Fusion-io broadens its reach for super-fast memory devices

Fusion-io, a maker of super-fast flash memory modules, announced today that its latest products will be carried by IBM and Supermicro Computer as those vendors try to sell super-fast servers to major corporations.

Salt Lake City, Calif.-based Fusion-io (a DEMO veteran) has had great success selling its devices into financial institutions that can benefit from its five-fold increase in memory data transfer. But the new vendors can carry Fusion-io into a wider variety of data centers, thanks to the benefit that Fusion-io brings in energy efficient computing. With the better memory module designs from Fusion-io, companies can reduce power consumption, cut cooling expenses, and eliminate expensive storage solutions. At the same time, they can vastly improve performance.

Fusion-io said that IBM will now offer eight versions of input-output adapters based on Fusion-io’s ioMemory technology across a dozen different IBM servers. That’s a big expansion and a bigger endorsement by Big Blue for Fusion-io. The new adapters will be available on March 1. Supermicro is also using Fusion-io in a new line of server and storage devices.

The Fusion-io flash memory speeds the process of transferring data from temporary memory to permanent memory by placing data closer to the processor that needs it the most. A single ioMemory module has the capacity of 100 traditional dynamic random access memory (DRAM) memory modules and the performance of 1,000 hard disk drives. The Fusion-io products are memory modules that can be added into servers housed in racks within a big data center.

Fusion-io says its performance increases range from three times to 10 times, depending on the application. Fusion-io was founded in 2006 and has more than 370 employees. The company was started by David Flynn and Rick White. Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak serves as its chief scientist. Rivals include LSI and other memory chip makers. Fusion-io’s customers include Zappos, MySpace, Wine.com, Answers.com, and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories.

The company has raised $115.5 million in three rounds. Investors include Meritech Capital Partners, Accel Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, Triangle Peak Partners, New Enterprise Associates, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Dell Ventures, and Sumitomo Ventures. Dell and HP are also partners.