"It treats ioDrive more like memory than a typical drive, so you achieve lower latencies," said Woody Hutsell, senior director of product management for Fusion-io. "Also, [the virtualization software] implements adaptive flashback, a media protection so ioDrives that fail still will not result in data loss. It's essentially a RAID with error correction code. Ultimately, even multiple chips can experience failures and it won't result in data loss."
The ION software has a SCSI target layer that transforms server into a data storage target.
The software automatically discovers any new ioDrives installed in the servers, allowing a system admin to create a RAID pool. Once the pool is created, the user can create volumes and assign them to external storage ports and perform access control.
"So at that point, the server does act like a flash appliance," Hutsell said.
The ION software can manage storage volumes both through a graphical user interface or a command line interface. It also offers other storage management features, including the use of the Simple Network Management Protocol to search for usable capacity, performance monitoring tools and the creation of RAID sets. User can chose JBOD, RAID 0 and RAID 10, according to Hutsell.
Fusion-io also offers a number of other add-on software functions for added cost:
- A ION High Availability software option that synchronously replicates data between multiple ION systems.
- And Fusion ION Power Cut Safety, which ensures that as soon as a data write is delivered to an ioMemory module, it is committed to flash and not RAM, so if power is cut, the data remains.
Fusion's ION acceleration software will be available in October with a suggested retail price starting at $3,900.
Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.