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Arvato rejects big six suppliers for Violin Memory all-flash storage

IT outsourced services company Arvato boosts IOPS for database-heavy customer operations with Violin Memory 6000 series all-flash arrays

Germany-based IT services provider Arvato Systems has deployed Violin Memory all-flash storage arrays to support high-IOPS customer service demands. It implemented Violin hardware after rejecting products from the big six storage suppliers.

Arvato is a subsidiary of German media giant Bertelsman and has 70,000 employees worldwide. It provides IT outsourcing services from its HQ in Gütersloh with two other large datacentres in New York and Shanghai, plus many other smaller locations globally.

Arvato embarked on the process that led to buying Violin all-flash arrays when it needed to provide storage for customer services based on very large Oracle and SAP databases, said senior manager, datacentre and infrastructure production, Jesko Jacobs.

He said: “We thought, what can we use for faster storage for large databases and figured that, when you grow and need higher performance, you need to start looking at flash storage.

“We needed IOPS higher than 100,000 and believed we would need up to 500,000 IOPS and this was not possible with old-fashioned spinning disk storage. You can do it with very high parallelism [ie, short stroking], but then you have to find the space for all that disk.”

Initially Arvato's IT team looked at flash storage from the big storage suppliers, but rejected them.

Jacobs said: “We had a shortlist of IBM, EMC, HP, Hitachi Data Systems – but we decided to concentrate on flash storage specialists.

“Our idea was that flash is very new and development is running very fast. So, we thought the big companies are not so fast and they have many other businesses and don't make money from flash and aren't as focused as the smaller companies.”

Jacobs' team eventually deployed four 6000 series Violin Memory all-flash arrays, with around 40TB at three datacentres in Germany and 25TB at a secondary site in Amsterdam.

Violin Memory was a solid state storage pioneer, with all-flash arrays based on proprietary cards, so-called VIMMs, based on Toshiba NAND flash. In the past year it has updated its range with the 7000 series that incorporates advanced storage features.

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