And now, a memory appliance

16 02 2008

We now have an appliance for every component of the technology stack where high-performance and/or low latency is a requirement. I fumbled upon this new memory appliance from violin and was pretty impressed.

Their datasheet suggests that their appliance (Violin 1010) contains about 84 VIMM’s (Violin Intelligent Memory Module) which could have a combination of both DRAM and NAND flash memory. The DRAM module has a max of 6G and 6*84 gives us a max of 504G of memory. If one opts for a 64G flash memory, per VIMM, that gives us a max of 5TB.

The appliance itself could be hooked on to a server via the 10-20 Gbit/s PCI interface and the data is protected by both ECC and RAID. They claim to bring down the io latency to 3 microseconds, which is not a small feat. The device has the capacity to do 3 Million random I/O per second, per interface. The device also claims to be “green”, owing to its low power consumption.

What kind of applications benefit from using this device? Well, any application with large cache sizes, large datasets, applications which require extended memory, memory mapped files and so forth. How about if we can just dump all the database index files on this appliance (sort of a “RAM disk”), that could potentially boost the query performance by leaps and bounds? I also heard that they do have potential wall-street clients testing their devices in a stealth mode 😉

The benefits are definitely immense, but at what cost? Their site informs us that the starter kit will come for under $50K and comes with 20 6GB VIMM’s.

If you are too curious to take a look at this baby, go here.