Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Fusion-io vs. OCZ

I've seen a lot of interest in my past posts regarding the testing of the Fusion-io ioDrive and the OCZ Z-Drive. I felt that I needed to clarify my position and opinions on the two products a bit.

If you are an end-user or enthusiast and your livelihood doesn't depend on the data stored by the product, the OCZ Z-Drive would probably be the better product for you because of the cost difference between the two.

If you are a business user using the products in servers where critical data is stored, your ONLY option at that point is the Fusion-io products, no question. DO NOT trust your critical business data to the OCZ-ZDrive, do not even think about it. I experienced a failure firsthand within 3 days of receiving the one I ordered, and I returned it. Fusion-io has well engineered and backed products. They perform extremely well, and are not "built upon another product" like the OCZ product is.

Let me clarify that, the OCZ product is simply an LSI RAID controller with MLC or SLC NAND memory modules. The RAID controller BIOS only allows RAID0 and RAID1. With 8 banks of memory, that means with RAID0, ONE big drive with no redundancy in the event of failure. With RAID1, that means 4 logical drives in which to store your data. One NAND bank can fail and you're still in business. With RAID0, how it is out of the box, one failure = TOTAL data loss. You're out of business if that was critical data.

Fusion-io has consumer-level products for the enthusiast users. I'd tend to recommend it to those types whom doesn't need large high performance storage needs. If you need 200+gb, then the OCZ Z-Drive would make sense if the data stored isn't critical. If so, reconfigure the RAID BIOS to use RAID1 and divide your data across the 4 logical drives. You'll still get great performance, but not as much as it would be with 8-way RAID0 with the threat of data loss present.

If you are a business needing high performance data storage,  I urge you to look into Fusion-io and their products. I can think of no better performing and robust product on the market that the Fusion-io ioDrive, ioDrive Duo, or ioDrive Octal.

For shops whom need the absolute highest level of performance for their SQL Server, Oracle Database environments, or any other I/O intensive workloads, nothing can beat the Fusion-io Octal drive for the money. Yes, it is VERY expensive, but not to those companies whom need that level of performance. If it is too much for you, the ioDrive and ioDrive Duo is your best bang-for-the-buck choice. Hands-down, you will not be disappointed with the level of performance or support that you get from Fusion-io.