Fusion-io has recently introduced the ioSAN, which is the world’s first networked enterprise Solid-State Drive (SSD). The new product makes it possible to extend the raw power of SSD across the network and can be deployed as networked, server-attached storage or integrated into networked storage infrastructure, offering a fundamentally different model for enterprises’ storage management.

The new device was displayed at the DEMOfall conference, held earlier this month, and its main destination market are medium and large enterprises which make usage of networked computing power in order to process various tasks. Unlike the current common storage devices, the new ioSAN utilizes the relatively new SSD technology in order to bring networked computers better storage solutions. Those who might benefit most from the technological improvements the ioSAN offers are companies who use applications that need quick access to data, such as financial services applications and Web services or media editing. However, Fusion-io claims that even the more traditional storage-related applications, such as replication, mirroring, ILM, failover and backup/restoration could improve performance using their new product.

The ioSAN combines ioMemory and Converged Enhanced Networking and utilizes the same PCI-Express (PCIe) form factor as the company’s first product – the direct-attached ioDrive enterprise SSD. The result is that the ioSAN functions as network-attached storage, making it possible for server attached storage to communicate between systems over existing network architecture. Therefore, any user can use an off-the-shelf server to create a full-power Storage Area Network (SAN). With multi-terabytes of low-cost tiered storage, high-performance enterprise flash and high-performance enterprise networking the building of systems that can utilize enhanced network bandwidth is made easier.

Using a standard-based, memory-speed protocol over either 10GigE or 40GBps QDR Infiniband, the ioSAN shares ioMemory capacity between servers. With latencies of less than two microseconds, it incorporates an integrated network interface that can dynamically alternate between 10Gb/s Ethernet or 40Gb/s quad data rate InfiniBand. The built-in network interface makes it easy to create networked storage across servers with increased performance and flexibility, and with zero footprints. This networked storage is extremely easy to integrate and manage within existing server infrastructure, since no additional software or hardware is needed.

“With this development, everything you thought you knew about SSD and storage networking is no longer true,” said David Flynn, CTO of Fusion-io. “The ioSAN fuses SSD with storage networking, combining the best of direct-attached and storage networking with the best of SSD and traditional storage. With this revolutionary advancement, Fusion-io has commoditized high-performance network storage in the same way that companies like NVIDIA and ATI/AMD commoditized high-performance graphics processing. Fantastic applications of this technology are now beginning to emerge.”

TFOT has also covered Samsung’s Hybrid Hard Drive, a new Flash memory-assisted computer hard drive that boasts improved performance, the SanDisk Vaulter Disk, a device that enables faster launching and loading of software on laptops and on personal computers, and DeviceVM’s software that circumvents Windows’s long boot-up time. Other related TFOT stories include the development of Laser Hard Drives, which are to be 50,000 times faster than those used in other magneto-optic data storage systems, the world’s first 1-terabyte hard drive, made by Hitachi on Jan. 2007, and the LaCie 500GB HD, a new external hard drive uniquely designed by Neil Poulton.

For more information about the new ioSAN, see Fusion-io’s press release.

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