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Wozniak joins Fusion-IO

A reader (hi, Paul!) pointed us to this article in the NY Times about where the Woz is hanging his hat these days

Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple, could ignore the call of the motherboard no longer. He is going back to work — this time at Fusion-io, a start-up company that tweaks computers to let them tap vast amounts of storage at very quick rates.

In the early days of Apple, Mr. Wozniak stood out as one of Silicon Valley’s most creative engineers. He demonstrated a knack for elegant computer designs that made efficient use of components and combined many features into a cohesive package. At Fusion-io, Mr. Wozniak will be called upon for similar work, although this time with larger server computers and storage systems rather than PCs.

The three-year-old company, based in Salt Lake City, is expected to announce Thursday that Mr. Wozniak, already a member of Fusion-io’s advisory board, will become its chief scientist.

Fusion-IO makes a flash memory unit that provides high speed storage that slots directly onto the motherboard (and therefore faster than flash memory sitting in an external disk system, as currently offered by many of the major storage vendors). One of Fusion-IO’s customers, Douglas Babb from Hill Air Force Base is enthusiastic about the products ability to speed up I/O bound computation

Fusion-io says it has more than 300 customers, including Hill Air Force Base in northern Utah. Douglas Babb, the chief IT systems architect at the base, said a $10,000 module from Fusion-io can handle much of the work usually done by storage systems costing more than $100,000 sold by EMC, NetApp and others.

The amount of time it takes for tasks like modeling jet wings or analyzing manufacturing and supply data, Mr. Babb said, can be reduced to just hours or even minutes from days with the Fusion-io technology. “In my opinion, it’s absolutely a game-changing product,” he said.

Comments

  1. We’ll see. I’m putting two fusion-io cards into a Dell R900 on Monday to start some testing. Should be interesting to see how they perform.

    We’re having Iops problems with gpfs. Lot’s of small files, which is not the best for gpfs. This will test any performance gains or losses by doing metadata via the fusion-io device and data on an EMC.

    Then compare that to data on a DDN 9900 with metadata on the EMC.

    Then compare that to the metadata-data mix currently pounding the DDN 9550.

    We’ll see what the marketing specs are vs our real world testing. (-:

    Rich Hickey

  2. Jeff Layton says:

    Rich,

    Contact me about your testing – I’m very interested in what you find out. Please contact me at laytonjb at gmail.com.

    Thanks!

    Jeff

  3. Rich,

    Any chance you’ll make some of the results available here? I’d be curious to see what you find, too.

    Thanks,
    – Brian

  4. I’ll see what I can do. We should be able to throw something out. See if we can’t pass on some numbers at least.

    It won’t be until the end of the week before I get the system put together and some rough runs in. I’ll post something then and drop you an email Jeff.

    Rich

  5. Rich,
    You may want to look into GPFS 3.2.1.3 whichs enabled the Fine-Grained Directory Locking (FGDL) functionality. That should help with GPFS perfromance with lots of small files.

Trackbacks

  1. […] For more details, see the story at insideHPC. […]

  2. […] News ran a feature yesterday about Fusion-IO, about whom we have previously written. Steve Wozniak joined Fusion-IO as its chief scientist recently, at least partly to create the kind […]

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