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

The Unexpected Side-Effects of Tiering

by on February 22, 2015

A few months ago, I was visiting a customer, who also happens to be a very large, global retailer. I sat down with their storage architect to get a sense of their environment, their application and technology dependencies, and ultimately, their storage decision criteria. They had been running EMC hybrid arrays for a while.

What he shared with me about their storage management practices was enlightening, considering the common perception in the storage world about tiering.
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Tiering is the practice of assigning different categories of data to different types of storage to drive costs down. Hot, active data gets stored in high-performance, more expensive storage media. Less frequently accessed data gets stored in slower, less expensive storage media. Makes since. But, consider how time consuming and complex it can get to continuously assign data to tiers. So you automate it. Add the software costs associated with that, and you get a complex an costly solution.

The storage architect proceeded to tell me they had turned on automatic tiering on the arrays to push the data to the right tier automatically, either flash for the performance-sensitive data, or disk for colder data that did not need the performance of flash.

Turns out after the automatic algorithms did their work, the flash utilization inside their array was 90% while the disks were at utilized less than 10%.

He then realized he was effectively running an “all-flash data center” on the wrong architecture. A few months later, Violin became their primary storage of choice for all data-sets. In their environment, there was little need for tiering.

Hello Flash Storage Platform, Concerto OS 7 and Symphony 3!

by on February 17, 2015

Today, I am exceptionally proud and excited to announce the availability of our new Flash Storage Platform (FSP), powered by Concerto OS 7 and managed by Symphony 3. The 7300E, 7300 and 7700 Flash Storage Platform products we have announced today allow any size or type of customer, to deploy all of their primary storage…

The Register asks why you would put traditional enterprise workloads on an All Flash Array? Here’s why.

by on February 13, 2015

The Register asks: why would you put traditional enterprise workloads on All Flash Arrays (AFA)? Here are some reasons why. Because they don’t run batch jobs in ½ the time but in 1/10th time or 1/50th the time, and suddenly that batch job can be run as a real time dashboard, or the batch order…

You Can’t Have Enough Performance, Really.

by on February 10, 2015

The topic for this episode of the Architecture Matters blog series is performance, and specifically why performance is something you can’t have enough of. When Violin pioneered the all-flash array, our goal was to deliver a product and architecture that would be built from the ground up to deliver flash storage at amazing speeds. The…

The Evolution of Storage

The theme song to the popular TV show, “The Big Bang Theory” condenses the evolution of the entire cosmos into a snappy one minute, 55 second pop tune. I can sum up the entire evolution of computer storage even more succinctly: Tape, Disk, Flash, and…? It is widely held that magnetic tape was first commercially…