Violin Memory has announced a North American distribution agreement with Arrow Electronics.

The agreement will provide Arrow resellers with access to Violin’s extensive Flash Storage Platform solutions, all-flash product portfolio and enterprise data services. In turn, Violin Memory will leverage Arrow’s sales support and technical expertise to continue its expansion into the all-flash array market in North America.

“Arrow’s expertise in the storage arena is synergistic with our go-to-market strategy, and their desire to push further into the all-flash marketplace with Violin’s Flash Storage Platform is an exciting proposition for both of us,” said Jeff Nollette, worldwide vice president of channel sales, Violin Memory. “The market opportunity for all-flash arrays in North America is white-hot today and growing larger by the month. We both expect to benefit from the marriage of our enterprise-hardened solutions and Arrow’s extensive expertise and market coverage in North America.”

Violin’s all flash solutions store more data with a smaller footprint and drive faster application performance at a cost comparable to traditional storage solutions. Violin’s Flash Storage Platform utilizes a vertically integrated design of software, firmware, and hardware that can facilitate the transition of primary storage from legacy solutions to all flash.

“This distribution agreement with Violin will provide Arrow’s customers with a broad set of enterprise-class flash storage products and data management solutions,” said Joe Burke, vice president and general manager of Arrow’s Enterprise Storage, Security, Networking and Virtualization Group. “Arrow looks forward to partnering with Violin to expand the rapidly maturing flash storage market in North America.”

Arrow’s extensive global sales and distribution network includes technical application teams and expert specialists who help customers find the technology solutions that are right for them and who assist resellers with selling to end customers. These Arrow specialists will benefit from Violin’s newly launched global partner program, which provides targeted product support, services and tools.

The two companies signed a similar distribution agreement for Europe, the Middle East and Africa earlier this year.

Researchers at Trinity College, Dublin demonstrate new class of zero-moment half metallic magnets, which may enhance data storage and wireless transmission speeds

Attempting to develop a novel type of permanent magnet, a team of researchers at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland has discovered a new class of magnetic materials based on Mn-Ga alloys.

Described as a zero-moment half metal this week in the journal Applied Physics Letters, from AIP Publishing, the new Mn2RuxGa magnetic alloy has some unique properties that give it the potential to revolutionize data storage and significantly increase wireless data transmission speeds.

The discovery realizes a goal researchers have sought for several decades: to make a material with no net magnetic moment, but full spin polarization. Having no magnetic moment -- essentially a measure of the net strength of a magnet -- frees the material from its own demagnetizing forces and means that it creates no stray magnetic fields. Zero moment also means being immune to the influence of any external magnetic fields, unlike conventional ferromagnets. As a result, there would be no radiation losses during magnetic switching of the material, which occurs as data is read or written, for instance. This property, coupled with full spin polarization means that the material should be extremely efficient in spintronics - the electronics of magnetized electrons.

Furthermore, it promises to shift the ferromagnetic resonance frequency, the maximum speed at which data is written or retrieved, into the low terahertz range. This range is currently of great interest for fast data transmission, but it is unexploited since it is difficult to make effective, yet reasonably-priced emitters and detectors that operate at such extremely high frequencies.

Though scientists have long recognized the merits of such a 'zero-moment half metal', nobody has been able to synthesize one. Several have been proposed through the years, but none of them delivered this combination of properties.

Now the Trinity College team, led by Michael Coey, studying spin-dependent transport properties of Mn2RuxGa (MRG) thin-films as a function of the Ru concentration, developed a zero-moment half metal free from demagnetizing forces that created no stray fields, essentially removing two of the obstacles to integrating magnetic elements in densely packed, nanometer-scale memory elements, and millimeter-wave generators.

The secret was in combining the Manganese with the Ruthenium, said Karsten Rode, a co-author on the new paper.

"Mn is in the Goldilocks zone - the magnetic coupling of the electrons is neither too strong nor too weak - just right," he said. "Ruthenium plays a critical role since without any Ru, even if one were able to crystallize the alloy in the right structure, the electronic bands contributing to the conduction would be only slightly spin polarized."

Building a better magnet

The solution the Trinity College team came up with was to design a material such that the moments of two inequivalent, oppositely aligned magnetic Mn sublattices perfectly compensated for one another -- essentially cancelling each other out and giving no net moment. But, in a simplified picture, only one of these sublattices actually carries current -- so that the result was a 100 percent spin polarized current with no net magnetic moment.

