Violin Memory and Microsoft have jointly announced a novel way of harnessing the power of Windows Server software. Violin will be shipping its memory arrays with a special version of Windows Server 2012 R2 pre-installed on the embedded server that manages the internal operations of Violin’s all-flash array.
Violin explains that native support of specially-optimized versions of Windows Server and System Center that have been tuned for an all-memory array will provide improved performance and economics for large-scale enterprise cloud deployments.
The system can internally run Microsoft enterprise software including:
- SQL Server
- Microsoft SharePoint
- Microsoft Exchange
- Windows Server Hyper-V virtualization
- Server Message Block (SMB) file services
The SSD Guy wrote a post about a similar use of a Violin Memory array once before, and Micron’s Ed Doller described something like this in his Flash Memory Summit keynote that was the subject of yet another post. In essence this concept embodies the old saying: “It’s easier to move Mohammed to the mountain than to move the mountain to Mohammed.” If you can leave a significant amount of data where it rests, and move a much smaller program to the data, the communications delay will be much lower.
There are other benefits to this approach. As your system scales, performance can improve almost linearly in proportion to the amount of hardware.
Objective Analysis expects to see significant changes in computing architectures over the following few years, with systems availing themselves of the capabilities of a broad distribution of under-utilized CPUs while taking advantage of the fact that flash fits between HDD and DRAM memory from the perspective of both price and performance.
In not too long we will look back on today’s system architectures and say to ourselves: “I can’t believe we actually did things that way!”
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