Toshiba, Flash Memory Maker Violin Strike Strategic Alliance

In the latest example of flash's popularity, Toshiba has struck a deal with Violin Memory to deliver a new family of third-generation, server-based PCIe cards.

DH Kass, Senior Contributing Blogger

March 5, 2013

4 Min Read
Toshiba, Flash Memory Maker Violin Strike Strategic Alliance

Channel partners take note: Flash storage is hot, hot, hot. In the past few months alone, a number of big flash storage deals have surfaced, including IBM’s (NYSE: IBM) purchase of Texas Memory Systems and a subsequent distribution deal with Avnet (NYSE: AVT); Dell’s (NASDAQ: DELL) investment in flash startup Skyera; and NetApp (NASDAQ: NTAP) adding to its enterprise flash storage portfolio, to name a few examples.

Now, Toshiba has struck a deal with Violin Memory, a maker of flash memory storage arrays, to deliver a new family of third-generation, server-based PCIe cards for use in data centers. PCIe cards use flash memory to replace traditional hard drives in servers, improving speed and efficiency—and lately, popularity as well, as the traditional price barrier to widespread flash memory adoption is rapidly eroding.

For Violin, the key to the agreement is access to Toshiba’s supply chain and manufacturing, as well as research and development at the foundry, chip and software levels–all of which ostensibly will enable it to lower the price of enterprise flash storage. Toshiba, meanwhile, gains access to Violin’s intellectual property for its newly launched PCIe card family.

Toshiba commands, as of Q2 2012, about 25 percent of the worldwide NAND flash memory market, so its heft can deliver economies of scale to Violin’s enterprise storage manufacturing.

“The PCIe card market is important to Toshiba’s customers,” said Hiroyuki Sato, Toshiba Storage Products Division vice president. “Expanding our strategic relationship with Violin Memory will allow us to bring the valuable Violin enterprise IP to a broad range industry leading solutions in our future product offerings.”

The Velocity family includes 1.37TB to 11TB of capacity (per card) ranging from $3 per Gigabyte to $6 per Gigabyte list price.

“Our new focus on PCIe cards will allow both companies to drive radical new economics that lead to the mass adoption of memory-based architectures,” said Don Basile, Violin chief executive. “NAND memory is now a requirement at every level from the smart connected device to the core of the cloud and the enterprise data center. Violin’s combined product portfolios continue our leadership across the evolving memory-based solution market.”

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About the Author(s)

DH Kass

Senior Contributing Blogger, The VAR Guy

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