News | April 22, 2014

Violin Launches Windows All-Flash Array For Next-Generation Enterprise And Cloud Deployments

Violin Memory and Microsoft Jointly Develop All-Flash Array Solution to Deliver Unparalleled Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 Benefits

Violin Memory, Inc., a leading provider of all-flash storage arrays and appliances delivering application solutions for the enterprise, recently announced the general availability of the Windows Flash Array (WFA). Jointly developed with Microsoft Corp., the WFA is the first all-flash high-performance storage array powered by Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 to deliver a rich set of storage features and data services for the enterprise. The unmatched speed and efficiency of the Windows Flash Array transforms the datacenter by dramatically reducing server overhead and application response times through improved storage performance, fundamentally altering the cost structure of enterprise applications. The Windows Flash Array enables enterprise and cloud workloads, such as SQL Server, Microsoft SharePoint, and Windows Server with Hyper-V virtualized applications, to meet the needs of global enterprises, while satisfying IT operational demands for maximized agility, automation, and orchestration between network, storage and compute resources.

“Microsoft technologies, such as Windows Server, SQL Server, and Microsoft SharePoint, are already adopted by enterprises worldwide and growing dramatically,” said Bill Laing, corporate vice president, Microsoft. “By jointly developing this highly integrated solution with Violin Memory, we are working together to provide enterprise and cloud customers with dramatically improved performance, scalability, and economics for their Windows applications - virtualized, physical, and cloud.”

The WFA is a tightly integrated combination of Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 and Violin’s award winning hardware and software into a single solution that delivers high performance all-flash array storage for enterprise and cloud customers. Customers benefit from the proven storage features of Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 embedded into the Windows All Flash Array, including thin provisioning, data deduplication, scalability, and encryption along with space efficient snapshots and continuous availability, through Windows failover clustering.

“The WFA solution with Microsoft’s vast suite of server applications is critical for enterprises trying to revolutionize the performance, scale, and cost of data center and cloud deployments,” said Kevin DeNuccio, CEO, Violin Memory. “This collaboration with Microsoft produces the necessary integration of compute, network, applications, and storage for customers designing the next generation of cloud and virtualized solutions.”

Microsoft has significantly improved the efficiency and feature set of Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 but, most importantly, it provides a new way to connect external storage and make it perform like fast local storage. The Server Message Block (SMB) Direct protocol enabled by remote direct memory access (RDMA) makes possible a compelling enterprise-class storage alternative to traditional SANs. Testing by Microsoft reveals that SMB Direct can reduce CPU overhead by up to 30 percent, while delivering higher performance storage that is less expensive, and easier to administer through native Windows Server management tools.

SQL Server is an enterprise-class database that enables customers to build mission-critical applications across OLTP, data warehousing, business intelligence and analytics workloads. These enterprise applications are essential workloads that benefit from the WFA. Customers beta testing the Windows Flash Array with 2012 SQL Server report that the WFA delivers up to 2 times the write performance and up to 50 percent higher read performance, compared to an industry standard all-flash array connected via Fibre Channel.

Windows Server with Hyper-V is one of the leading virtualization platforms helping customers achieve a higher utilization and ROI from their server assets. The high level of random I/O requests from virtualized workloads make the WFA a natural fit. In Hyper-V environments, WFA achieved up to 40 percent higher write performance in customer beta tests. Increased storage performance means enterprises can increase host server virtual machine density, bolstering their virtualization ROI while reducing CAPEX.

The net effect for customers is a significant reduction in compute and storage expense, while meeting the most demanding application SLAs with orders of magnitude improvement in response times. WFA is the first end-to-end continuously available, high performance All-Flash Windows Storage Server Array for the enterprise market.

Analyst Quotes
“The Windows Flash Array is unique in the market. By embedding Windows management functionality into the storage controller, Microsoft and Violin are solving a problem we often hear from practitioners in the Wikibon community. Namely, that they don’t have the resources, skills or desire to deal with a separate storage management system. We believe closer integration between Windows and an all-flash array will have broad appeal for SMBs who are resource strapped, and large organizations that want to eliminate management complexity.”

Dave Vellante
Chief Research Officer, Wikibon
“All flash arrays have captured the highest tier of the enterprise storage market for their application acceleration capabilities that go beyond the requirements of today’s data-driven organizations. Bringing together these established benefits found in the 64TB Violin Memory All-Flash Array with Windows Storage Server 2012 R2, Microsoft and Violin have created a certified solution to improve the performance of Hyper-V, SQL server and SharePoint environments.”

Eric Burgener
Flash Storage Research Director, IDC
“We've been fans of the software defined storage inside Microsoft Windows Server 2012 and the flash defined storage from Violin Memory ever since we tested solutions from each of these industry leaders separately. But we're blown away with the Violin Memory Windows Flash Array that combines the power of both. This unique partnership has created a one of a kind solution that dramatically increases the performance and efficiency of business critical application workloads like Microsoft SQL Server and VDI.”

Brian Garrett
Vice President, ESG
Distributor Partner Quotes
"The Violin Windows Flash Array fits cohesively with our customers' requirements for high performance, easy to manage all-flash storage. The seamless integration into Windows IT environments will reduce time to production and ease service and support expenses."

John Walters
Managing Director, NextGen Distribution, Australia
“Advanced computing environments can be a challenge to implement.” “The Windows Flash Array delivers leading performance and features that allow us and our resellers to deliver new levels of value.”

Masataka Kunisue
General Manager, Storage Network Solution Dept
SCSK Corporation
Microsoft has certified the WFA as a supported system for Windows Server 2012 R2 and is available directly from Violin Memory and its global community of channel partners with shipments beginning April 22. Please contact Violin, for additional information.

About Violin Memory, Inc.
Business in a Flash. Violin Memory transforms the speed of business with high performance, always available, low cost management of critical business information and applications. Violin’s All Flash optimized solutions accelerate breakthrough CAPEX and OPEX savings for building the next generation data center. Violin’s Flash Fabric Architecture (FFA) speeds data delivery with chip-to-chassis performance optimization that achieves lower consistent latency and cost per transaction for Cloud, Enterprise, and Virtualized mission-critical applications. Violin's All Flash Arrays and Appliances, and enterprise data management software solutions enhance agility and mobility while revolutionizing datacenter economics. Founded in 2005, Violin Memory is headquartered in Santa Clara, California. For more information, visit

SOURCE: Violin Memory, Inc.