Violin Memory ups the stakes in the flash wars with FSP

Who says you can’t have your cake and it eat too? Solid state arrays were initially created to augment existing disk based arrays in support of performance hungry applications. Technical limitations have limited the ability of all flash arrays to be used as primary storage running all applications. The rational used is that all flash arrays are expensive and therefore should be allocated only to select performance hungry applications.
“The trend with the more successful All Flash Array vendors is to deliver a high performance, highly available solution that has a full suite of data services integrated natively into the platform. As customers push more and more to use these arrays for dense mixed workload consolidation, having the full enterprise storage management feature set integrated directly into the storage operating system kernel will provide optimum efficiency,” said Eric Burgener, Storage Research Director, IDC.
Violin Memory claims this is no longer necessary with the availability of its Flash Storage Platform (FSP) offering which includes the new 7300 and 7700 all flash arrays, Concerto OS 7, and Symphony 3 simple management control.
According to Violin FSP is the first all-flash storage system designed to run all primary storage and active workloads below the cost of traditional disk. Central to achieving this is Concerto OS 7, which combines Violin’s system-level flash management and control, block-level de-duplication and compression data efficiency engine, and one of the broadest sets of data management, protection, and recovery services, into a single, integrated operating system.
All the power of Concerto OS 7 is managed by the user through Symphony 3, delivering the ultimate flexibility and granular control on a per workload, application or LUN level of all features with the most elegant, and simple, single pane of glass storage management solution in the industry.
The 7300 and 7700 Flash Storage Platform designs reduce the effective cost-per-gigabyte by more than 75 percent over Violin’s prior generation of arrays, and are more than 25 percent lower in cost-per-gigabyte than the competition. For large deployments the system delivers all-flash storage for as low as $1.50 effective cost-per-gigabyte, making it possible for the first time, to upgrade all primary storage to all-flash, opening up the roughly $15B primary storage market to all-flash based solutions.
The Flash Storage Platform’s fourth generation Flash Fabric Architecture (FFA) sets new and unprecedented levels of performance, scale and density. The capacity of the 7300 FSP is 217TB effective in a three rack unit space, while the Violin 7700 FSP six-shelf configuration exceeds 1.3 petabytes effective, delivering industrial scale and density of 2.2 petabytes effective in a rack. The Flash Storage Platform achieves 1 million IOPS at sub-millisecond latencies delivering capacity and performance for greater workload consolidation.
In addition to integrating a wide range of data services into the operating system for performance, reliability, and scalability, Violin has added user selectable, block-level inline de-duplication and compression on the 7300 FSP to give customers maximum storage efficiency. Delivering up to 217TB of effective capacity in 3 rack units at a data reduction rate of 6:1, the 7300 FSP supports mixed and multiple workload environments across an entire range of primary storage requirements.
The 7300 FSP unique combination of high-performance and efficient data-reduction makes it a cost-efficient solution for virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) deployments, supporting up to 5,000 persistent virtual desktops per system.
The Violin 7300E FSP provides the same capabilities and features as the 7300, but at an entry-point as low as 34TB effective. With Violin’s “Pay-As-You-Grow” capacity licensing model the 7300E can be expanded seamlessly and without any additional hardware upgrades all the way up to 125TB effective in a compact and cost effective 3 rack unit foot print.
The Violin 7700 FSP is engineered for maximum performance, scalability and the only all-flash platform in the industry that natively delivers a zero data loss architecture. It is targeted at large, multi-petabyte and multi-site deployments for customers that look for ultimate scale, availability and flexibility.
Powered by Concerto OS 7, the 7700 FSP provides over 1.3 petabytes of effective capacity or serves 20,000 persistent virtual desktops across six shelves, and adds synchronous replication and stretch cluster capabilities to the menu of data protection services.
The Violin 7300, 7300E and 7700 Flash Storage Platforms run Violin’s Concerto OS 7 storage operating system, the world’s first all-flash storage operating system developed for primary storage. Concerto OS 7 combines the best of vMOS 5, Violin’s previous operating system, and the Concerto data management and inline data-reduction capabilities into a single and integrated software image that powers all current and future generations of Violin’s Flash Storage Platforms.
“The new inline granular block-level deduplication and compression features of Concerto OS 7 – in combination with some of the highest raw flash capacities available from any vendor – will enable the Violin 7300 and 7700 to cost-effectively deliver the performance and the capacity required to replace HDD-based storage for all active workloads in many enterprise data centers,” said Ken Clipperton, Managing Analyst, DCIG.
“In 2015 leading CIOs are identifying technologies that can deliver the greatest business value for their organizations, both now and in the future. Violin’s Flash Storage Platform creates a compelling value proposition for primary storage that goes way beyond the traditional cost per gigabyte analysis. Its advanced hardware architecture together with enterprise data services that include selectable, inline block level deduplication and data compression, has the potential to positively impact businesses by providing sustained performance at a reduced cost,” said Scott Sinclair, Analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group.
“Scalability is key for data centers to keep up with the influx of information that continues to push the limits of existing architectures. The Violin Flash Storage Platform offers an easy way for existing customers to integrate the new data service and management capabilities without disruption, and offers a simplified migration strategy for new customers to take advantage of the performance and management available,” said Leah Schoeb, Senior Partner & Analyst, Evaluator Group.

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