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3/31/2008
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Startup Fusion-io Unveils Solid-State Storage Product

The device can be installed at multiple points in existing data centers or workstations without any changes, the company said.

Startup Fusion-io on Monday introduced its ioDrive, a flash memory-based storage device.

The new product is the first for Fusion-io, which specializes in solid-state technology. IoDrive, which is scheduled to ship April 7, runs off of a PCIe slot.

Fusion-io claims its proprietary technology makes it possible for the new storage device to operate as either local storage or storage cache. The device can be installed at multiple points in existing data centers or workstations without any changes to applications, infrastructure or management software, the company said.

"The ioDrive is a radical departure from traditional storage solutions and will change the way businesses think about their storage architecture," Don Basile, chairman and chief executive Fusion-io said in a statement. "Specifically designed for the enterprise, the ioDrive offers a best-of-breed solution for drop-in storage."

The company claims ioDrive provides access rates comparable to DRAM, with storage capacity on par with disks. The company also says the product has "the potential to reduce the need for enterprises to buy expensive, high performance fibre channel disks, fibre channel switches, RAID controllers, HBAs, exotic disks, caching appliances, excessive cabling, or custom software."

The ioDrive is priced at about $2,400 for 80 GB, $4,800 for 160 GB, and $8,900 for 320 GB. A data sheet is available on the company's Web site.

Solid-state drives, which have no moving parts, are being pitched as faster, more reliable devices than traditional drives. Storage vendor EMC, for example, has added flash-based, SSD to its high-end Symmetrix arrays. The drives are being positioned for use in processing-intensive applications, such as database backup and replication, for data that's frequently accessed.

SSDs, however, carry a steep premium. While a conventional 1 terabyte hard drive costs about $550, an SSD of similar capacity can run more than $10,000.

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