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Violin to add X-IO flash, hybrid and disk as mid-range options

Reborn Violin Systems is to buy X-IO’s spinning disk, all-flash and hybrid flash storage systems in a bid to provide more mid-range options to its customers

Violin Systems has signed a deal to acquire X-IO Storage, in a move that will give the high-performance flash storage specialist a range of mid-range spinning disk, hybrid and flash arrays.

The purchase, for an undisclosed sum, is to be completed within 30 days and will see Violin integrate X-IO’s Intelligent Storage Element arrays into its range.

This is the latest in a fast-moving set of recent events for Violin, which went bankrupt at the beginning of 2017.

At the start of this month, the company launched the XVS, a flash storage array aimed at very high performance transactional, analytics and database workloads, which is set to become NVMe-capable at some point.

The XVS8 fits in alongside FSP 7xxx all-flash arrays, which offer capacities from 100TB up to a few PB and with I/O performance up into millions of IOPS and, in some cases, less than 500μs latency. 

The firm’s purchase of X-IO will add the ISE 900 series all-flash arrays, the ISE 700 series hybrid flash arrays and ISE 200 series spinning disk-based array products.

In 2016, X-IO brought out the Axellio NVMe-capable storage platform, which has been aimed at hyper-converged and edge applications. This business unit is not part of the deal and will remain with X-IO Technologies.

Mark Lewis, chairman and CEO of Violin Systems, said: “This acquisition will create substantial opportunity for Violin Systems in price-sensitive mid-markets where X-IO has excelled, and down the road, the opportunity to assimilate X-IO’s product strengths so we can keep shepherding customers into the ideal storage systems as their needs evolve.”

Read more on flash storage

  • NVMe offers to unleash performance potential of flash storage that is held back by spinning disk-era SAS and SATA protocols. We run through the key NVMe deployment options.
  • When it comes to choosing between hybrid flash and all-flash storage, the question is increasingly not how much flash is enough, but whether you still need any disk at all.

X-IO made its name as a supplier of arrays built with its proprietary sealed drive DataPacs, which were, in part, a result of intellectual property acquired from Seagate’s Advanced Storage Architecture group in 2007.

DataPacs claims reliability and utilisation beyond what is possible from commodity drives by incorporating low-vibration, self-healing and granular failure-repair characteristics, such as the ability to lock off a single platter surface rather than fail a whole drive.

Violin Memory was one of the pioneers of flash storage and highly rated by market analysts, but its IPO in 2013 marked the start of a downward spiral that saw it rapidly lose money and headcount.

At the end of January 2016, this trajectory resulted in an auction sale, after which the company was reborn as Violin Systems – with plans for new products – following investment by a George Soros-owned fund management company.

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