As flash transitions from a costly storage enhancement to a mainstream method of optimizing an organization's strategy for managing and accessing its data, Fusion-io's moves to make its flash-aware APIs available could help the company make greater inroads within the flash storage space.
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive emails regarding relevant topic offers from TechTarget and its partners. You can withdraw your consent at any time. Contact TechTarget at 275 Grove Street, Newton, MA.
"As solid-state moves from a specialist to a generalist tool, it's in the entire industry's best interest to first make it a desirable, functional, integrated and easy-to-use tool, and flash-aware APIs [application programming interfaces] are a key tool to do that," said Mark Peters, a senior analyst at the Milford, Mass.-based Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG).
According to Fusion-io, a flash-aware application is able to take advantage of NAND flash, available in a memory hierarchy to optimize data movement and processing, which the company claims will improve performance and manageability. The company said such APIs allow developers to use less application-level code to offer more consistent low latency, better NAND flash durability and better throughput. The company announced it has made three of its flash-aware APIs -- designed to better manage the flash and use it more efficiently as part of an overall storage system -- available to the developer community.
Fusion-io said that since it submitted its Atomic Writes API to the T10 Technical Committee on SCSI Storage Interfaces, it is being used by the following MySQL databases: MariaDB 5.5.31, Percona Server 5.5.31 and the upcoming Percona Server 5.6.
Atomic Writes enables a processor to write simultaneously to multiple independent storage sectors in a single transaction, which the company said allows the API to improve throughput by as much as 50%, and prolongs flash memory's useful life.
EGS' Peters called Fusion-io's Atomic Writes API "interesting" because it can lead to lower writes and higher performance for a given workload. He said it also marks another step in Fusion-io's efforts to be seen as a "full" storage market participant rather than a "provider of turbo-chargers," and noted the acquisition of NexGen as another example.
Analyst Greg Schulz, founder of the Minnesota-based StorageIO, said Fusion-io's APIs will allow the company to have a larger footprint in Unix and Unix-like environments.
"We are seeing a growing trend of vendors moving as quickly as possible to get their APIs and software tools placed or seeded into software stacks, ranging from *nix distributions to OpenStack or VMware, among others," Schulz said. "[It] makes perfect sense; get your technology support plugged into the applications or tools to make it easier for customers to integrate your hardware or software solution into their environments."