The development of this new material required a delicate balance. Spin-polarized current is due to the coupling of electrons in localized magnetic states (d-states) with mobile electrons in current-carrying states (s-states). If this coupling is too strong in a two-sublattice system, the spin polarization of the mobile carriers in the material tends to average to zero, but on the other hand, if the coupling is too weak, only a small fraction of the s-like electrons are spin polarized, and this would result in a very low spontaneous Hall effect. It is the spontaneous Hall effect that provides one piece of evidence of the spin polarization at room temperature.

Rode explained that the Manganese in the material was key to achieving this breakthrough because it allowed them to create a highly spin-polarized band of s-like electrons, yet keeping the magnetic coupling weak enough to allow for one of the spin bands to be pushed away from the Fermi level where all the conduction takes place. The addition by Ruthenium of both electrons and extra electronic states was also key because that made it possible to achieve zero net moment.

"The most difficult part was to understand that our new material was truly special," said Rode. "Our first experimental results could have been dismissed as a weakly-anisotropic ferrimagnet of no particular interest. Once we realized that there was a possibility that we could achieve full compensation of the magnetic moments, coupled with a large spin polarization, we started checking to see if the 'zero-moment half metal' hypothesis would stand intense scrutiny - and it did."

Now that the first example of this new type of magnet has been developed, the team will work to realize its benefits. "We need to demonstrate the spintronic functionality in a practical device" Rode said. "This is challenging for a Mn-based alloy. The manganese is easily oxidized and this has to be avoided in a fully-functional thin-film device stack. But now that we think we understand the conditions necessary to create a zero-moment half metal, it is likely that MRG will not long remain an only child."

New Storage System With RealStor 2.0 Application Workload-Aware Intelligence designed for Carrier Grade and Other Ruggedized Environments

Dot Hill Systems has announced that the Dot Hill Ultra56 AssuredSAN hybrid storage array is now shipping through its distribution channels. The Ultra56 is a hybrid storage array based on an ultra-density chassis that supports both NEBS Level 3 carrier and MIL-STD government requirements and up to 1.34 petabytes (PB) of raw capacity in only 7 inches or 4U of rack space. This high-density AssuredSAN array includes high performance 4004 controllers, affording up to 6400MB/s of sustained read performance.Dot Hill has the only high density storage product on the market today that meets the extremely demanding requirements of telecommunications carriers, service providers and tactically deployed government installations.

High Capacity Next-Generation Hybrid Array with RealStor 2.0

The Ultra56 is available with Dot Hill's RealStor version 2.0 application workload-aware intelligence software, which maximizes performance and simplifies management of hybrid storage arrays. Other flash-based storage solutions cannot adequately address the constantly changing data challenges faced by organizations today. Featuring multiple patent-pending technologies, the Dot Hill Ultra56 AssuredSAN next-generation solution with RealStor 2.0 raises the bar on hybrid array capability and stands alone in its ability to deliver high performance and optimal real-time data placement, while maintaining ease-of-use and best-in-class affordability and density. Ultra56 hybrid flash arrays support any combination of SSDs and hard disk drives to best suit application needs.

"The Ultra Series of storage solutions is the latest example of how Dot Hill evolves storage through continued innovation. Specifically, the ultra-density chassis of the Ultra56 offers twice the performance and twice the capacity per rack unit compared to traditional chassis, for unprecedented throughput and transactional performance. This technology has been developed with mission-critical applications and datacentre efficiency in mind, and has enabled us at Hammer to deliver Dot Hill's storage offerings into new exciting markets," statedJason Beeson, sales director, Hammer, a European specialist storage distributor.

Performance and Reliability

Incorporating Dot Hill's high performance AssuredSAN 4004 storage controllers, the Ultra56 delivers proven 99.999 percent data availability and features platinum-rated power supplies. With hard drives of 6TB in capacity, up to 336TB raw capacity per chassis can be achieved.

Three Ultra56 expansion enclosures can be combined for a total of 1.34PB of storage within a single array. Performance is exceptional with sustained reads of up to 6400 MB/s, large block writes of up to 5300 MB/s, and small block random reads of up to 100,000 IOPS from HDDs or SSDs. All devices are hot-swappable and the system is designed with two front removable device drawers for ease of service and maintenance.

The Ultra56 is well suited for environments requiring extreme reliability and density as well as applications ranging from supercomputing to wireless and cellular infrastructure. Built to carrier grade specifications, the Ultra56 is tested and compliant with the stringent NEBS Level 3 shock and vibration requirements and is available with both AC and -48V DC power options.

