At an event in San Francisco on January 5, 2012, Fusion-io demonstrated a system running a billion IOPs. The hardware was 8 HP Proliant servers each with eight ioMemory cards. However, the interesting software technology component of the demonstration was a preview of Fusion-io's Auto Commit Memory (ACM) extension of the Fusion ioMemory subsystem.
In a recent posting Wikibon discussed the potential of flash to disrupt whole industries by holding all active data on flash. The ACM technology is a key component of being able to use flash directly as a memory tier, instead of indirectly though the IO stack of traditional storage. This presents new programming primitives to the system and application developers for direct access to non-volatile memory and enables ultra-low latency reads and atomic writes directly to and from flash. In turn, this immensely simplifies data access and data commitment in key software components such as database software, and increases the potential throughput of these subsystems by one or two orders of magnitude.
One practical implementation would enable the "state" of very complex environments to be kept consistent. These environments can be military, financial trading, or the complete transactional state of large organizations, and could massively simplify the current processes and procedures.
Action Item: CIOs and CTOs of large organizations and software development organizations should have pilot systems investigating the potential of technologies such as Auto Commit Memory.