Violin Memory, well known for their innovative all flash storage arrays, has announced the release of a fully integrated data management solution from Symantec meant to complement the already numerous capabilities built into their products. The new features should make it considerably easier for companies to manage and protect their sensitive data. The new functionality includes cloning, snapshots, replication and deduplication, all of which have been optimized to function with flash memory.
The beneficiaries of all this enhanced data protection goodness are Violin’s solid state storage arrays, which can substantially accelerate the performance of many applications common in enterprise environments, including virtualization and database related tasks. Specifically, the arrays are able to provide up to 32 TB of solid state storage and deliver an amazing 1,000,000 (Million) IOPS, ensuring they’re eminently capable of speeding up just about any workload you can throw at them. In addition, due to the internal RAID configuration, Violin’s solutions are able to provide up to 4GB/s of bandwidth over a variety of interfaces including 10Gbe, Fibre Channel, FCoE, iSCSI, Infiniband, or any combination thereof, providing a level of flexibility that is often hard to find in an enterprise environment.
It must be mentioned that Violin’s product isn’t a caching solution intended to supplement an HDD based system. No, Violin is positioning their array as a Tier 1 storage product with the ability to replace legacy hardware and provide ultra high speed solid state storage for mission critical data. I have to say, this strategy is actually quite refreshing, especially in the wake of a slew of companies who decided that caching is the way to go. The advantages this decision are numerous, chief among them being the fact that you can’t really do much better, performance wise, than a primary solid state storage system. Forget accelerated performance, Violin is reaching for Enterprise storage perfection, and with the current direction the industry is going, I can’t say I blame them.
One final aspect I’d like to mention is virtualization, which appears to be all the rage these days, especially in the higher end of the market, with dedicated servers often becoming a thing of the past as companies become more and more interested in price/performance. Indeed, this is the type of scenario in which virtualization shines, and seeing as it is becoming more and more pervasive, Violin hopes to capitalize on the trend. In particular, the company states that, with the help of Symantec’s data management software, firms are able to increase the percentage of their virtualized infrastructure from 40-50 percent to 70-80 percent, maximizing their hardware investment and significantly reducing support costs. With an SSD array to back them up, admins no longer need to worry as much about their applications’ native vs virtualized performance, which, thanks to Violin should come close to achieving parity in most cases. Truly, this is virtualization at its best.
Overall, it looks like Violin has made an already excellent solution even better with the addition of Symantec’s data management toolbox. By combining extreme performance with unprecedented flexibilty, Violin has delivered a double concerto, or maybe a one two punch, and should have no problem meeting customer’s needs while at the same time keeping the competition on its toes. When it comes to enterprise storage, it seems Violin is at the top of the scale.
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