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Fusion-io’s new software development kit gives programmers native access to its flash memory

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Fusion-io has been mostly known as an enterprise company helping big names like Apple and Facebook to save money on their data center costs.

But today, the company is announcing its first software development kit (SDK) to provide software developers with native access to the ioMemory flash platform. The Fusion-io team is hoping the next Mark Zuckerberg will build his or her company with Fusion-io at its foundation.

Fusion-io CEO David Flynn compared this moment to the seminal shift between programming for tape and working with a disc. On only a handful of occasions in the past 60 years have software developers been given fundamentally new programming building blocks for memory or storage devices, the company explained. Until now, developers have been limited to tuning their applications for flash as storage. The ioMemory SDK libraries unlock direct programmatic access to native flash access patterns and data organization methods.

One of the beta testers for this new SDK was CitrusLeaf, a NoSQL database.

“Direct programmatic access to the ioMemory tier presents a rare and significant leap forward for computing, and theioMemory SDK makes that integration powerfully simple for application developers,” said Citrusleaf founder and CTO Brian Bulkowski in a statement. “When you consider that Fusion-io is already well known for accelerating applications, it’s exciting that bypassing traditional protocols in favor of direct access to ioMemory would mean an even greater performance boost in Citrusleaf’s NoSQL database for mission criticalwebscale applications. Our existing real time big data customers require low latency and extraordinary throughput, and with this revolution in application acceleration, end users will start asking if applications can run native on ioMemory.”

Onstage today at DEMO, Bulkowski gave an example of Fusion-io’s tech at work: an application with 400,000 transactions per second running on a single database server, representing a huge decrease in the amount of native memory required.

The ioMemory SDK, explained Fusion-io, will feature APIs including the Key-Value Store, which will feature interfaces to reduce latency, improve memory efficiency, and reduce code complexity.

“Improving the performance of input/output (I/O) bound applications or systems could be more pronounced and cost-effective if the choice of data to hold in flash memory is done in an intelligent and application-aware way,” said Gartner analyst Carl Claunch in a statement. “Competitive advantages for software will be the main driver pushing those makers to exploit flash as a unique memory type.”

Fusion-io is one of 80 companies chosen by VentureBeat to launch at the DEMO Spring 2012 event taking place this week in Silicon Valley. After we make our selections, the chosen companies pay a fee to present. Our coverage of them remains objective.


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