by Brian Beeler

Fusion-io Brings ioMemory to the Workstation with Fusion ioFX

Fusion-io has announced their latest ioMemory storage accelerator; this time with eyes on the workstation market. The Fusion ioFX is designed to give video editors, video effects professionals, programmers and the like a powerful storage solution that can keep pace with today's high-throughput processors and GPUs. The Fusion ioFX has been in development for some time, an early iteration was used in the Oscar Award winning Hugo, which won for best visual effects. Fusion-io hopes to bring the solution not just to major video effects houses though, but to workstation users globally who don't want their productivity held back by storage. 

The Fusion ioFX comes in a 420GB capacity that connects via PCIe slot, leveraging the same ioMemory platform that Fusion-io's enterprise solutions use. At it's core, the direct architecture of ioMemory lets the Fusion ioFX provide exceedingly low latency to let users render, compile, tanscode and otherwise accelerate their workflow like never before. Specifically, that translates to up to 1.5 GB/s bandwidth with sustained access latency of less than a millisecond. The big difference between this ioMemory product and traditional products such as the ioCache shown below is the addition of a cooling fan to cope with unregulated thermals found outside of server platforms. Servers are designed to meet airflow requirements, but workstations and other systems are not, so the fan is there to keep the ioFX operating within spec even if the system its installed in can't. Another difference is the type of NAND used, which is has a lower endurance rating than other ioMemory products.

In addition to performance, the ioFX works with the Fusion ioSphere management software, that not only shows monitoring and reporting for a single ioFX card, but can roll up an entire studio's batch of cards for aggregating live performance metrics and alerts. The Fusion ioFX product comes with a year of technical support, which can be extended or upgraded to include remote drive monitoring by Fusion-io.

Fusion-io will be demoing the ioFX solution at NAB 2012 next week. In our continuing series of Fusion-io coverage (Fusion-io Site Visit) StorageReview will be on hand at NAB to report on the Fusion ioFX as shown in at least six booths including Adobe, ASSIMILATE, NVIDIA, Sony, The Foundry and Qube Cinema. Steve Wozniak will also present a joint keynote address with two time Academy Award winner Rob Legato at the Post | Production World Conference on Sunday, April 15.

Fusion-io ioFX Specifications

  • Capacity - 420GB
  • NAND Type - QDP MLC (Multi Level Cell)
  • Read Bandwidth (1MB) - 1.4 GB/s
  • Average Access Latency - 42 µs
  • Bus Interface - PCI-Express 2.0 x4 (x8 physical)
  • Bundled Mgmt Software - ioSphere
  • Operating Systems:
    • 64-Bit Windows Server 2008 R2
    • 64-Bit Windows 7
    • MAC OSX 10.6.7/10.7
    • RHEL 5/6
    • SLES 10/11
    • OELv5/6
  • iForm Factor - Half-height, half-length PCI Express
  • Connectivity - PCI Express 2.0 x4 electrical x8 physical
  • Operational: 0 to 55C
  • Non-operationa: -40 to 70C
  • Power Requirements: PCI Express 2.0 24W / 55W
  • Air Flow: Active cooling
  • Humidity Non-condensing - 5% - 95%
  • Altitude: Operational 10,000, Non-operational 30,000

Pricing and Availability

The Fusion ioFX will be available directly from Fusion-io and resellers in late Spring 2012 with an MSRP of $2,495. Fusion-io is now taking reservations for those who have interest when the new cards are shipping.

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