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Fusion-io passes one billion IOPS barrier thanks to better software, not hardware

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Fusion-io has developed new software, dubbed Auto Commit Memory, which has allowed it to break the one billion IOPS mark using existing hardware.

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At the DEMO Enterprise Disruption event yesterday, Fusion-io had a big announcement — it's broken the one billion IOPS mark, having reached one million less than two years ago. IOPS are Input / Output Operations per second, a measure of computer storage access speeds based on the number of read / write operations that can be completed per second.

This massive performance boost comes courtesy of a new way of using NAND flash as a non-volatile memory solution, known as Auto Commit Memory. ACM is a software layer which allows developers to send and receive data stored on Fusion-io's ioDrive cards directly to and from the CPU, rather than relying upon the operating system. Because of this, massive applications and databases can run with much lower latency — crucial for the cloud-based world we're heading towards.

To prove the achievement, Fusion-io co-founders Steve Wozniak, David Flynn, and Rick White took to the stage alongside a rack of eight HP servers, each toting eight ioDrive2 Duos. To prove their point, the team showed a meter constantly maxing at one billion IOPS when transferring 64-byte packets of data, with White saying "I just wish [the needle] was bobbing more." In contrast, the fastest consumer-grade SSDs achieve IOPS scores below 100,000 (random read), with many drives scoring far lower. ACM is still in the tech preview stage, but Fusion-io says it is working alongside software developers to make best use of the speed improvements.