Violin Memory Pushes Flash Storage under $5 per Gigabyte

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    Taking advantage of 19 nanometer technology has allowed Violin Memory to deliver a Flash memory array at $5 per gigabyte, which is priced roughly the same as high-performance magnetic storage systems.

    Based on new Flash controller technology developed by Toshiba, the 6264 flash Memory Array provides up to 64TB of storage in a 3U footprint which, according to Narayan Venkat, vice president of product management for Violin Memory, means that Flash storage has reached a price point where all active data can now be stored in Flash.

    The emergence of Flash as a primary storage medium that costs less than $5 per gigabyte, says Venkat, means that applications can now take advantage of the speed of this type of memory at a price point that is equivalent to high-end magnetic storage. While it’s probable that the cost of high-performance magnetic storage will drop in the near future, the total cost of deploying magnetic storage versus Flash arrays is going to push many organizations to more rapidly adopt Flash for primary storage.

    Venkat says Violin Memory has a unique architecture that allows the company to take advantage of 19 nanometer technology without compromising solid-state drive performance. As a result, Venkat expects that the shift to 19 nanometer technology is going to put a lot of competitive pressure on a raft of startups in the Flash storage space as well as providers of traditional magnetic storage systems.

    In addition to launching a new array, Violin Memory also unveiled the Violin Symphony Data Management System, which allows administrators to measure application performance levels to ensure service level agreements (SLAs) are being met. Deployable on any mobile computing device, the Violin Symphony Data Management System presents administrators with a series of dashboards that allows them to monitor the performance of applications that are accessing petabytes of data.

    While many storage administrators have been reluctant to embrace what they perceive to be expensive Flash storage systems, at less than $5 per gigabyte, Flash memory technology crosses a cost of acquisition price point that makes it a lot more competitive. Given the margin that providers of magnetic storage systems have enjoyed, there’s a lot of room for magnetic storage system pricing to fall. But when applications run three times faster using Flash storage, a lot of application owners are going to be more inclined to throw hardware at application performance issues regardless of the cost of magnetic storage.

    Mike Vizard
    Mike Vizard
    Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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