RealTime IT News

Demo: Bigger Storage Performance is Better

SAN DIEGO -- Can an upstart technology dramatically outdo the price and performance of today's storage area networks (SAN)? That's the claim of Salt Lake City-based Fusion-io, which unveiled its ioDrive here at the Demo conference.

The ioDrive PCIe card offers the equivalent throughput performance (though not the storage) of a thousand disk drives without the cables, rack storage space and software of a typical SAN , according to Fusion-io CEO Rick White.

Because the ioDrive is silicon-based, it overcomes the inefficiency of mechanical drives. In a demo, White showed the ioDrive moving the equivalent of eight DVDs worth of data in parallel in well under a minute in an HP c-Class blade server. Company officials told InternetNews.com that they also have a manufacturing agreement with Micron.

Currently in testing with customers, the first ioDrives are slated to be available for purchase later this year. Pricing has not been disclosed.

Fusion-io is promising performance of up to 380 megabytes per second, or 100,000 iops , in a single card. "A disk drive can do maybe 100 iOps, so this is a thousand times faster," said David Flynn, Fusion-io's CTO.

Mike Fisch, storage analyst with the Clipper Group, said the ioDrive leverages NAND Flash to close the mile-wide performance gap between CPUs and storage.

"The vastly superior performance and simplicity of high-density, NAND storage architectures will push aside the old guard of disk and tape," he said in a statement. He also praised the ioDrive for being a cost-effective and green solution.

Making a better video 'Splash'

Performance was a theme of many of the product introductions here. Digital Fountain said its Splash Content Delivery Network (CDN) for video streaming, guarantees delivery of video and audio even when there is packet loss on the network.

The service is expected to be available in January. CEO Charlie Oppenheimer said Digital Fountain's technology has a competitive advantage because it doesn't require edge servers that need to be relatively close to the point of distribution. "If the servers aren't close, they can't get even decent performance," he said.

But Oppenheimer said proximity is not an issue for Digital Fountain's technology and his demo to the San Diego audience relied on a server based in West Virginia.

He said the Splash CDN will have extremely low infrastructure costs, compared to companies like Akamai that deploy edge servers, because it plans to use Amazon's computing infrastructure service that bills only for processing and storage used. "We'll give any company the ability to provide instant-on, TV quality to PCs and mobile devices," he said.

Find that video

Another video-related debut was more about saving time finding what you want. Clipblast showed its video search widget for finding, organizing and saving the videos you want. CEO Gary Baker said Clipblast features the world's largest intelligent video index based on having crawled Web sites for video since 2004.

"The video Web is alive and dynamic and for the first time, it's available in real time," he said. You can personalize video searches, such as collecting all the latest car-related videos, save them and view later.

The market and interest in video is large and growing. Baker quoted comScore research that some 9 billion video clips were viewed in July alone.