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Mystery railway buys 80 terabytes of Flash

'First all-silicon firm in Europe', murmurs source

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Diamond Point International has sold two Violin Memory arrays, totalling 80TB of capacity, to a mystery European rail service provider.

This customer – no one will say who – is moving from Dell EqualLogic iSCSI and HDS Fibre Channel disk arrays to all-flash arrays. A person familiar with the deal said: "[I] think it is the first European Union company to go all-silicon."

There is a primary Violin Memory array, functioning as a storage area network (SAN), with all of its data replicated to a second data centre's 40TB Violin SAN as a business continuance and disaster recovery measure. The primary Violin system is accessed through a FalconStor gateway which receives the incoming iSCSI and Fibre Channel traffic.

We understand that the FalconStor software interfaces to the Violin array via PCI express, representing it to accessing servers as high-speed (flash) SAN storage and is responsible for storage provisioning, functionality, and redundancy through snapshots, mirroring and replication.

The Violin/FalconStor pairing is said to provide faster SAN storage than a hard disk-drive-based SAN and in a lot less physical space, meaning power and space-related cost-savings. It is also as good as if not better than a disk-based SAN in terms of reliability, cost-efficiency and scalability, as well as having the speed advantage.

This is one of the very first examples, after the eBay Nimbus deal, that we have of networked disk array storage being rejected in favour of a networked flash array.

The rumour mill says Violin gear is flying off the UK Violin channel's shelves, by the way. ®

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