UPDATED 06:29 EDT / MARCH 05 2013

Violin Memory Prices New PCIe Chip to Win, Teams with Toshiba to Streamline Supply

It’s turning out to be a big week for flash.  Violin Memory, one of the largest suppliers of SSD-based storage solutions, announced a new product line-up called Velocity. The lineup features three PCIe server cards with 1.37, 2.75, 5.5 and 11TB of raw storage.

Now for the specs.  Sustained performance using 4KB blocks measures at 120,000 IOPS for the 1.37 card, 1000, 270,000 and 540,000 IOPS for the 2.75, 5.5 and 11TB cards.  This figure jumps above one million IOPS in setups where 512KB blocks are used instead.

The new Violin chips run barebone firmware that supports Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server and VMware.  Compatibility for management software from other vendors will probably roll out with future patches.

The other important feature of Velocity, beside the performance and support, is that the chips are completely self-contained. This means that software can be booted faster and without help from the host server, something that the competition – that is to say Fusion-io’s competing PCIe chips – can’t do.

The launch is backed by Toshiba, one of Violin’s earliest backers and its top distributor in Japan.  The manufacturer will leverage Velocity to enhance its storage portfolio.

Hiroyuki Sato, storage products division veep at Toshiba Corporation Semiconductor & Storage Products Company, said: “The PCIe card market is important to Toshiba’s customers. Expanding our strategic relationship with Violin Memory will allow us to bring the valuable Violin enterprise intellectual property to a broad range [of] industry-leading solutions in our future product offerings.”

These four capacity levels will be priced at $4,200, $16,900, $33,800 and $67,500, respectively.  With the new line-up, Violin is making a strategic play in the pricing game, simplifying and streamlining the supply chain.  The deal with Toshiba is an important factor in Violin’s plan, empowering the storage provider to better manage the ebb and flow of NAND pricing.

Flash is hot, and Toshiba is not the only whale in the ocean looking to make the most of the technology.  Earlier this week Seagate had a PCIe update all its own, while last month NetApp announced an all-flash array for software-driven environments that’s more scalable and efficient than less abstracted solutions.


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