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Violin Memory: This Is The Impact Event Before The Extinction Of Hard Disks

Hailing the arrival of all-silicon enterprise storage and the end of mechanical storage arrays, Violin Memory is rolling out new products that deliver 80% reduction in cost per input/output operations per second (IOPS) and a 15-to-1 reduction in physical consolidation of hardware from a disk array vendor. The company says its new 6000 series and the addition to the 3000 series of solid-state drives mark the beginning of the end for hard disk drives, equivalent to the impact event that killed off

From a performance standpoint, there is no question Violin can replace Tier 1 storage in the enterprise, states Arun Taneja, founder and consulting analyst, Taneja Group. However, to replace Tier 2 and Tier 3 storage, one has to be competitive on a dollar-per-gigabyte basis (since Tier 2 and 3 are capacity tiers, relatively speaking). "I don't believe Violin replaces those today. But replacing Tier 1 alone is an incredible accomplishment. In fact, there is a set of new problems that can only be solved with these arrays. And, in many cases, it would replace hundreds, if not thousands, of HDDs for incredible reduction in power, cooling, space and cost."

Taneja believes Violin has done a great job in dealing with performance, availability and latency. "Since Violin engineers come from memory side rather than the storage side, they have focused more on these. The other players, such as Pure Storage, Tintri, GridIron and several others, come from a storage heritage, so they have assembled [on top of the array] snapshot, replication and other software that enterprises have come to love. Violin is depending on upper layers [networking, server or application] to perform these functions. This is OK for now since Violin has a lead on performance, availability and latency, but it would behoove them to add these functions over the next year."

In the meantime, the battle lines are being drawn and the next 12 months will see gigantic fights among these players, he says. "This will happen at the same time that big guns like EMC, HP, IBM, Dell and HDS are trying to keep all these guys out of their accounts. Then we will see one big company buy an all-flash array company, and all hell will break loose. I can't wait. I see nothing but goodness in all this for the customer."

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