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Violin Memory Aims to Simplify the Data Center

Posted on Monday, Sep 17th 2012

According to the IHS iSuppli Data Flash Market Tracker, the NAND Flash memory market  is projected to grow 8% this year to $22.9 billion. Memory market growth is driven by strength in smartphones, tablets, and ultrabooks. The market is projected to grow to $30.9 billion by 2016. The researcher estimates that overall NAND flash consumption for smartphones will grow to 5.7 billion gigabytes this year, up from 3.1 billion gigabytes a year ago. By 2016, NAND memory content in smartphones is projected to reach 18.9 gigabytes and will amount to 16% of total NAND bit shipments. Besides consumer equipment–related growth, the Flash memory market is also seeing strong growth in the enterprise-related flash memory segment.

Violin Memory Grows
The increasing demand for flash memory market is driving growth for players like Violin Memory. California-based Violin Memory was founded in 2005 by Jon Bennett, who was responsible for development and patenting of the switched memory technology that are the basis for the company’s products. Violin Memory is best known for its proprietary Violin Switched Memory (VXM) solution, which helps improve the performance of memory on computers by reducing the power and space requirement in the data center and closing the gap between I/O & CPU performance. Its solutions help organizations accelerate business-critical applications and virtualize data center storage through a scalable flash memory array.

Violin Memory’s customer list boasts of players like AOL and North Island Credit Union, to name just a few. It claims that its offerings have helped Oracle, SQLServer, MySQL, and DB2 accelerate performance to record-breaking performance levels. Violin Memory is focused on getting organizations to replace external storage arrays with new storage arrays based on its flash memory boards. The company believes that its memory boards are able to read and write data faster than disk drives and thus will be able to simplify corporate data centers in organizations.

The company’s financials are not known publicly, but it is growing at a rapid pace. Last year, revenues were expected to have crossed more than $100 million. During the current year, the company has seen its employee base grow from 50 to 320 over a period of six months. It is building a strong sales force in Europe and the Middle East.

To date, it has raised $186 million in venture funding from investors that include Juniper Networks, Toshiba Corporation, SAP Ventures, Highland Capital Partners, and GE Capital. Its latest round of funding of $90 million, held in May of this year, pegged its valuation at $850 million.

Analysts expect that Violin Memory will follow competitor Fusion-io’s path and will work to go public soon. The IPO is expected to be released by the end of this year.

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