Microsoft plays duet with Violin -

Software colossus, Microsoft, has stuck Violin under its chin to create an all-flash NAS array that boasts 5GB/sec sequential read rates and up to 32TB of capacity.

It is the first time Violin, which is better known as a block storage maker, has had a crack at the file-server market.

The new NAS box is packed full of solid-state drives and runs Windows Server 2012. According to Violin and Vole the gear offers data snapshots, replication and deduplication.

They have dubbed the beast a "Cluster-in-a-Box," and it should be showed off at the TechEd Conference this week and will come out after Microsoft Windows server 2012 in fourth quarter of the year.

Narayan Venkat, Violin's vice president of product management, said the two companies have worked together over the past nine months to develop the array.

The idea is to use it as a primary storage for HyperV virtual server environments or for running HyperV as a converged application server and storage array.

The system is based around Violin's 6616 all-flash array, which scales from 6TB to 32TB of capacity and can use either single or multi-level cell NAND flash.

Under the bonnet of the new gear are two Intel x86 processors, which were added to run Microsoft Server 2012.