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Violin launches XVS8 flagship high-performance flash array

Reborn Violin Systems launches flash boxes that can scale to petabytes and are aimed at transactional, analytics and virtualisation use cases, with NVMe upgrades expected

Violin Systems has launched its XVS8, a flash storage array aimed at very high performance workloads, such as OLTP database operations, real-time analytics, Oracle/SQL databases and virtualisation use cases, with claimed latency as low as 50µs.

The company will hold off dipping its toes in the waters of the NMVe flash market with the XVS8, although it is set to become NVMe-over-Fibre-Channel-capable with a software upgrade.

For now, Violin believes its proprietary drives are faster than NVMe, but when they are overtaken it will switch to commodity drives.

A single 3U format XVS8 box runs from 15TB to 89TB useable capacity, with claimed effective capacities after data deduplication of between 96TB and 512TB.

Drives are Violin VIMMs, the company’s proprietary flash format, with MLC drives. TLC 3D Nand flash drives will be available for the XVS8  at a later date.

Latency is claimed to be as low as 50µs, with 4k blocks in read mode and using NVMe-over-Fibre-Channel, 400µs at one million IOPS, and 1ms latency at two million IOPS.

Connectivity is via eight 32Gbps Fibre Channel ports or eight 10Gbps Ethernet for iSCSI.

Read more about flash storage

Advanced storage features include remote asynchronous replication, synchronous mirroring, snapshots and encryption. Violin says customers can scale to 1.3PB effective in a single namespace, which indicates nodes can be paired.

All devices stream telemetry data to the Violin cloud. Admins can scan a QR code with iOS or Android devices and see performance monitoring, efficiency and temperature stats.

Around a year ago, a few months after the company emerged from bankruptcy, then CEO Ebrahim Abbasi said Violin would launch NVMe-based products in mid- to late-2019 but that it would not be rushing into the market. He added that the company was filing 45 patents.

At the time, he said: “NVMe, 3D NAND and 3D Xpoint will revolutionise storage, but the architectures to take advantage of them are not ready, nor are customers. We have got patents and we are doing our homework. We won’t rush to market.”

The XVS8 fits in alongside its FSP 7450, FSP 7650 and FSP7700 all-flash arrays, which offer capacities from 100TB up to a few PB and with, respectively 340,000 IOPS with 1ms latency, 1.7 million IOPS, with less than 500μs latency, and 2.2m IOPS with less than 1ms latency. 

Read more on Flash storage and solid-state drives (SSDs)

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