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Violin Extreme Performance Storage Platform – Product Brief

Last updated December 28th, 2018 for annual review and updates. Concise and unbiased 4-page overview of the features and functionality of Violin Extreme Performance Storage Platform. Includes EvaluScale Reviewing Methodology. Download this free Product Brief now!

Overview

The Violin Extreme Performance Storage Platform is a family of solid-state technology storage systems. The current model is XVS 8 and it follows on from the earlier Violin 7000 Flash Storage Platform.  The systems have integrated advanced enterprise features in the storage systems including data protection, data reduction and encryption.

Violin systems have a custom hardware design with RAID controller modules, array controller modules, memory gateways, and flash memory modules.  In addition to the flash memory, Violin uses DRAM for metadata to speed access and reduce wear for updating.

A full complement of advanced features are available for Violin systems, including snapshots, asynchronous replication, encryption, and data reduction.  As a high availability system, Violin systems include redundancy in controller modules and RAID protection across the flash memory modules.

The XVS 8 is targeted at the highest performance requirements such as tier 0 and tier 1 usages.  Improvements over the earlier 7000 systems include selectable by LUN deduplication, NVMeoF with Fibre Channel using 32 Gb/s interfaces, and a SaaS offering for predictive storage analytics.

Violin continues to offer the 7300, 7450, 7650, and 7700 systems, which are targeted at different usages for all flash arrays from entry level to consolidation of storage workloads.  Variations include capacity and performance capabilities as well as system-level features such as synchronous replication and deduplication.  XVS 8, which includes a name change, is targeted at the highest performance needs with the lowest latency.

Usage

The Violin Extreme Performance Storage Platforms and All Flash Arrays are designed for general purpose usage where high performance is required.  Databases and other applications where response time and high I/O rates are concerned will benefit from usage of the Violin systems.  The flexible interface set along the unique combination of supporting PCIe allows for many infrastructure choices.

The Violin systems are designed for environments that require a broad range of data protection features, as are commonly found on enterprise storage products.  These include snapshots, replication and consistency groups along with a mode of near CDP data protection.  These features are often required by business practices when deploying mission critical applications.

The availability of advanced features with the Violin systems expands usages into more demanding operational environments that require BC/DR and other business continuity options.  This includes additional advanced features including automated tiering, migration and replication is available at additional cost.  Support to move data to or from either Violin or 3rd party storage is provided by Concerto OS software, with a list of specifically support storage systems.

Evaluator Group EvaluScale: Violin Extreme Performance Storage Platform

Evaluator Group product review methodology “EvaluScale” assesses each product within a specific technology area.  The definitions of the criteria and explanations of how products are reviewed can be found in the  Evaluator Series Evaluation Guide. Download the product brief now to view the EvaluScale for this product.

Evaluator Group Opinion: Differentiating elements for Violin Extreme Performance Storage Platform

Violin was probably the first successful entrant into the flash storage space with multiple products purchased by many high profile companies.  Economic problems have force major corporate changes including purchase of the company.  The economic problems were not technical issues and seem to be behind them now as evidenced by delivery of the XVS 8, which is logical improvement on the earlier 7000 series.  Violin has disclosed additional capabilities to be delivered over that next year that give assurance of continued investment and development.

The maturity of their design, customer experience, and the custom implementation give Violin some advantages.  The key will be continuing the advances in the product line and the exploration of new markets.


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