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Violin doubles all-flash array range with FSP 7250 and FSP 7600

Violin Memory doubles the size of its all-flash array product family with entry-level and high-performance additions to the enterprise-featured FSP hardware line

Violin Memory has doubled the number of all-flash arrays in its 7000 series hardware with the addition of two standalone products, the entry-level FSP (Flash Storage Platform) 7250 and the performance workload-targeted FSP 7600.

The FSP 7250 provides an entry-level all-flash array product optimised for capacity use cases. It comes with 26TB of flash capacity in 3U but the customer need only pay for a minimum of 8TB, with the rest activated on a pay-as-you-go basis. The FSP 7250 slots in below the existing FSP 7300.

Meanwhile, the other addition is the FSP 7600. This is a standalone array aimed at performance use cases and houses up to 140TB in 3U of rack space.

All FSP arrays are Fibre Channel and iSCSI connected. Flash capacity in Violin arrays comes in the form of so-called Vimms, or Violin Intelligent Memory Modules. These are the result of a supply chain deal with Toshiba. Vimms comprise silicon on bespoke cards that carry all the software to do striping, data protection, wear-mitigation and so on.

This launch sees Vimm capacity doubled to 2TB. All FSP arrays run the Concerto version 7 operating system (OS). This provides all the FSP arrays with data deduplication, synchronous and asynchronous replication, continuous data protection (CDP), WAN optimisation and thin provisioning.

Until the past year or so such advanced storage features have been largely absent from all-flash arrays, which were initially targeted at niche performance use cases. As the all-flash array space has matured suppliers such as Violin have sought to target more general enterprise workloads where advanced features are required.

Claimed I/O performance is 1.1 million IOPS with less than 500μs latency. IOPS figures are for read operations, which are the least troublesome for flash storage to deal with. Writes are more long-winded, due to the need to erase and repurpose flash cells after use – the so-called program/erase (P/E) cycle.

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Violin addresses this by enabling simultaneous reads and writes on the same Raid stripe across sets of Vimms.

Violin introduced the FSP 7300 and FSP 7700 arrays earlier in 2015. The FSP 7300 can house up to 70TB of Vimm capacity and is also a standalone array. The FSP 7700 by contrast is a modular product that can act as the head to capacity and processing power made up from any of the other FSP arrays and the older 6000 series.

Maximum raw capacity for the FSP 7700 is around 1.3PB with more than two million IOPS claimed. All claimed capacities quoted here are raw. With data deduplication Violin claims effective capacities are boosted by around three to four times or more. 

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