Fusion-io Announces ioCache Virtualization Solution For Data-Intensive Applications

Wow, Fusion-io doesn’t mess around; just a few weeks after acquiring IO Turbine, the company has made ioTurbine software (note the subtle name change) the centerpiece of its new ioCache solution. ioCache uses an ioMemory product with ioTurbine software to offer scalable data caching for data-intensive applications on virtualized machines.

Traditionally, data-intensive applications have caused a problem for VMs, facing a performance bottleneck due to slow storage, but Fusion-io believes that ioCache will finally defeat that issue.

“Just as RAM benefits from close integration within the server, our VSL subsystem integrates ioMemory within the server as a true memory resource to eliminate the complexity and latency introduced when accessing flash through storage protocols and embedded CPUs,” said David Flynn, Fusion-io Chairman and CEO in the press release.
Assuming ioCache can do what it purports to, the domino effect in terms of performance and cost savings to data centers is impressive. In addition to simply making virtualized applications run faster, the solution streamlines storage usage and reduces the I/O requirements for traditional storage hardware, thus reducing hardware lifecycle replacement costs.

It also increases the number of virtual machines per physical server, and it requires less memory to do a given task, both of which knock some costs off the 'ol hardware budget. Accordingly, data centers would then require fewer per-unit licensing fees, which saves even more money. And of course, less hardware means that data centers save on floor space, power, and cooling costs.

An ioCache bundle has 600GB of capacity, and if an application requires more than that, you can add in a Fusion ioDrive. MSRP is $6,900 or $3,900 (for ioTurbine software only) per physical server. Look for ioCache to hit the market in Q4 of this year.
Fusion-io Unveils ioCache Virtualization Solution

Fusion’s ioTurbine Software and Customized ioMemory Accelerator Virtualizes Flash to Deliver Affordable Performance for Virtualizing Data-Intensive Enterprise Applications

LAS VEGAS – Aug. 29, 2011 [VMworld tradeshow] – Fusion-io, Inc., (NYSE: FIO), a provider of a shared data decentralization platform, today announced its ioCache solution customized to deliver Fusion Powered performance for the virtualization of even data-intensive enterprise applications in VMware environments, including environments that use vMotion. The ioCache bundle features a new purpose-built ioMemory product dedicated to accelerating Fusion’s ioTurbine virtualization caching software.

“As enterprises continue to try to meet growing demand to process more data faster through cloud infrastructures and virtualization, we believe that Fusion’s new ioCache solution will serve as a fundamental building block that provides the scalable data caching required in these environments,” said David Flynn, Fusion-io Chairman and CEO. “Just as RAM benefits from close integration within the server, our VSL subsystem integrates ioMemory within the server as a true memory resource to eliminate the complexity and latency introduced when accessing flash through storage protocols and embedded CPUs. When integrated with VSL, Fusion’s ioTurbine software combines flash management and cache management, consolidating the mapping into one single step and delivering even lower latency and reduced system overhead.”

Many enterprises are adopting or exploring virtualization, yet companies often incur significant costs attempting to handle the associated I/O requirements. The new ioCache solution improves virtualization ROI by increasing the number of virtual machines per physical server, and also reduces the expenses related to powering, cooling and managing expensive traditional storage systems that struggle to meet the demands of virtualization. With ioCache, enterprises will be able to finally achieve the performance and reliability needed to virtualize even data intensive applications that were previously difficult to migrate to virtualized environments while maintaining performance. Customers will now be able to streamline their data center operations into a single, unified virtualized environment.

When deployed in a VMware environment, Fusion’s ioTurbine software dynamically provisions ioMemory capacity and I/O performance across multiple virtual machines (VMs) by using Fusion’s VSL OS Subsystem to house and serve data for each VM. Tight integration of VSL’s host-based flash management and ioTurbine’s cache management eliminates otherwise redundant mapping functions, maximizing I/O performance and adding a critical and previously missing piece to virtualized IT environments – a plentiful supply of scalable, low-latency I/O.

Through this approach, Fusion-io unites the benefits of flash and cache without the overhead costs created by integrating each technology through traditional architectures using storage protocols and embedded processors. This solution avoids the need for expensive, performance-oriented networked storage systems, SSD arrays and memory appliances that struggle to deliver performance from the far end of a network, instead allowing enterprises to use cost optimized shared storage systems.

Key benefits of ioCache for virtualization include:
· Acceleration of virtualized applications such as Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint, IIS, and other critical applications
· Increased VM density per physical server, resulting in more efficient usage of existing servers and minimizing incremental investments in servers
· Lowered I/O demands on the external storage/SAN, resulting in more efficient storage usage and minimizing incremental investments
· Lowered software licensing costs associated with fewer physical servers, since most software applications are licensed on a per server or even per-processor core basis
· Lowered memory and memory licensing costs, since VMs can reach performance without requiring as much memory for caching to avoid expensive I/O operations
· Lowered operational expenses associated with datacenter floor space, power and cooling, achieved via a smaller physical infrastructure footprint

Available exclusively in bundles with ioTurbine software, Fusion’s ioCache delivers 600GB of capacity optimized to support the majority of virtualized application workloads. For applications requiring even larger caches, customers can integrate a Fusion ioDrive with ioTurbine software. The ioCache and ioTurbine virtualization bundle will be available in Q4 2011. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price for the virtualization bundle is $6,900 U.S. per physical server. Stand-alone licenses for ioTurbine software are $3,900 U.S. per physical server. Additional information is available for interested customers by contacting a Fusion-io sales representative: http://www.fusionio.com/contact/sales/