Fusion-IO and vSphere 4, are you using it together?


I recently had a Fusion-IO engineer pushing the idea of using their products. Now Fusion IO products are great for enhancing performance for different systems that would have storage IO bottlenecks using traditional spindle based drives. Now it was also mentioned that current products could also be used with Vmware, server virtualization and VDI. The first thing for me is making sure that the hardware is supported and on the VMware Compatibility Guide (HCL). I could not find that Fusion IO products were on the HCL for Vmware, so unless someone reading can point me to this, currently I’d say that the configuration would not be supported by VMware. Fusion’s OEM partners, HP, IBM and Dell have their own supported devices which can be used in their servers and blades. I mainly deal with HP blades and could find any of the part numbers in the VMware Compatibility Guide.

Then there is the configuration and application of using any of the Fusion IO products with vSphere. From what I have gathered the Fusion IO drives can only be used as storage and not actual memory which really limits there use cases in my opinion. Per GB costs for the Fusion IO vary but today it’s much more expensive than traditional storage. So, unless your really trying to push the limits with storage IO and/or consolidation without the need for large amounts of capacity, I don’t see how I’d justify spending the extra money. I can see how boot storms could be more of a non issue when Fusion IO is used for storing the OS. I guess this post is one really long question for you the reader. Are you using Fusion IO with virtualization? And if so, how and what were the justification over using traditional storage? If you are currently using any of Fusion IO products with virtualization, VMware, what kind of complexities did you have to introduce to take full advantage?

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  1. Rich

    Fusion-io can work as either storage or memory. It support VMWare and Hyper-V. In a VMWare environment, it dramatically lessons the need for the norman high amount of memory, thus, moving the load to the Fusion-io cards and utilizing the processor more efficiently.

    • Antone Heyward

      Is there any documentation either from VMware or Fusion IO to support this Rich? I haven’t seen any myself, not to say there is none. Also when talking to one of the engineers using fusion io as memory, by the esx host not the vm guest, is not supported.

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