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Fusion-io, HP claim extreme solid-state drive speeds

Fusion-io says it has achieved extremely high data transfer speeds on an HP server packing an array of solid-state drives.

Fusion-io, the company that boasts Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak as its chief scientist, says it has achieved extremely high data transfer speeds on servers from Hewlett-Packard.

Fusion-io ioDrive Duo
Fusion-io ioDrive Duo Fusion-io

Solid-state drives are generally faster than hard-disk drives, particularly at reading data, and have no moving parts, unlike hard disk drives.

Working together in HP's ProLiant engineering labs in Houston, HP and Fusion-io built a system using five 320GB ioDrive Duos (see photo) and six 160GB ioDrives in a single HP ProLiant DL785 G5 server, running with four Quad-Core Opteron processors from Advanced Micro Devices, Fusion-io said.

This configuration allowed the engineers to achieve about 1 million IOPS, or input/output operations per second. By comparison, hard disk drives typically don't excel at IOPS, achieving only a fraction of this level of data transfer speed, which makes solid-state drives appealing to large customers such as CitiBank and Bank of America. These kinds of companies need lots of IOPS for their financial transactions.

HP offers solid-state drive arrays as part of HP's BladeSystem. The HP StorageWorks IO Accelerator is a flash-based storage adapter based on Fusion's ioMemory technology. Each IO Accelerator card achieves more than 100,000 IOPS. A single HP BladeSystem server can accommodate two or three IO Accelerator cards.

"The ioDrive and ioDrive Duo are able to supply the extreme storage performance (for data centers) at a fraction of the power, cooling, and per unit-of-processing-power price compared to traditional solutions," said David Flynn, chief technology officer of Fusion-io, in a statement.

These drives are especially valuable for database and data mining, virtual machine deployments, and financial transactions, according to Flynn.