FusionIO and the Go Faster Button

SQL Server Best Practices
SQL Server Best Practices
Nobody has ever said that FusionIO cards were slow (because they aren’t). Especially if you compare their performance to regular spinning media, or high performance SANs. After all, no SAN will allow you to measure storage write latency in microseconds.

Anyone that has had their database reside on a FusionIO card has had nothing but good things to say about them. The only thing is that a lot of people are probably not making the most out of the cards that they have. FusionIO cards actually have an artificial performance restriction put on them, and can go even faster than they do now.

Why Would My Card Be Slow?

I wouldn’t say your card was slow, but there is potential that you could be getting a lot more from it than you do now.

When shipped and installed all of the cards have a restriction around the amount of power that they can draw from the PCIe slot in which they are mounted. This is set to a nice safe 24.5 Watt value, which is just a touch less than the PCIe Gen2 x8 slots would provide (that standard being 25W).

Some hardware manufacturers increased the power output in those slots, however, (unless reported by the system BIOS) the cards will not draw additional power, which can lead to performance throttling.

With PCIe Gen3 x16 slots many hardware manufacturers provide 75W to the slot (and some, like the HP DL380 G8 up to 150W with optional power cords). The FusionIO cards are not installed (by default) ready to take advantage of the extra power available and so you might not be getting all the performance that you could from the card.

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