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Fusion-io releases flash memory virtualization software

Posted on Saturday, July 24 2010 @ 06:31:39 CEST by

Fusion-io presents the ioMemory VSL (Virtual Storage Layer) Subsystem, new flash virtualization software for servers.
Fusion-io, pioneer of a new memory tier of flash-based solid-state (ioMemory) technology, today announced the release of a new flash-optimized OS subsystem called the ioMemory VSL (Virtual Storage Layer). The ioMemory VSL is the first and only OS subsystem that combines the benefits of the traditional I/O subsystem (block-level reading and writing) with the benefits of the virtual memory subsystem – virtualizing ioMemory devices and offering a “fusion” of both memory and storage.

The ioMemory VSL is unique to the enterprise flash industry. It approaches flash as an extension of the memory hierarchy and as a new building block for computer hardware and software architecture, rather than confining it only to traditional storage paradigms. The result is an elegant cut-through architecture that provides near-linear performance scaling with very little software/hardware overhead, unprecedented flash reliability and endurance, customer flexibility in formatting, software development opportunities, and future-proof field upgradeability.

The ioMemory VSL virtualizes Fusion’s ioMemory technology, presenting it not just as traditional block storage, but also as a virtualized storage/memory hybrid with a much richer set of interfaces. Existing software such as file systems, volume managers, and applications are able to access ioMemory without modification. But, with an advanced set of enhanced programmatic interfaces, applications can be adapted to further exploit ioMemory to improve throughput, response times, and reliability features. The ioMemory VSL is a springboard to an entirely new flash-optimized software ecosystem that has already begun to emerge with Fusion’s OEM partners, third-party solution developers, and research groups.

“Faster hardware features are often cited as the primary way that improvements in application performance are achieved. But, as Fusion-io shows, it certainly is not the only way,” said Jerome Wendt, DCIG Lead Analyst and President. “The ioMemory VSL enables organizations to achieve significant improvements in performance, reliability, and endurance. With the tens of thousands of devices that Fusion-io has in production in the marketplace today, customers can realize this benefit at no additional cost to Fusion-io customers.”

"Fusion‘s ioMemory VSL allowed us to develop a flash-optimized file system called DFS that outperforms ext3 by 20 percent for direct access and over 149 percent for buffered access. It delivered up to 250 percent higher application performance in benchmarks while reducing CPU overhead,” said William Josephson, a PhD student at Princeton University working under Kai Li, founder of Data Domain. "Additionally, we used the advanced features of the ioMemory VSL to handle difficult operations such as block allocations, de-allocations and crash recovery safety. This allowed us to develop in just six months what typically takes three years."

“With the ioMemory VSL, information processing systems can improve performance, reliability and features set by taking full advantage of the unique capabilities flash has to offer,” said Neil Carson, CTO of Fusion-io. “Our approach to flash integration creates a new tier of virtualized memory, not just a legacy block storage device. This approach results in a more efficient, balanced infrastructure that is often capable of ten times the workload–enabling customers to do more with less.”



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