Hear what the experts at Violin have to say about a variety of topics on all things Flash.

Disk is Still Dead

by on July 20, 2015

Two months ago, in the 4th week of our Disk is Dead campaign, I wrote about two types of storage vendors who haven’t been able to let disk rest in peace: The legacy vendors who gave up on innovation long ago and the appliance vendors who built single-tasking boxes for specific applications. We see these vendors opting to use flash behind dead interfaces and a dead disk form factor, and they call them SSDs.

For the last 50 years, disk technology delivered value to customers by increasing the areal density (amount of data stored in a given space) in each successive generation. In the last 5 years, that rate of areal density improvement has flattened. This means that long held expectation of ever-decreasing $/GB from disks is no longer sustainable.

Though disk manufacturers continue to squeeze more bits on each square inch of rusted platter, they’re doing so by sacrificing performance, thus further moving disk closer to the grave. While this is happening, the interfaces and protocols have improved very little, given the inherent limitations of the legacy HDD design.

At the same time, SSD capacity, while increasing, has been constrained by the physical form factor of the HDD, thus limiting the storage density.

To illustrate, the table below shows the inherent inefficiency of putting NAND in the legacy disk form factor. The end results are bottlenecks to capacity and performance.


Table 1: Capacity and Performance

Capacity and Performance

Vendors who clung to the HDD interface and form factor have less capacity, take up more rack space, and deliver less performance.

Violin Flash Storage Platforms deliver performance and enterprise-grade data services, including user selectable block-level, inline de-duplication and compression on a single, simple, powerful platform architected for zero downtime and zero data loss at end-user costs that compete with traditional disk array prices. The table below captures the efficiency and range of data services possible when design compromises like SSDs are avoided.


Table 2: Data Services

Data Services

To paraphrase my colleague Ebrahim Abbasi’s recent blog post, “Disk Is Dead and Now I’m Stuck with All of These Operational Expenses”, it’s interesting to consider the case of dumping your legacy storage infrastructure and going all flash. With higher storage density and high performance density, the benefit is near-instant savings in operating costs. Consider applying these savings to your own situation across your entire data center; now, what could you have done with all of that money?


To help you move quickly through the stages of grief, we are launching two limited-time offers (special discounts and data migration services) to incent customers to take action, and we think you’ll be grateful that you checked them out.


Disk is Dead

If you would like to know the details, regarding how you can optimize your storage spend and start the transition to flash for primary storage, please contact your local Violin Account Executive or Reseller partner. They have everything you need to get started now.

You can also discuss your specific requirements with our architects and engineers at VMWorld in San Francisco August 30 – September 3, or if you would like to learn more at your own pace, download our thought leadership piece at www.violin-memory.com/diskisdead.

Bring Out Your Dead

by on June 30, 2015

We have had fun these last few months riffing on Disk is Dead and giving away tickets to see the Grateful Dead. Now it may be time to take action, to bring out your dead and dying disk arrays. But on a serious note, be cautious as you move down the path of researching, testing…

Acceptance and Hope

by on June 23, 2015

This story is about acceptance and hope: Acceptance for the fact that disk is dead as a platform for primary storage and hope for the future of storage, of the data center, and of the competitive enterprise. Over the last several weeks in this blogspace, several members of the Violin leadership team have shared their…

What Difference Does a Leap Second Make?

by on June 22, 2015

The normal 365 day year includes 31,536,000 seconds. This year will have 31,536,001 seconds. The reason for the very tiny increase is the leap second that will be added this year. Leap seconds exist to keep our clocks in sync with the Earth’s rotation, which is affected by the friendly gravitational tug of our sun…

Disk Is Dead and Now I’m Stuck with All of These Operational Expenses

by on June 15, 2015

You have invested heavily over the years in data centers believing that these investments would handle all of your IT needs. Now that disk is dead, those same data centers have become your albatross, dragging down business performance and consuming valuable resources that could be better spent developing innovative applications to drive the business forward….