The ioDrive is not a typical drive, as it is based on flash memory and connects to the host PC via x4 PCI Express rather than Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) or Serial ATA (SATA). Since both SAS and SATA provide only 300 MB/s throughput (600 MB/s by the end of this year), picking a more direct way of connecting to the host makes sense for achieving higher throughput.
Fusion-io has 80 GB, 160 GB, and 320 GB versions, so they offer more capacity than average server SSDs (which are still limited to 32/64 GB). Fusion uses multi-level cell (MLC) flash for its highest capacity version, but faster single-level cell (SLC) flash memory for the 80 and 160 GB models.
The low-profile ioDrive can be installed into regular PCs or into 2U servers with an available x4 or wider PCI Express slot. You cannot yet boot from it, though, since it does not use a conventional mass storage interface. Clearly, this product isn’t really helpful on desktop PCs, but it impresses in servers, where a fast storage product and a high number of I/O operations per second are essential.
Have a look at our ioDrive review for more details.
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