Is there anyone who isn’t aware of just how supercharged solid state storage is? Only a week or two ago SolidFire picked up a whopping $31M in funding that investors are betting will return a handsome amount as increasingly legacy companies acquire new storage technology companies of every type.

PernixData, a startup founded by some of the multitude of recent defectors from VMware is today announcing the general availability of its hypervisor for server side flash product. Pernix itself has raised $27M in venture funding thus far and is already in market selling through channel partners in the US and EMEA.

The Pernix product virtualizes all server side flash into a clustered acceleration tier that is designed to help IT administrators to quickly scale-out storage performance completely independent of storage capacity. In doing so they achieve improved read/write performance over the virtual machines, without changing server and storage infrastructure. As virtualization has fundamentally changed the way modern data centers work, storage hasn’t kept up – sure we’ve seen widespread flash adoption, but there are still I/O bottlenecks that impact upon the performance of application run in virtual environments. Pernix is trying to change this – according to the company, their key differentiators are:

  • Scale-out performance independent of storage capacity. Storage performance is improved with the addition of server side flash and can be architected based on specific VM or application requirements
  • Seamless deployment. The software is deployed onto existing infrastructure in less than 20 minutes, with no changes (or reboots) required to VMs, servers or primary storage
  • Full support for VMware cluster operations. PernixData
  • Full read and write acceleration with fault tolerance. PernixData FVP supports both read and write acceleration for maximum performance across all virtual applications


Just like with compute, everyone wants to scale out their storage infrastructure to meet the varying needs of their applications. This is especially so in a virtualized compute environment where a mismatch in terms of storage and compute scalability can cause issues. By virtualizing the flash storage layer, Pernix is helping to resolve this issues – giving users the scale out to match their compute scalability, but on top of their existing storage kit. The benefits are obvious and would seem to be borne out by Pernix users who see performance benefits from adopting the product. Says Jason Rolla, CTO at Christopher Rural Health Planning Corporation:

In 20 minutes, we had our PernixData flash hypervisor up and running and supporting four times more VDI sessions than is possible on our SAN alone. But, the real beauty of the PernixData solution comes in its ability to grow. We can easily scale-out our storage performance needs using inexpensive server side flash, which creates a very predictable and efficient cost structure

The combination of flash and storage virtualization is an interesting development – It will be interesting watching their customer adoption develop now that they’re in general availability.

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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