Violin asks Phison: can you NVMe?

All-flash array pioneer Violin Systems is teaming up with Phison Electronics to add NVMe support to its storage systems, as it looks to deliver high performance while maintaining continuity with its enterprise data services.

Violin Systems delivered its first new products last year, following its emergence from Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

As detailed by Blocks & Files, the company is pinning its hopes on delivering the low latency, high-IOPS performance offered by AFA startups such as E8 and Excelero that use NVMe over fabrics (NVMe-oF) technology. Its pitch is that it also offers enterprise data services found in traditional arrays that the startups currently lack.

Violin today said it is working with Phison Electronics, a Taiwanese developer of NAND Flash silicon, to integrate its NVMe SSD controllerwith Violin’s storage systems to help it realise this goal. Previously, it used proprietary Violin Inline Memory Modules (VIMMS) in its arrays.

Violin’s XVS array

By enhancing the NVMe standard interface with its own technologies, Violin aims to enable consistency as well as high performance for such applications as SQL databases, real-time analytics and OLTP and areas like machine learning where there is zero tolerance for any performance lag.

Phison describes the E12DC controller as its second generation of high performance PCIe NVMe SSD controller. It supports storage capacities up to 8TB and sustained performance in sequential reads and sequential writes of 3,200MB per second.

“This joint development with Phison allows both companies to push the boundaries of enterprise SSDs and bring true innovation to the market through standards-based technology vs proprietary technology,” Violin Chairman and CEO Mark Lewis said in a statement.

However, as previously noted by Blocks & Files, the mainstream AFA suppliers will soon catch up on the NVMe performance gap, while the start-ups plan to add enterprise services to their platforms.

Violin may only have a limited time to convince enterprise buyers it can offer top-level performance with the traditional data services they have come to expect.