HP and Fusion-io now quicker than QuickSilver

A million IOPS with less flash: Next stop, a squillion!

HP and Fusion-io have built a ProLiant storage I/O powerhouse that achieved the same performance as IBM's Project Quicksilver with just two thirds of the NAND flash.

Fusion-io builds ioDrives, solid state drives (SSD) connected directly to a server's PCIe bus which links the server's processors, main memory and interface ports. IBM connected 4TB of ioDRive capacity to its SVC (SAN Volume Controller), a dedicated server located in a SAN's Fibre Channel fabric and virtualising and managing the storage arrays in that fabric. The ioDrive-boosted SVC produced one million IOs per second (IOPS).

Now HP has achieved the same IOPS level with 2.5TB of ioDrive capacity, 36 per cent less, made up from five 320GB ioDrive Duos and six 160GB ioDrives. The Proliant server used four quad-core AMD Opteron processors and exhibited 1,009,384 IOPS using a 2KB random 70/30 read/write mix, as measured using the fio benchmark. The aggregate throughput was in excess of 8GB/sec.

Fusio-io's chief technology officer, David Flynn, was hugely enthusiastic, saying: "These results show the true power of combining our PCI Express and NAND flash technology with HP’s ProLiant architecture. The ioDrive and ioDrive Duo are able to supply the extreme storage performance that data centres have only dreamed of, at a fraction of the power, cooling, and per unit-of-processing-power price compared to traditional solutions. This is especially valuable for accelerating I/O intensive applications and workloads such as database and data mining, virtual machine deployments, and financial transactions.”

Fusionio's marketing team went into a base-10 frenzy, claiming its technology: "allows IT organizations to gain storage performance improvements on the order of 1,000 times, while consuming less than 1/100th of the power, and at as much as 1/10th the cost of traditional storage area networks."

This SNW-timed demo is meant to boost sales of HP's IO Accelerator, which uses Fusion-io's ioDrive technology to boost HP's BladeSystem IO rate. Each IO Accelerator has, HP says, the capability of running at 100,000 IOPS, with 4KB random reads and writes, and throughput of 800MB/sec. There can be up to three such cards per single BladeSystem server.

IBM is expected to bring out Fusion-io technology-based products soon. ®

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