Really? Disk is Dead? From Violin?

A catchy email from one of the forums I subscribed to, caught my attention. It goes something like “…Grateful … Disk is Dead“. Here the blog from Kevin Doherty, a Senior Account Manager at Violin Memory.

Coming from Violin Memory, this is pretty obvious because they have an agenda against HDDs. They don’t use any disks at all …. in any form factor. They use VIMMs (Violin Inline Memory Modules), something no vendor in the industry use today.


I recalled my blog in 2012, titled “Violin pulling the strings“. It came up here in South Asia with much fan fare, lots of razzmatazz and there was plenty of excitement. I was even invited to their product training at Ingram Micro in Singapore and met their early SE, Mike Thompson. Mike is still there I believe, but the EMC veteran in Singapore whom I mentioned in my previous blog, left almost a year later after joining. So was the ex-Sun, General Manager of Violin Memory in Singapore.

Violin was also in Malaysia, dazzled several local distributors and partners, with one or two of my friends signing up. Soon after, Violin went IPO with CEO Don Basile with a launching price of USD9.00. It debuted below the launch price and now lingering around USD3.50. Don Basile was fired shortly after, and a whole lot of bad things started to happen.

In 2014, Violin signed with one of HDS Malaysia distributors. But in less than a quarter, I was informed that Violin Memory had a change of heart. Violin had a strategy change and one of the directors of the distributor, who is a friend of mine, hardly spend the time talking about their newly acquired baby.

The distributor, which bought demo machine and probably the hook, line and sinker as well, was flummoxed with the Violin Memory turn-around. In Asian context, TRUST, the most sacred element in business, was broken.

In the past year, I have seen Violin picking up itself, with a new CEO and a new guy (a friend from STeC) running Australia/New Zealand. I am not sure who run Violin Memory in Asia today though. (If anyone knows, buzz me).

I am pretty sure that Violin Memory will continue to peddle its ware and will compete with all the NAND Flash SSD vendors out there. But coming back to the “… Grateful … Disk is Dead” story, I find it hard to accept what Violin Memory is pitching. I agree that the spinning disks will hit its eventual demise, but coming from Violin, the degree of TRUST is lesser now, in South Asia, especially learning what has happened here in Malaysia.

And to another friend who bought VMEM stocks at more than USD7, he will always be bitching about that lousy opportunity when Violin was practically pulling everyone’s string back in 2013.

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About cfheoh

I am a technology blogger with 30 years of IT experience. I write heavily on technologies related to storage networking and data management because those are my areas of interest and expertise. I introduce technologies with the objectives to get readers to know the facts and use that knowledge to cut through the marketing hypes, FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) and other fancy stuff. Only then, there will be progress. I am involved in SNIA (Storage Networking Industry Association) and between 2013-2015, I was SNIA South Asia & SNIA Malaysia non-voting representation to SNIA Technical Council. I currently employed at iXsystems as their General Manager for Asia Pacific Japan.

2 Responses to Really? Disk is Dead? From Violin?

  1. We ve launched our Disk is Dead campaign to underscore this point, and to also begin a dialogue among data center professionals that not only is there a better storage medium, but that there are also better architectural approaches to 24×7 data center-scale storage, than simply swapping one type of drive for another, she said.

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