Solution Briefs

Flash Virtualization System

The Flash Virtualization System is a new kind of solution for storage IO optimization for virtualized computing. The solution combines host-level software with a flash-provisioned server to improve storage IO performance for large numbers of virtual machines (VM) across a VMware vSphere cluster. The solution is deployed as a complement to organizations’ existing virtualization hosts and shared storage infrastructure. Because the solution is non-disruptive to existing storage and servers, is relatively easy to evaluate, validate and deploy, and is cost-competitive versus alternatives, organizations can quickly begin realizing the value of flash acceleration across applications and virtual machines.

The Flash Virtualization System leverages the new architecture in FlashSoft software 4 to take advantage of VMware’s new vSphere APIs for IO Filtering (VAIO) framework, allowing the FlashSoft software to be integrated as a virtual data service within vSphere. This integration with vSphere 6 gives FlashSoft a greater level of reliability, usability and performance; and enables simple, cluster-wide administration. FlashSoft software is certified VMware Ready™, the highest level of VMware certification, assuring the highest level of validation and end user confidence.


  • Ease of deployment into existing server and storage environments, leveraging infrastructure already in place without requiring replacement of existing assets.
  • VMware Ready™ certification and VMware HCL compliance, assuring the solution is a fully-supported, enterprise-class offering.
  • Automatic, dynamic allocation (and re-allocation) of flash-based acceleration across all host nodes, virtual machines and virtual disks as resource requirements change and new resources (both physical and virtual) are deployed and provisioned.
  • Near real time mobility and availability of the VMs’ flash-based cache through VMWare vSphere® vMotion®, DRS, HA and other vSphere cluster functions. 
  • Optimal efficiency in the utilization of flash, for the most cost-effective use of flash memory. 
  • Software-defined management of the acceleration capability, through the vSphere APIs for IO Filtering (VAIO) and vSphere Storage Policy Based Management (SPBM).

High Scalability

Offered in capacities of 12.8TB or 25.6TB, the Flash Virtualization System scales to support acceleration of large numbers of virtual disks per host without increasing CPU or memory requirements. The solution may be deployed singly or in combination in clusters of any size - up to the vSphere 6 maximum of 64 hosts.

Dynamic Cache Allocation

The Flash Virtualization System automatically ensures optimal cache usage per virtual disk, assigning cache space dynamically as new virtual disks are accelerated on the host.

Storage System Enhancement

The majority of IO requests are fulfilled by the flash server rather than primary storage, alleviating much of the burden from—and extending the usable life of— existing storage systems.

Live Cache Assignment

Assign & re-assign caching to virtual disks without VM or host restart. 

VMware vCenter™ Web Client

A standard plug-in to vCenter supports management of FlashSoft software functions directly through the vCenter Web GUI.

Increase Application Performance

Delivering intelligent flash-powered application acceleration, read IOPS increased nearly 55 times compared to baseline performance levels on primary storage when 20 virtual machines were tested using a 100% random read performance benchmark1.

Decrease I/O Latency & Increase VM Density

Offering increased productivity and utilization per host server, average read latency was reduced nearly eight times while allowing 10 times more VMs to be operated. Response time improved with 10x more VMs!2.

System Requirements

Host Server

  • VMware vSphere 6.0 Update 2 or later
  • 64-bit x86 processor 2 or more cores

Flash Server

  • SanDisk ION Accelerator software v2.5 via Fibre Channel 
  • Fusion ioMemory™ SX350 PCIe application accelerator

Primary Storage

  • vSphere 6 compatible datastores including VMFS and NFS


1 Based on internal testing. Results produced using fio.exe benchmark program. System under test: Dell R730xd server with MD3820f storage array. Performance numbers are read IO per second (IOPS). Complete test report available.

2 Based on internal testing. Results produced using fio.exe benchmark program. System under test: Dell R730xd server with MD3820f storage array. Performance numbers are microseconds of average read latency. Complete test report available.


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