Fusion-io Launches New Product Line to Support the All-Flash Data Center at Scale

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Fusion-io is extending the availability of its Fusion ioScale product line. Previously offered exclusively to Fusion-io customers outfitting thousands of servers, ioScale is now available for hyperscale and cloud companies in minimum order quantities of only one hundred units. According to Fusion-io, each ioScale provides up to 3.2 terabytes of Fusion ioMemory capacity that is performance tuned for the needs of webscale environments, and offered at pricing that will make it practical to architect an all-flash data center at scale.

“The new ioScale product line is based on the same ioMemory architecture that our traditional ioDrive product line has been based on, but it has been specifically performance- and cost-optimized to target what we are calling the ‘hyperscale’ segment of the market,” Ajay Nilaver, senior director, Product Management, at Fusion-io, tells 5 Minute Briefing. According to Nilaver, the hyperscale segment covers many different types of customers such as social media companies, companies that provide cloud solutions like SaaS, Paas, and IaaS, as well as traditional webscale companies like Google and Amazon. There are four products in the portfolio that is being announced. “Previously, we had this product line available only to a subset of customers - Facebook being one of them. The idea is now to expand that same ioScale product offering to other hyperscale segment customers.”

Through Fusion-io’s involvement with its strategic partners, ioScale evolved from the high volume Fusion ioFX workstation acceleration products, and is able to deliver on the unique needs of webscale and emerging cloud companies by meeting their requirements in terms of price, maximum rack density and reliability.

“We have come to understand that the hyperscale segment is actually very different than traditional enterprise,” says Nilaver. “Their architectures are very different. In the hyperscale environmentm it is more of a scale-out type of architecture whereas in traditional enterprise, it is more of a scale-up kind of an architecture,” he notes. In addition, says Nilaver, many of these hyperscale customers are buying vanity-free servers sometimes from the hyperscale divisons of the large OEMs like Dell’s DCS or HP which has a similar division, or often directly from ODM manufacturers also, and their model is very different in the sense that their value is in the software and often they don’t even use traditional enterprise software, they use more open source software. “Their server domain and the way they architect is very different, and traditionally, these companies have used hard disk drives to get more of a scale-out architecture or sometimes even traditional SSDs which tend to be very disk-like in their approach even though they use Flash,” says Nilaver.  “Part of our intent in working with customers was to really understand the deployment models really well, the requirements really well, and tune our product in terms of performance and features, as well as in terms of cost to try to address this in a broader way with a larger segment.”

According to Fusion-io, ioScale provides up to 3.2 TB of capacity on a single half length PCIe slot, with a single controller, enabling a small form factor server to reliably scale to 12.8 TB or more, delivering maximum rack density and reducing the need for disk drive bays. In addition, hyperscale servers supporting UEFI can boot from Fusion ioScale, further eliminating the need for RAID controllers or disk infrastructure in webscale servers with limited space. For more information, go to