OK, then, based on that and some more reading, I believe the answer to my question, "what is the relationship between Ramback and Violin" is this: Ramback couples a nonpersistent block device (a device that doesn't retain its memory across an orderly shutdown) with persistent storage so as to create a block device with the speed of RAM and the persistence of disk. The violin box is one source of a nonpersistent block device, and the one that inspired Ramback. The box uses DRAM for storage and connects to the application server via PCI express and comes with a driver for Linux to make a Linux block device out of it. Ramback, running on the application server, uses that block device.
That means my earlier comments comparing use of Violin with use of Ramback are nonsense; they aren't alternatives because one provides persistent storage and the other doesn't. And my comparison of using Ramback to adding memory to the regular pool is similarly nonsense because Ramback can use DRAM that isn't in the application server (e.g. the Violin box).
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