In our opinion; these current drives from Fusion-io and their successor’s is the future without doubt; within the Workstation place, in mission critical applications and final render outputs. Initial outlays might be perceived as being costly but the return of investment will be phenomenal. The most simplistic example to everyone understand the process quickly. Take 1 standard movie of approximately 100 minutes converting it from 2D to 3D output only takes a mere 3 hours to complete. Using disc’s in an raid array could take up to 12 – 14 hours to complete fully. It does not take a mathematician to figure out the equation here.
Fusion-io from its foundation 4 years ago have grown from strength to strength and almost all the Tier 1 companies and Tier 2’s have embraced and adopted the technology as the future in many mission critical scenarios. Downtime to disk failure, disk fragmentation/free space issues are now a thing of the past.
The adoption path tests we have shown on how fast the drive is in many areas are just the tip of the iceberg, but they also show without unequivocal doubt their reliability and stability whilst underload. Within page 6 of the article we showed the CrystalMark results before work load and after work load. Leaving the system undertaking a heavy Read/Writing session for a 36 hour period we therefore saw the following performance sequential statistic’s before and after from CrystalMark
No performance drop at all. Normally in most cases a drop would be seen from even the most advanced of SSD’s. Though once more we have to take away that this is not an SSD but a drive. The drive itself functions much better the more memory you place into the system; the better the performance across the whole I/O. One point the showed this clearly was within SPECviewperf® 11 and the viewsets of Lightwave, Maya and SolidWorks that utilise the whole system I/O. Within these three viewsets we see increases in scores not normally obtained from spindle disks or SSD’s. Therefore one has to take away, obtain faster results within these viewsets then in theory the application will obviously benefit the speed-up also. One completely I/O hungry application is that of Adobe After Effects and its render outputs. With the information we have delivered below then to the most obvious this application most definitely will benefit from the Fusion-io drive.
Breaking results down to one that many look for within the gaming industry from both the PCMark 2005 and PCMark Vantage we see results never witnessed before from a drive. Many will be reeling with shock at the astonishing speeds that this drive produced. For the old guard, an overall HD score of 71083 from the PCMark 2005 it certainly took us by surprise. On several reruns the result remained the same throughout. With the newer PCMark Vantage the HD test really took us wholeheartedly by surprise with a tremendous overall HD score of 58416. Many gaming studios will now be sitting back thinking looking very carefully at these results, as the usage of this important piece of equipment can and will be used in many important phases of production. Remember this is a PCI Express X4/X8 card that can be readily switched quickly between systems. With footprints of some workstation mainboards are getting much smaller, more powerful CPU’s requiring smaller heat sink fans and supporting 2 PCI Express lanes or more, yes monocells are on overdrive in the potential usage of this drive.
Support, Fusion-io has an excellent range of tools and a quick registration allows you to updates easily deployable to the unit. Firmware updates are few which shows how well the product has been produced and is always a good sign. For those in doubt Fusion-io have an online chat support mechanism supported by Fusion-io staff which allows those who just might hit the odd curve ball an instant response to fix the issue to hand instantaneously and saving once more time and cost saved by a telephone call. For those who prefer forum support Fusion-io has a good forum support. What is nice to see is the quick support response to the end-user and the personalised response to each individual – the way things should be done.
Questionably some analysts will be sceptical at the cost, however once more we are back to our ever so faithful statement of “fast is good we want fast and fast today is what you have got”. For those wishing the ultimate in workstations that require the ultimate in high speed productivity, reliability and stability, then look no further. The negative Nellie’s will be sitting back aghast. We reiterate that all walks of life will benefit fully from the power from the Fusion-io drive and will see a huge rapid return of investment – in saving time, manpower and ultimately getting the finished product out to the client on time without fear of downtime.
We stipulated that this is without a doubt the future of drives to come, therefore we must also look briefly to a possibility. Could this drive be embedded onto a mainboard direct and cut down on more hardware to be added at a later point, and like in some instances have an upgrade slot of adding in more modules to increase the drives capabilities. Once more we think of reduction in cost in many topical areas. Time will tell, though it well and could be a viable probability.
Ultimately, the smart people from Fusion-io have taken us aback at their products complete adaptability. This drive and the others from within the range can be found in many places supporting so many operating systems, huge SQL databases, Film and Artistic studio’s which will and does increase productivity output; Quadrupled in some instances. The proof is already out there from one recent case study. The beneficial list is endless and this is one piece of equipment that has to be seen to believe for those even thinking on outlaying on a huge 15K array.
Therefore with these last few thoughts to take away. If you fear a dropped drive or raid controller going down in your raid array’s – think Fusion-io. If you fear severe disk fragmentation downtime – think Fusion-io. If you can think of 40 artists sitting still for 2 – 4 hours from either of the latter scenario’s – think Fusion-io. These few simplistic daily occurrences are all too often found, totally out way the initial costings of 1 drive.
Here we are thinking – what next for the Fusion-io.
EDITORS CHOICE – for High End Professional Storage Drive Solution
Page 1 – Introduction
Page 2 – ioDrive Duo Pictures
Page 3 – System Set-Up and Software Used
Page 4 – ATTO Benchmark, Everest Ultimate Ver. 5 and HD Tune Pro Ver. 4.50
Page 5 – SiSoftware Sandra 2010 with latest build
Page 6 – PCMark 2005 Advanced, PCMark Vantage Professional and CrystalMark Disk Benchmark
Page 7 – SPECviewperf® 11.0 64-bit and File Transfer Test
Page 8 – Conclusions and Award