Violin Targets Primary Storage with Revamped Flash Portfolio

By Pedro Hernandez

Aiming to make flash the go-to technology for enterprise primary storage environments, Violin Memory today unveiled a sweeping refresh to its all-flash array portfolio.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company announced today the availability of its Flash Storage Platform, FSP. The solution includes two new flash arrays, the 7300 and 7700, Concerto OS 7 and Symphony 3 management software.

Eric Ottem, director of product marketing for Violin Memory, said the new storage systems and software offerings are part of an aggressive new push into the data center. "We're making the move to primary storage," he told InfoStor. "We believe that all active data belongs on flash."

The 7300 FSP packs 64 Violin Intelligent Memory Modules (VIMMs), which deliver 70 terabytes (TB) of raw flash storage capacity in a 3U form factor, or 217 TB of effective capacity when 6:1 data deduplication rates are factored in. The included Concerto OS 7 software provides enterprise data services and data reduction capabilities, including inline block deduplication and compression. In virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) environments, a 7300 can can handle up to 5,000 persistent virtual desktops, according to Violin's estimates.

For organizations looking to dip their toes into the flash storage pool, the company has also released a budget version of the 7300, of sorts, the 7300E. The new array ships with 34 TB of effective storage, which can be scaled up to 125 TB through the company's non-disruptive, pay-as-you-grow licensing model.

"We ship fully-populated arrays," Ottem said. When customers need the extra headroom, they contact Violin, which in turn instantly switches on the extra built-in capacity.

Moving up Violin's FSP product line, customers will find the new 7700, which Ottem described as the "Swiss Army knife from Silicon Valley." Also running Concerto OS 7, the multi-workload array provides up to 1.3 petabytes (PB) of optimized storage in 24 rack units (RU). IN VDI setups, the 7700 FSP can support up to 20,000 virtual desktops, according to the company.

Easing the transition to primary flash storage is the company's Concerto OS software platform, which has been upgraded to include the enterprise data services that IT organizations have been clamoring for. IT managers can now integrate flash storage and speed up their applications without sacrificing the advanced storage optimization and management capabilities they've grown accustomed to. Violin now offers the "same kind of data services on our platform as your legacy platform," said Ottem.

Symphony, meanwhile, now pulls off a better balancing act between simplified storage management and tweakability, according to Ottem. Whereas the software formerly required administrators to juggle three different user interfaces, Symphony 3 offers a more seamless experience. "We put it all behind a common platform," he said.

Above all, the new releases are a sign of a more focused IT vendor whose product slate aligns with the flash storage requirements of businesses, said Ottem. Violin's focus on enterprise-grade storage services and management is "rippling through the whole hardware and software stack," he said.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InfoStor. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

This article was originally published on February 17, 2015