Fusion-io announces enterprise-quality flash without the enterprise price

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Solid state storage company Fusion-io, about whom I wrote in this article on SSDs in HPC, has announced a new kind of flash storage.

Recall that flash memory (usually when people just say “flash memory” they mean the NAND flash variant) comes in two basic flavors. MLC is your consumer grade flash memory: reliable and cheap enough for big storage in consumer electronics, but not “enterprise” quality, which means that under heavy loads it is likely to fail, or at least produce enough errors to be considered not reliable enough to hold your credit card numbers. SLC is the premium stuff: thought to be reliable enough for heavy use in enterprise applications, but too expensive to be practical.

Today Fusion-io announced that it thinks it has found a way to let you have your cake and eat it too

Fusion-io today announced it has developed a new engineering technique for managing multi-level cell (MLC) flash technology, that combines the enterprise reliability of single-level cell (SLC) technology with the economical consumer-grade MLC flash. Fusion-io products utilizing this technology, called single mode level cell (SMLC), offer a cost-effective MLC-based solid-state solution with the endurance and performance of SLC at a much lower cost per gigabyte (GB). SMLC-based products from Fusion-io will be available starting this quarter.

More in the news release.


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