Violin and Symantec have formed a partnership to provide data management for Violin Memory arrays. Violin a pure flash\speed play was sort of in a niche market providing the juice to overcome the last mile of virtualization or databases that provide ROI +/- a lot of trailing zero’s for Business Intelligence systems. With Symantec providing their IP for data protection, Violin will get snaphots, thin provisioning, full-disk encryption and de-duplication. I am told async replication will be coming Q4 or late Q1 next year. This will allow Violin to become more of a general purpose array and broaden it’s market. I think it shows that Flash is at the price point to be mainstream. Customers want and have the need for speed but also want their array shopping list all checked off.
Why pick Symantec?
I make no secrets that I am a hypervisor fan-boy. Why have snapshots and thin-provisioning in two places? I am ok with using the features of the hypervisor if they’re available. Not everything will be virtualized so I do see the need but once again it’s a check box in my mind. Why not use a the best protection for your environment like running Zerto for replication\disaster recovery.
A lot of Violin current customers are also Symantec customers but I think the decision was more based on give and take. Violin key value prop is sick speed, not replication and snapshots. I am glad they went to someone that was doing it for awhile to round out their portfolio. It’s the same reason for SAS apps, if it doesn’t make you different from your competitors, why do it at all? Symantec gets the knowledge of seeing how to work with ultra fast Nand. I am fairly confident is saying that the relationship will strengthen Symantec latest announcement , running Big Data Analytics on Symantec’s Cluster File System.
Direction & Speculation
1) The Direction is Big Data is going to be everywhere and everyone wants in. Everyone is trying to get Flash close as possible to the compute power. This is way you see lots of interest in companies like Nutanix today and I suspect a big announcement from EMC about their ExtremeIO purchase at VMworld. Violin has left an open spot for additional cpu on thier arrays, I think applications will come to live on the array, aka local storage.
2) All based Flash arrays without a full feature set will not be around in a year.
3) Companies that haven’t architected for all based flash and just through SSD”s into existing gear will be shopping for the IP soon.
These are just my thoughts, the industry is very interesting these days.