Violin Memory – All Flash Memory Arrays Seeing Increased Interest
Violin Memory is a privately held emerging player in storage, offering all SSD Flash storage arrays for primary data. Violin’s storage arrays connect to servers and provide significantly improved performance over traditional HDD/SSD hybrid storage arrays. The company’s solutions are used in environments that require high power and capacity with little to no latency. According to Violin, its SSD arrays can help accelerate the performance of applications in database environments (for reporting and transaction acceleration), Web servers, scientific computing (HPC), and Tier 0 storage. In June of 2010, Violin acquired Gear6, a company focused on Memcaching, a distributed memory caching system for web and cloud environments, which helps increase utilization among server and storage assets. The company has key strategic relationships with Toshiba (a supplier of its NAND Flash) and Juniper, who have each made significant investments in the company over the past several years.
Violin’s go-to-market strategy consists of its direct sales force, key VARs, and co-branded joint-selling agreements with HP (to compete against Exadata) and IBM to deploy IBM’s GPFS file system in clustered, scale-out environments. Violin’s solution is seeing significant interest in databases running Oracle, DB2 and SQL. Violin has previously stated that it expects to exit its current fiscal year (ending in January 2012) with $100mm in trailing revenue, with a go forward run-rate of $40 million-$50 million per quarter. We believe the company is looking to fill out its solution set with feature-rich software and could look to acquire new point products or develop these capabilities internally. Violin’s technology already includes data management tools but the company seems to be looking at adding increased features and functionality over time. We believe that both all-flash memory arrays and flash-based PCIe-based server storage represent the next wave of technologies that are altering the landscape of the storage industry. We believe that customers can find compelling use cases for these solutions and that Violin Memory (as well as companies such as Fusion-io) will continue to gain share within this growing market.
(Copyrighted Material from Barclays Capital Equity Research)