64kB)

1.5 GB/s

1.5 GB/s

1.5 GB/s

Read IOPS (512 Byte)

261,000

196,000

185,000

Write IOPS (512 Byte)

262,000

285,000

278,000

Mixed IOPS (75/25 r/w)

238,000

138,000

150,000

Read Latency (512 Byte)

26 µs

29 µs

30 µs

Write Latency (512 Byte)

2 µs

2 µs

2 µs

Bus Interface

PCI-Express x4/x8 or PCI Express 2.0 x4

PCI-Express x4/x8 or PCI Express 2.0 x4

PCI-Express x4/x8 or PCI Express 2.0 x4

Operating Systems

64-Bit Microsoft Server 2003/2008, 64-Bit Microsoft Windows XP/Vista/Win7, RHEL 4/5, SLES

At Siggraph 2010 Fusion-io revealed its work with some of Hollywood’s premiere entertainment companies. To bring a spectacular new breed of visual entertainment to the big screen, Fusion-io products have now been used in the production of several stereoscopic 3D movies, including Alice in WonderlandAvatarHow to Train a Dragon and Clash of the Titans – with many more Fusion Powered blockbusters coming soon in a theatre near you.

Stereoscopic 3D film production requires frequent reviews of real-time, full quality playback with double the throughput of regular movies, putting immense stress on current film pipelines and often crippling studios’ production pipelines. With Fusion-io’s new tier of high speed persistent memory, studios can now playback and write data at the same time, meaning artists can start review sessions of their work as soon as they have enough shots copied.

Fusion-io technology also makes it possible for directors and artists to conduct mini-reviews between major sessions, ensuring that creative teams don’t sit idle while waiting for feedback on their progress. Previously, this time-consuming process forced artists to transfer data and review among multiple workstations. Before the advent of Fusion’s ioMemory technology, this process could cost studios several weeks of production time.

By significantly speeding workflow and review sessions, Fusion-io eliminates hours of labor needed to sequence data for playback and defragmenting hard drives, while completely eliminating the risk posed by RAID crashes and data recovery. In addition, the implementation of ioMemory technology is much more simple and streamlined than the alternative of adding RAID arrays.

Studios can now eliminate this cumbersome legacy infrastructure, and instead deploy Fusion’s easily implemented and monitored solution to significantly reduce IT overhead, improve data security and accelerate production. With ioMemory technology, the power of a high-performance SAN can be realized in every production workstation.

Utilizing Fusion-io, Prime Focus, a global leader in entertainment services, completed its S3D conversion of Warner Bros’ 
Clash of the Titans in just under eight weeks. Prime Focus’ timeframe for the project represents a significant breakthrough as standard stereoscopic conversion projects typically take six months or longer.

“Fusion’s ioDrives really helped us meet a tough deadline. With typical VFX projects, we complete about 20-30 shots per day. The ioDrives scaled our data load capabilities by about twenty times. This improved our productivity about two to four fold,” said Sean Konrad, Project Manager for Stereoscopic Conversion. “Using Fusion-io drives, each review session covered far more shots and we could continue cycling work in between sessions. We don’t have to worry anymore about defragmenting disks, rebuilding RAIDs, or swapping out disks. We are buying many more ioDrives to implement throughout our different locations.”

“No other company today provides the entertainment industry with the lightning-fast access to data that Fusion-io offers, making it possible to radically accelerate film production and save studios valuable time and effort in bringing their products to market,” said Vincent Brisebois, Director of Hollywood Alliances for Fusion-io. “We look forward to working with Prime Focus and other studios to help reinvent the cinematic experience for 21st Century audiences.”

With the introduction complete on the companies foundation and recent activities we move onwards to the next page for a few pictures of the drive.

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