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I have been looking a solving some database performance issue recently particularly around a large SQL Server database that looked like it was going to need to move to a dedicated (and expensive) data warehouse platform to hit our challenging performance targets.

I am just about to try an alternative hardware solution that has great promise. Initial tests show a sustained throughput rate of 100,000 IOPS which is staggering considering that this is just a simple 4 core, nothing special server.

How is it done? Well I am testing an ioDrive a solid state disk technology that takes a completely different approach to everyone else. The idea is that ioDrives plug directly into the PCIe bus in a server, no SCSI or SATA drive interface, no iSCSI or Fiber Channel connections, just straight server motherboard speeds. Each ioDrive can be configured with up to 320GB of solid state, write leveled storage, multiple drives can be patched together to make a large array.

It’s low cost, screamingly fast, and low energy. Once I have completed the tests I will post a set of before and after results with transaction times. I am also in the final stages of scheduling an interview with Don Basile the CEO of Fusion-io here on The Hot Aisle to get his insight into the impact of solid state on the storage business. 

Fusion-io are an interesting company, Steve Wozniak is on the Advisory Board (his first role since he parted company with Steve Jobs his co-founder at Apple). They have been winning industry awards all over the place for producing the worlds fastest storage solution and recently were named as a Red Herring Top 100 Global company. Here is what the company have to say about their technology:

Fusion-io’s storage technology uses NAND flash in place of the traditional mechanical disk drives found in today’s massive storage arrays for the data center. It allows the enterprise to get storage performance improvements on the order of 1000 times, while consuming less than 1/100th of the power, at 1/10th the cost of traditional storage area networks. This technology is so innovative that recently Fusion-io worked jointly with IBM on its Project Quicksilver to easily achieve over 1,000,000 data transactions per second (IOPS) by presenting multiple ioDrives as a shared storage solution.

In addition, the ioDrive was recently confirmed as ‘the World’s Fastest Storage’ by several reviewers, including Tweaktown.com, an independent technology review website, and Finisar’s Medusa Labs.