Violin Memory gives its flash storage an enterprise-friendly makeover

Violin Memory gives its flash storage an enterprise-friendly makeover

Summary: The firm launches a flash storage array that introduces a data services software suite aimed at replicating a wider range of the capabilities found in spinning disc storage arrays.


Violin Memory has launched a flash storage array and data services software suite aimed at encouraging businesses to move towards running an all-flash datacentre.

The storage specialist today launched the Concerto 7000 All Flash Array. The system runs its new data services software, which introduces support for tasks demanded by businesses but that are more commonly served by spinning disk than flash storage arrays.

The software includes support for synchronous and asynchronous replication and stretch metro cluster capabilities, as well as storage snapshots, thin provisioning, LUN (Logical Unit Number) and capacity expansion, as well as advanced data protection and storage scaling.

The enterprise data services software attempts to provide fine-grained over how storage is handled for each application, and allows features such as continuous data protection, WAN optimised replication and in-flight encryption to be configured on a LUN by LUN basis.

Violin Memory Concerto 7000 All Flash Array. Image: Violin Memory

By providing additional storage enterprise features and greater control over how they are applied, Violin aims to allow organisations to rely more heavily on flash inside the datacentre, and gradually replace the multiple tiers of storage aimed at satisfying different needs.

"The hallmark of today’s enterprise class workhorses is their ability to host mixed multiple workloads while delivering the reliability, availability, scalability, and management features that datacentre applications require," said IDC flash storage research director Eric Burgener.

"Once vendors deliver mature flash-based products with these features, the all-flash datacentre becomes a distinct reality."

The Violin Concerto 7000 All Flash Array is available worldwide and offers offers 70TB of raw storage across three rack units (RU), with a power requirement of 500W per RU. The array scales to 280TB across 18RU.

The system performs at over 500 sustained IOPS at less than 0.5ms (microseconds) with a mixed, heavy workload, the company said.

Customers can also upgrade Violin 6000 series all-flash arrays to run the data services software announced today.

The Concerto 7000 features include:

  • Remote asynchronous replication 
  • Synchronous replication 
  • Local/Metro 
  • Zero RPO and RTO for stretch clusters 
  • Automated App DR management 
  • WAN optimised replication 
  • Consistency Groups for replication 
  • Snapshots (app & crash consistent) 
  • Consistency Groups for snapshots 
  • Continuous data protection 
  • Transparent LUN mirroring 
  • Backup app integration 
  • Capacity pooling across shelves 
  • Online expansion of capacity 
  • Online LUN expansion 
  • Single name space across shelves 
  • Snapshots (app consistent, writeable) 
  • Thin Provisioning 
  • Thin Clones

Topics: Storage, Data Centers


Nick Heath is chief reporter for TechRepublic UK. He writes about the technology that IT-decision makers need to know about, and the latest happenings in the European tech scene.

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  • Comparing the 7000 with other scale-out all-flash arrays

    It is worth noting the limitations of the Violin Memory scale-out. I will use SolidFire (but other vendors offer good scale-out as well, like Kaminario). The Concerto 7000 hits the ceiling at 280 TB in 18RU at 500W per RU, as you mentioned. For comparison, the all-flash array SF9010 from SolidFire offers 623 TB in the same 18RU. And 277 TB in 8RU with kW at 440W per RU. Unlike the Concerto 7000 which scales-out at 4 arrays, SolidFire nodes can scale upwards to 100 nodes. So after, you configure a highly available 8RU SolidFire scale-out cluster - it is possible to transparently continue to add flash storage a node or more at a time. Features like compression, dedup, thin provisioning, encryption, realtime replication, quality-of-service, backup/restore software and much more are included in SolidFire's operating system. Some features missing from the Concerto 7000, besides extreme scale-out, are dedup and Quality-of-Service. Dell, Red Hat and SolidFire offer a very cool Cloud Reference Architecture that is OpenStack-based : .