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HP servers to get solid-state memory

Fusion-io's Nand product fits into PCI-express slots

HP plans to put sold-state memory in its business servers, after announcing a partnership with startup Fusion-io that will lead to a version of Fusion-io's ioDrive Nand product being plugged into HP server PCI-express slots.

The joint effort, announced at the HP Technology Forum & Expo 2008 in Las Vegas, will see Fusion-io's ioDrive plugged into HP server PCI-express slots to add as much as 640GB of Flash storage capacity on a single card, said David Flynn, CTO of Fusion-io. He said the capacity will be increased to 1.28TB in 2009.

Flynn declined to disclose pricing plans, product availability dates or packaging information for the joint offering.

Fusion's ioDrive was introduced less than a year ago at the DEMOFall conference. The Nand flash-based storage product offers hundreds of thousands of I/Os per second at very low latency to enhance the speed and performance of read- and write-intensive I/O applications running on servers, said Flynn.

Flynn said adapting Fusion-io's technology to work with the HP technology will allow users to utilise a Flash-based storage repository that holds 'active' data requiring constant access and changes. HP servers have up to 10 PCI slots on the back of the machines, he noted.

"HP has seen that [solid-state storage] gives them something to use in those PCI Express slots that can actually pump up the performance of applications," said Flynn. He contended that the Fusion-io Flash storage technology can boost performance by as much as 40 percent for some applications.

The race by system vendors to add solid-state technology to servers is heating up. Sun Microsystems last month confirmed plans to support the diskless technology across its server and storage line by the end of 2008. Google also got into the act, announcing last month plans to roll out solid state disk drives from Intel in servers located at its North American headquarters.

To date, however, corporate customers have downplayed their interest in using solid-state storage within IT enterprise environments. They have said they are waiting until prices for the technology drops and durability concerns are sufficiently answered.

Last month, EMC acknowledged that the price of solid state technology must drop before it can be widely accepted by corporate users. The company had announced in January plans to offer solid state technology as an option for its high-end Symmetrix storage arrays.


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