Networking and Hardware Blog

FalconStor and Violin Memory Team Up for SAN-based, Solid-State Storage Solution

FalconStor Software and Violin Memory have come up with an interesting storage system in their FalconStor NSS SAN Accelerator, a flash-memory-based storage system that accelerates reads and writes for mission-critical applications and general SAN performance.

The FalconStor NSS SAN Accelerator combines the FalconStor Network Storage Server (NSS) Gateway, a Violin 1010 Flash Memory Appliance, and FalconStor’s storage management software to create a virtual SAN out of new or existing storage resources while introducing a solid-state memory array as a caching platform for all application data requiring the fastest input/output (I/O).

According to the companies, the FalconStor NSS SAN Accelerator doubles SAN performance, delivering high-speed access to stored data with minimal latency at a fraction of the cost of conventional solutions.

A customer chimes in: “Our evaluation of the FalconStor NSS SAN Accelerator proved that it can significantly enhance storage response time and underload scalability,” says George Crump, founder of Storage Switzerland. “The interesting capability of this system is that it can be deployed into an existing SAN and yield impressive improvements in performance and scalability at a reasonable cost.”

The integrated solution uses an economical amount of solid-state storage as a caching platform. Lab tests of the FalconStor NSS SAN Accelerator conducted by FalconStor show that a solid-state layer of 1 percent of a SAN’s total storage capacity will increase overall SAN performance greater than 100 percent.

FalconStor NSS SAN Accelerator speeds up both writes and reads with two unique capabilities of Falconstor storage management software: SafeCache and HotZone features. FalconStor’s SafeCache capability allows a segment of the solid-state memory array to be devoted to application writes so that all disk writes can be received and acknowledged with low latency. The data is then written transparently to the destination storage volumes on the SAN. FalconStor’s HotZone capability accelerates the read process of specific applications, including random-access databases, and general SAN I/O by monitoring disk access patterns and then intelligently copying the hot data to a HotZone cache on the solid-state memory array for faster read access. When the data is no longer heavily used, it is deleted from the cache and referenced back to its original location in the SAN to make room for other highly active datasets.

The Violin 1010 is a 4TB enterprise-class flash appliance that provides sustainable performance with sub-100uS deterministic latency and serviceability (including automatic active sparing and hot swap of flash modules). Based on patent-pending flash RAID algorithms, the Violin 1010 provides enterprise data centers with performance and reliability at a lower cost than any traditional performance storage systems with solid-state disks (SSD). To achieve a 100 percent performance boost, it is more than three times less expensive to add a solid-state memory cache with the FalconStor NSS SAN Accelerator than it is to upgrade a SAN with additional disk arrays.

FalconStor NSS SAN Accelerator is available in North America for $32,000, which includes one solid-state memory array with 500GB of RAID-protected storage capacity. For more information, visit the FalconStor website or call 866-669-3252.

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