Fusion-io, which makes handheld-size solid-state storage arrays for enterprise systems, announced April 6 that it has broken an I/O speed barrier of sorts: 1 million IOPS and 8GB per second of sustained throughput, running on a single Hewlett-Packard ProLiant server.
Fusion-io's frontline product, the ioDrive, is the first direct-attached, solid-state server storage array that uses PCIe (PCI Express) connectivity. The ioDrive is small-barely larger than a typical handheld device-and uses advanced NAND flash clustering to perform the same functions as a spinning desk storage array, only with faster read/write performance and with much less power draw.
"In the past, when you talked about the  million IOPS [I/O operations per second] performance level, you were always talking about mainframe-class systems," wrote John Fruehe, director of business development for server/workstation products at Advanced Micro Devices, in his blog. AMD's quad-core chips powered the ProLiant in the test.
"Today, we are talking about industry-standard x86 servers. You've got a reason to smile, or, more accurately, a million reasons to smile," Fruehe wrote.
Fusion-io installed the latest version of its drive, ioDrive Duo, which it launched March 12, in the ProLiant server for the benchmark performance at HP's ProLiant engineering labs in Houston. The ioDrive Duo doubles the capacity of the company's PCI Express-based ioDrive storage array. (Go here to see a slide show that includes a photo and description of the SSD array.)
For the benchmark configuration, engineers from HP and Fusion-io built a system using five 320GB ioDrive Duos and six 160GB ioDrives in a single HP ProLiant DL785 G5 server, running with four Quad-Core AMD Opteron processors.
This standard configuration allowed the engineers to reach an unprecedented 8G-bps sustained throughput, making it possible to achieve 1,009,384 IOPS using 2KB random 70/30 read/write mix, as measured using the fio benchmark, Fusion-io claimed.
Salt Lake City-based Fusion-io, which signed Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak as its chief scientist in February, recently announced an OEM deal with HP to provide it with its new StorageWorks IO Accelerator.
The IO Accelerator is a NAND flash-based storage adapter based on Fusion-io's ioMemory technology.
Designed specifically for HP's BladeSystem servers, a single IO Accelerator card can combine control over more than 100,000 IOPS and 800M-bps read- and 600M-bps write throughput, with access latencies of less than 50??Ã¼s, and requiring as few as 6 watts of power from the wall.
HP is now providing the IO Accelerator for its BladeSystem customers using C-Series blade servers. A single BladeSystem server can accommodate two or three IO Accelerator cards.
For more details on the benchmark, go here.
Editor's note: This story was updated to correct 320MB and 160MB to 320GB and 160GB.