Utah-based start-up Fusion-io has just launched its first product, the ioDrive (pdf). It is a PCI Express-based flash storage card that can pack hundreds of gigabytes of flash storage into a single board, potentially replacing banks of high-performance hard drives.
According to the company, the ioDrive will be start at 80 GB and scale to 320 and 640 GB next year. Plans for a 12 TB card is also in the works by the end of 2008. Housing multiple cards in a single computer for extra performance and fault tolerance will also be possible.
Just how fast is the ioDrive? According to Fusion io's CTO, David Flynn, the card has 160 parallel pipelines that can read data at 800 megabytes per second and write at 640 MB/sec. In a benchmarking test with a worst case scenario of 4k blocks and eight simultaneous 1 GB read and write operations, the ioDrive clocked in at 100,000 operations per second.
“That would have just thrashed a regular hard drive,” said Flynn.
If you're thinking of using this setup as part of the ultimate home-gaming rig, think again. According to TG Daily:
So how much will these cards cost? Flynn told us that the company is aiming to beat $30 dollars a GB, something that should seem very cheap to large corporations...
Figure out the math yourself.
On the enterprise-end though, such a drive might just make sense. If Fusion-io can get pull a 1.2 TB hat-trick by 2008, they might be able to address a performance/capacity niche that current generation of SAS drives might not be able to match.
Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.