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Violin pins hopes on FSP 7650 and 7450 all-flash arrays

Troubled all-flash pioneer Violin Memory launches two new all-flash arrays, the FSP 7650 for extreme high performance and 7450 for general workloads at 60c per gigabyte

Violin Memory has launched two new all-flash arrays – the FSP 7650, aimed at extreme high performance, and the FSP 7450, aimed at general workloads.

The move comes as the company looks to turn its fortunes round after disappointing recent financial results.

The 7650 offers up to 2 million IOPS and 140TB of capacity, while the 7450 claims up to 430,000 IOPS and scales to half a petabyte.

The FSP 7650 is aimed at extreme use cases, such as in-memory and high-performance databases. It offers capacity ranging from 8TB to 140TB and 1 million IOPS at 200μs of latency or 2 million IOPS at 1ms.

With such I/O figures, Violin hopes to “reset the bar”, said product marketing vice-president Keith Parker.

“We want to change what people expect,” he said. “What allows this performance is our architecture, where there is a direct connection between flash media and PCIe with no SAS or SATA interconnect.”

Here, Parker referred to Violin’s use of so-called VIMMs (Violin Intelligent Memory Modules), the company’s proprietary flash modules made with Toshiba silicon.

Meanwhile, the FSP 7450 is aimed at general workloads and allows capacities of between 26TB and 522TB. In terms of I/O performance, it offers 340,000 IOPS at μs of latency (100% reads) and 210,000 at 1ms (70:30 reads/writes).

Parker said the 7450 could offer cost per gigabyte as low as 60c.

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The 7450 incorporates data reduction, while both arrays have replication (asynchronous and synchronous), snapshots, clones and encryption. Data reduction is not included on the 7650 because it is assumed database apps will already have it.

Violin Memory released the Flash Storage Platform (FSP) in February 2015, and additional models in December 2015.

The FSP 7000 scales from the entry-point FSP 7250 with 8.8TB to 26.6TB and 250,000 IOPS at 1ms latency to the FSP 7700 with 700TB (raw).

Violin still offers the previous 6000 generation systems and Windows Flash Array, an SMB-based platform for use with Microsoft Windows systems and applications.

The launch of the two new FSP models could be the last throw of the dice for Violin. Its recently released second-quarter results showed revenue of $7.5m, 23% lower than the $9.7m reported in the first quarter of 2017 and 51% lower than the $15.3m reported in the second quarter of 2016.

The company has recorded losses for every quarter since 2013 and its stock price has tumbled from about $7.50 in 2014 to less than $1 this year. It was forced to take measures to fight being delisted from the New York Stock Exchange.

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