Fusion-IO founder and CEO, David Flynn, briefing journalists in Sydney on the company's technology, said that traditional disk storage was now a major bottleneck to processing the massive amounts of data generated by today's devices and applications.
He said that another Australian customer, Westpac Bank, had been able to reduce the time taken to run its risk analytics application from three hours to 20 minutes. "And they were able to incorporate a much richer set of analytics and get rid of hundreds of mechanical disk drives."
Flynn claimed that the days of spinning discs as the main IO storage were numbered. "Fusion-IO has introduced what we call IO memory based on NAND flash...It will determine the amount of content the server can process and your storage area network is going to be for archival. Disk is going to be the new tape. All the primary storage will be flash in the servers."
Fusion-IO offers three types of NAND storage for data processing: storage incorporated in the server and NAND storage as a cache in front of the disk storage. "The third is to share it over a network," Flynn said, "It allows you to put IO memory into an off the shelf server and with software have it act as a shared storage array. This is software defined storage."
He said that, in addition to reducing the latency inherent in writing and retrieving data mechanically to a spinning disc the use of NAND flash enabled applications to be modified to take advantage of the new type of storage.
"MySQL has been modified to use this memory-like interface and the result is that it runs twice as fast and writes half as much data to the flash and those numbers are relative to our same product using standard interfaces," Flynn claimed.
"With MySQL we turn off a huge section of complex code that runs a journaling and logging system. This is not just about getting faster throughput it is about simplifying how applications are authored...Fusion-IO is taking a clean slate approach of re-architecting how operating systems provide access from applications to user data. The impact this is having is dramatic."