Fusion-io Lands A Big Round Of VC Funding

Posted by: Arik Hesseldahl on April 7, 2009

Last week I published a story on Fusion-io, a fascinating startup company that is applying flash memory to large-scale enterprise storage products like Storage Area Networks. The company has a lot of momentum, and has attracted investments from Dell, and partnerships from Hewlett-Packard and IBM among others. It first cropped up on my radar screen after The New York Times reported that co-founder Steve Wozniak had joined the company as chief scientist. But what got me writing about it was our readers, who in an Web poll overwhelmingly named Fusion-io as the most innovative company people hadn’t heard of yet.

I just received a press release saying that Fusion-io has just landed a big Series B round of funding: $47.5 million from LightSpeed Venture Partners, and that it named David Bradford, a former senior VP and general counsel at Novell as its new CEO. Dell, New Enterprise Ventures and Sumitomo Ventures also participated in the investment.

This news comes a day after the company reported some remarkable performance milestones in the lab for its ioDrive line of products. CNet News reported yesterday that working with HP at engineering labs in Houston, the company installed five ioDrive Duos with 320 gigabytes each, plus six of the earlier generation 160-GB ioDrive into a standard HP ProLiant DL785 G5 server, running with four Quad-Core Opteron processors from Advanced Micro Devices. The server clocked a mind-boggling 1 million input and output operatins per second (IOPS). That’s a lot more than the example I gave in the story of Wine.com which swapped in some ioDrives to replace a SAN from NetAPP and boosted its performance from 1,800 IOPS to 86,000 IOPS.

Who’s going to want an ioDrive? Large companies mostly. If you’re a bank or financial institution, or a large firm doing data-mining, performance like this can’t help but get your attention. For the rest of us, I’ll just suggest you keep an eye on this company because it’s going to be interesting to see it grow.

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Bloomberg Businessweek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, and Douglas MacMillan, dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.

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