I think, the idea behind ioDrive is this: Use your computer like a TV. That is, forget about boot time, launch channels (applications) without any delay and don't worry about data loss if someone pulls the power plug. Sounds like Science Fiction? If you believe in the announcement of the Utah-based start-up company, Fusion-io, this could already come true at the beginning of next year.
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These are the most interesting specs of ioDrive from their FAQ:
- "io" stands for "indexed object memory"
- ioDrive is based on NAND technology
- Data rates: 800 MB/sec (read), 600 MB/sec (write). [SATA hard drives support up to 90 MB/s, and PC2-6400 DRAM 6.4GB/s]
- Fusion-io will offer ioDrives in the following capacities: 80GB, 160GB, 320GB and 640GB.
- ioDrive uses a PCI x4 connector
- Retail prices will be about $30 per GB
This is 100 times more than the current price of hard disk space. However, it is normal for new technology to be overpriced. I think if storage media like this become available for a reasonable price, they could revolutionize computer technology as such. I am sure that this would lead to operating systems (client and server) fatter than ever before.
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This technology was developed for servers, and is about IOPS (100,000+, actually) and speed (500-700 MBps), not size. This is a great solution for servers with thousands of connections at any given time.
However, let’s consider the niche market of extreme performance gaming PCs. You can install one of these cards and get 80GB of drive space at 600 MBps at the expense of $2400 and a free PCIe slot; or, you can RAID-0 three SLC SSDs and get ~200GB of drive space at 200 MBps for around $2000, while leaving your PCIe slot free (and having a sizeable chunk of left-over cash) for, say, another graphics card.
So at what point does the drive speed – and let’s make no mistake about it, this is about speed – become the bottleneck? Only when you’re loading directly into memory: the OS, a game level, maybe video editing, not much else. Even doing full system backups, you’d be limited by the speed of the device you’re tranferring to.
As amazing as the ioDrive sounds, I think I’d just wait the extra few seconds for my computer to boot or my level to load and install 2-3 times as much [albeit, slightly slower] storage and an extra graphics card for around the same price.
If FusionIO wants their product to reach critical mass, they need to do something better with price, otherwise Intel and the likes will pass them up. Do they actually think other companies are sitting idle? Once a big company like Intel makes this type of technology into a mass produced product, then good-bye FusionIO. They better look at history of high-tech storage / memory and consider the economic climate we are in today instead of focusing on immediate large profit margin and think long term. Who the heck handles their long term strategic planning? Do you guys want to make a quick buck for a year or two or do you want to dominate and expand for years. You can still make money and GROW if he price point was better. Since they are from UTAH, I hope they don’t have the same mentality as Novell – look where they are headed to…nowhere.
Unfortunately FusionIO products are not competitive at all. The technology is aimed at servers (high i/o) but their pricing is way too expensive for that performance and capacity.
I believe that within 2 years they will no longer exist as a company simply because they were overpriced to start with and their product will soon be outdated by the market place. If they dont come out with something new and cheaper soon its a very real possiblity. The big IT firm i work for wont even consider FusionIO because its unrealisticly priced and possibly redundant as the technology becomes old too fast. Intel and OCZ have already reached past FusionIO’s technology for a fraction of the cost using multiple SSDs.
FusionIO appears dead in the water before it even gets going.
OCZ has already demonstrated the Z Drive, being a 256MB PCIe RAID card with 4 x 250GB SSDs bolted on to it. Projected price about US1500-2000. 600+MB/s read and 400+MB/s write, IOp/s unknown. Hopefully the SSDs are Vertex capability.
This is really starting to make Fusion-io a bit of a joke.
It is well-known that in Russia one can already met when shopping 1Tb-flash cards with a prize of $1,000 USD. Be happy!!!
I have been predicting this for years. The most unreliable part of a computer (after Windows) is the hard drive. Why? Too many moving parts. When you consider what it does and how fast it does it, it’s a miracle of engineering that it works at all.
With an SSD, there are no moving parts, lower power consumption, and much greater impact resistance.
Remember when the first hard drives came out for main frame computers? They were huge, incredibly expensive, and temperamental. The SSD is only expensive and that is changing faster than it did for hard drives.
All aboard! The SSD train is leaving the station. I have a 32 GB USB pen drive and recently ordered a 64GB one for under $30 USD. Chuga, chuga, chuga Woooo Woooo.