Violin releases two new flash memory arrays

A rack of memory can generate up to 40GBps throughput

Violin Memory on Tuesday introduced two new all-NAND flash arrays that double the capacity over their predecessors and offer up to 160TB of capacity in a rack with 10 million IOPS and an aggregate 40GBps performance.

Violin also unveiled the Violin 3220 memory array, doubling the storage capacity of the 3200 Series to 20TB per 3U shelf.

As with its previous lines, Violin said its new 6000 series flash memory arrays are available in high-end single level cell (SLC) flash or lower-end multi level cell (MLC) flash technology. The company said 6000 series greatly reduces cost as tied to system performance and boosts density by 15 times.

For example, Violin's previous rack-mounted, all-MLC flash array - the Violin 3200 - stored up to 140TB per rack. Multiple memory arrays can also be clustered together scaling to petabytes of capacity and tens of millions of IOPS.

A single 3U (5.25-in. high) array can deliver 1 million IOPS with 4GBps aggregate throughput, enough performance to replace multiple racks of traditional disk arrays for savings of both capital and operational expenditures, Violin said.

The 6000 series flash memory array

The 6000 series array comes in two models: The Violin 6616, which is based on SLC flash and optimized for high IOPS and low latency; and the Violin 6232, which is based on MLC flash memory and optimized for high capacity.

Violin's memory arrays also use an algorithm it calls "vRAID" to stripe data across multiple Violin Intelligent Memory Modules (VIMMs), which are the same thing as DIMMs (Dual Inline memory modules), but are made with NAND flash versus DRAM.

Block or chip failures are handled on the fly and in the event of a VIMM failure, data is moved to a spare and the VIMM can be hot-swapped. The combined result is a system that meets the highest mission critical availability standards for enterprise customers.

"The need for real time access to applications and data is challenging many CIOs and data center managers in data-intensive enterprise environments," said Jeff Janukowicz, research director for solid-state storage at IDC. "All-silicon enterprise storage solutions, such as Violin's Memory Arrays, that incorporate high reliable system-level enterprise design features provide CIOs a new way to accelerate their storage infrastructures."

The 3220 and 6000 series arrays offer three connectivity options: PCIe (four or eight lanes), Fibre Channel (4Gbps or 8Gbps links) and Gigabit Ethernet (memory gateways support up to four 10GbE ports).

"The overwhelming response to the Violin 6000 Series from our customers and partners has made it clear that the future of primary storage within the Global 5000 is flash memory arrays," said Donald Basile, CEO of Violin Memory. "We offer CIOs both the performance and reliability to build a bullet-proof, state-of-the-art, virtualized, silicon data center."

The Violin 3220 is available now and the new 6000 series arrays are shipping to strategic partners in limited quantities with general availability in the first quarter.

Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed . His e-mail address is lmearian@computerworld.com .

Read more about storage in Computerworld's Storage Topic Center.

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Lucas Mearian

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