The Marriage of Violin and Microsoft

Violin has their all-flash storage array. Microsoft has their latest OS, Windows Server 2012 R2, loaded with storage features like Storage Spaces, SMB, and SMB Direct. It’s quite natural for the two to come together, right? RIGHT! In a recent announcement, the two companies have teamed up to jointly develop a new solution called the Windows Flash Array, which combines the best of both worlds: Violin storage hardware and Microsoft storage software.

So the big question is what can organizations expect from the WFA? ESG Lab knows first-hand what can be expected. We’ve actually independently tested the technologies from both companies. My colleagues Tony Palmer and Kerry Dolan completed a Violin ESG Lab Validation on an all-flash storage array with a focus on high levels of performance, efficiency, and flexible scalability in virtualized, mixed workload environments. And I’ve completed a bunch of Microsoft-focused ESG Lab Validations that highlight most of their new storage features with focuses on everything from basic features and functions to the performance of virtualized application workloads that utilize SMB 3.0 and SMB Direct (RDMA) to potential cost savings when leveraging Microsoft storage features.

We’re currently working with Violin and Microsoft to perform an ESG Lab Validation on the new Windows Flash Array with a goal of showing the high levels of performance, consolidation, and reliability that can be expected in Microsoft-virtualized, mission-critical database environments. We’ll be focusing on a configuration that uses SMB and SMB Direct to deliver these values in a Microsoft IT environment at a price point that can improve both ROI and TCO.

What else do we have to say about the Windows Flash Array? Vice President of ESG Lab Brian Garrett was quoted saying, “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.”

We’re excited for both Violin and Microsoft and we’re looking forward to sharing our results from the validation in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

Topics: Storage IT Infrastructure