Insights, Best Practices and Forward Thinking from the Customer Facing Team, Solution Architects and Leaders on Extreme Performance Applications, Infrastructure, Storage and the Real-World Impact Possible

Jailbreaking Data from Mechanical Storage – The Need for Speed

by VIOLIN SYSTEMS on September 19, 2013

Ask any product architect from your decade-old disk storage vendor about his BIGGEST source of pride – and you will invariably hear “our products don’t lose data.” Of course!

Storage – as the name screams – is a place where you put your data in fetters and chains; secure in the knowledge that it will not get lost. And it’s not exactly easy to access it after it is interned.

Keep in mind, however, that the sole purpose of the “Data Center” is to put your data to work. Data centers are not called “Storage Centers” after all!  Getting access to your data any time you want, any way you want was just impossible.

This was great for “Big Storage.” The oligarchy of disk vendors trained users to believe that the ONLY path to speed was through buying more disks and more storage arrays!

And so, in the data center – while CPUs clocked at gigahertz speeds, RAM moved to nanoseconds, networks moved to gigabits per second – people continued to accept data access times reminiscent of days of 8-track music players, backups that took hours and data tiering from slow disks (to even slower disks) that took hours or even days!

And what about data migration once you are locked up with a storage array? Only if you paid for expensive maintenance windows and significant downtimes.

Enter Violin Systems. For the last several years, Violin Systems has led the charge in bringing the speed of memory to all aspects of the data center. We have gone from enterprise users to service providers, from carriers to government agencies and proved that keeping data in memory is not only possible and cost-effective; it also enables unprecedented levels of productivity and efficiency.

After all, it was memory technology that allowed us to jailbreak our music from fixed albums and sequential tracks to the world of shuffle-play and single-track iTune purchases, and allowed us to have our own music mix.
In the same way that Violin Systems led our way to the top as #1 in performance and reliability of memory arrays - we are now leading again by delivering the next level of innovation for data centers. While the rest of the industry is still trying to catch up our lead in IOPs, latency and performance – we are moving the bar and introducing other tools to jailbreak your data and move it to memory speeds.

The newly launched Maestro suite provides a framework of services that allows users to embrace memory technology in their existing environment. It provides:

  • Memory-speed PROTECTION by mirroring and replication services that match the blinding speed of our arrays and server memory cards
  • TIERING services that allow movement and re-positioning of data in various performance levels of memory arrays by moving data around HUNDREDS of THOUSAND times per second. Contrast that to the Big Storage vendors’ attempts at tiering that takes HOURS to complete
  • MIGRATION from mechanical storage to memory without disruption. This is coupled with a wide choice of options that allows evaluation, migration and certification of memory arrays at a pace comfortable to the user
  • And lastly, ACCELERATION – that allows a non-disruptive performance boost for all levels of data even while it resides on mechanical storage. Truly a case of no data left behind!

Maestro is the industry’s first framework that delivers memory-speed data services assisted by purpose-built silicon engines.  Stay tuned as we unveil various aspects of these offerings in coming weeks.

After all - the more things change –the more they should absolutely NOT stay the same.