IBM has announced that it will use technology developed by memory startup Fusion-IO in its System X server range in a bid to slash I/O bottlenecks through the use of the IOPS solid state storage appliance adapter.
Publicity-shy Fusion-IO is backed by Apple's co-founder, Steve Wozniak, who sits on the company's board as Chief scientist. Big Blue will put the 160GB and 320GB models in its Xeon-based X servers.
The High IOPS SSD PCEe Adapters (HISPA) sit between the server's hard disk drives and its RAM, therefore acting as an intermediate buffer storage zone - otherwise known as Flash Memory Tier or Tier 0 storage.
IBM has become the third company, after Dell and HP to resell ioDrive cards; part of the success of solid-state technologies stem from the fact that their power and cooling costs are less than one percent of existing technologies.
David Flynn, CTO and president of Fusion-io, said in a statement that "We are excited to collaborate with IBM and bring easily managed, server-deployed solid-state technology to more of the world’s system and database administrators” .
Fusion-IO relies on PCI-express, the fastest connector available on a computer, as SATA or SCSI buses would quickly be saturated. The company claims that it can achieve 120,000 random read/write IOPS (I/O Operations Per Second), roughly 100 times more than disk-spinning hard disk drives.
Fusion IO is apparently the fastest solid state drive in the world, far faster than anything currently on the market. It can achieve data transfer rates of up to 4.08Gbps; it is so fast that it outpaces the 10,000RPM Raptor hard drive by 92x. And it is not cheap. The iODrive Duo, at 320GB worth of capacity costs a whopping $11900.