Fusion-IO on-server flash coming to Cisco's UCS blade systems

The flash subsystems for application acceleration are already available for servers from HP, IBM, Dell, and other vendors

Cisco Systems will get on board with Fusion-IO's flash storage modules later this year, becoming the latest server maker to offer the technology that is already available in servers from IBM, Dell and Hewlett-Packard.

On Monday, Fusion-IO announced its first OEM (original equipment manufacturer) partnership with Cisco. The company will supply its ioMemory modules and software for use in Cisco's B-Series Unified Computing System (UCS) blade servers. It will provide demonstrations at the Cisco Live user conference, which is taking place this week in San Diego.

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Fusion-IO makes flash storage subsystems that are integrated into servers through a PCIe slot rather than located on external storage systems. This tier of storage is more directly accessible than a conventional SSD (solid-state disk) and is designed to accelerate application performance. Fusion-IO has developed flash subsystems with HP for its BladeSystem c-Class servers and with IBM for its xSeries line. It also offers products for Dell and SuperMicro servers.

Cisco's UCS platform, introduced in 2009, has captured third place in the global blade-server market and boasts more than 11,000 customers. Though there are rack-mounted UCS servers, blades are still the mainstay of the product line. Cisco incorporates its blade servers in a platform that includes virtualization, network connections, access to storage, and management software. The company has storage partnerships with EMC along with VMware through its VCE alliance, as well as with NetApp.

The first Fusion-IO components for UCS will be based on the company's ioMemory2 technology, an upgrade that was announced earlier this year and eventually will ship from all the company's OEM partners. Pricing and available capacities will be disclosed nearer to the shipping date, according to Fusion-IO.

Stephen Lawson covers mobile, storage and networking technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Stephen on Twitter at @sdlawsonmedia. Stephen's email address is stephen_lawson@idg.com.

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