New channel programs, benefits, training, and more accompanied by new easy-to-use online Portal

Violin Memory has launched its  Global Partner Program and a new easy-to-use online portal. Following the launch of the Violin Flash Storage Platform, the expanded Violin Global Partner Program establishes new incentives and business models that will enable partners to achieve success through simplified partner programs, more predictable performance rewards, and innovative tools to deliver consistency in partner engagement.

“The Violin mantra is ‘partner first,’” said Jeff Nollette, global vice president, Channel Sales. “We treat our channel partners as a natural extension of our salesforce, providing the same level of support and enablement. Repeatable and sustainable business will drive our partners and their customers to new levels in IT agility and performance while delivering the fastest ROI and lowest TCO, and we’re excited to work with our partners to expand mutual business and success.” 

The Violin Effect 

  • The program is founded on the implementation of a simplified and consistent compensation model for improved revenue growth and predictability 
  • Significant increases in margin on deal registration as well as incentives on new accounts are designed to drive profitability
  • Increased marketing development funds (MDF) provide flexibility around marketing activities, enabling and empowering partners with options to drive awareness and lead-generation campaigns
  • Partner Levels – Platinum, Gold, Silver – offer appropriate incentives associated with the right investment level for each partner

A multi-tiered partner model allows accredited partners to start small without compromising platform performance or features delivered to customers.  As partner footprints expand, the Violin effect will expand and scale to support increased revenue and opportunity by sweetening incentive offerings, providing increased technical visibility and tools to ensure every experience with Violin or a partner of Violin is professional and consultative.  

“The Violin objective is to deliver a simplified and rewarding experience that will make it easier for partners to buy, sell and grow profitably with Violin Memory products and services,” said Fahima Zahir, director of World Wide Channel Programs. "We are building the industry’s broadest partner ecosystem and will continue to make significant investments to deliver the greatest business value for our partners.”

The Global Partner Program and online portal are now live and accessible for Violin partners worldwide. For more information on the Violin Partner Network, or to apply to join the authorized community of resellers and distributors, visit:

  • College benefitting from new scalable storage system designed and integrated by OCF
  • Migrates from Microsoft to highly scalable Linux environment
  • Stores video and audio data from up to 100 lectures per day
  • Research data stored securely, replicated and backed-up
  • Currently transferring 200TBs of data from old to new storage system

A new highly-scalable storage system is supporting staff, students and researchers across multiple departments at Imperial College London. Designed and implemented by supercomputing vendor, OCF, the centrally-funded half PetaByte system enables secure, cost effective storage of vast amounts of research data produced at the College, whilst underpinning a Panopto video capture system that records lectures from up to 100 separate theatres on a daily basis.

The new Linux-based, IBM GPFS storage system sits across two separate data centres. It replaces a legacy Microsoft solution that had grown on an ad-hoc basis and become increasingly difficult to grow and administer.

As well as long-term, cost-effective, secure storage requirements of research data, e-learning is a major area of focus, so the College needed a solution that was capable of storing captured and encoded video recordings of lectures, making them available for editing and viewing by potentially 20,000 students.  Multiple lectures can be recorded in parallel on the system, then saved and encoded with a turnaround time of less than one day from raw video capture to encoded version. Uptime was also a key factor - the College wanted a solution that would remain online 24/7 to support students.

The new system, which comprises of 8x IBM x3650 M4 GPFS clustered storage and NAS servers, along with 4x IBM Storwize v3700 storage arrays provides increased uptime, greater resilience, and is more responsive, incorporating a number of disaster recovery features to protect against data loss.  In the event of data loss or corruption, users can also recover previous data copies from up to 14 days themselves; saving the user time and reducing the burden on IT administrators significantly.

“We wanted a system that could grow and scale more easily and protect large data sets more effectively and efficiently,” said Steven Lawlor, ICT Datacentre Services Manager at Imperial College London. “Our old system no longer scaled and was becoming a bit of a beast. The new system will be easier to expand and more cost effective, in part because we can now move data to tape for long-term storage, a key requirement for certain types of research data. Uptime is one of the most important factors, we wanted a system that could also be maintained and expanded whilst still running.”

Julian Fielden, Managing Director of OCF comments: “We’re seeing a massive explosion of data growth. Academia is feeling the pressure of keeping up with storage demands, especially around research data.  Imperial College London’s real challenge was around storing the lecture capture side. Research data can be broken up and separated, whereas its video capture system was one large system across the College.  By developing a scalable storage solution based on GPFS they are now able to grow and expand storage in a simple and cost-effective manner.”

Imperial College London has already migrated all of its video content to GPFS. It is currently migrating research datasets from the Microsoft environment to the new Linux-based storage system.

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