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violin memory acquisition

Violin Memory‘s acquisition of GridIron Systems is all about speeding up applications in data centers.

Mountain View, Calif.-based Violin creates Flash memory storage systems that get around the bottlenecks of slower hard drives in data center servers. GridIron creates applications that accelerate the performance of enterprise applications running on servers. It can speed up online transaction processing, data warehouses, virtualization, and “big data” analytics. As such, the companies complement one another.

“The acquisition of GridIron Systems complements and expands Violin Memory’s strategy of offering memory-based solutions that accelerate business critical applications while optimizing IT infrastructures,” said Don Basile, the chief executive of Violin Memory.

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Violin’s main rival is EMC.

GridIron focuses on storage area network caches, where it speeds up the performance of applications running on Violin’s Flash memory arrays. It does so by analyzing input-output access patterns and caching the active data for an application, said Som Sikdar, GridIron’s founder and chief technology officer.

Violin’s storage systems have as many as 3,000 Flash memory chips in a one enclosure, and its software enables a data center operator to manage it as a single storage element, said Ashish Gupta, the director of product marketing at Violin, in an interview with VentureBeat. Violin buys its chips from Toshiba and applies its own secret process to them.

Violin Memory was founded in 2005 and has 450 employees. It reportedly filed for an initial public offering. Last year, Violin raised a $50 million fourth round, bringing its total venture capital funding to $172 million. At that time, it was valued at more than $800 million. GridIron has raised about $30 million since its founding in 2007.

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