Flash Memory Summit: August 13-15 Santa Clara Convention Center

August 2, 2013

796316249


HGST to Acquire sTec: FULL PR TEXT HERE

June 26, 2013

HGST to Deepen SSD Capabilities and Expertise with sTec IP and Engineering Talent 

SAN JOSE and SANTA ANA, Calif., June 24, 2013 – Western Digital® Corporation (NASDAQ: WDC) and sTec, Inc. (NASDAQ: STEC) announced today that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which sTec, Inc., an early innovator in enterprise solid-state drives (SSDs), will be acquired by HGST, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Western Digital. sTec will be acquired for approximately $340 million in cash, which equates to $6.85 per share. This represents approximately $207 million in enterprise value, net of sTec’s cash as of March 31, 2013.

The pending acquisition augments HGST’s existing solid-state storage capabilities, accelerating its ability to expand its participation in the rapidly growing area of enterprise SSDs. HGST remains committed to its highly successful joint development program with Intel® Corp. and will continue to deliver current and future SAS-based SSD products with Intel.

sTec has strong engineering talent and intellectual property that will complement HGST technical expertise and capabilities. HGST will continue to support existing sTec® products and collaborate with its customers to understand their future requirements.

“Solid state storage in the enterprise will play an increasingly strategic role in the future of Western Digital,” said Steve Milligan, president and chief executive officer, Western Digital Corporation. “This acquisition is one more building block in our strategy to capitalize on the dramatic changes within the storage industry by investing in SSDs and other high-growth storage products.”

“This acquisition demonstrates HGST’s ongoing commitment to the rapidly growing enterprise SSD segment, where we already have a successful product line,” said Mike Cordano, president, HGST. “We are excited to welcome such a talented team of professionals to HGST, where their inventive spirit will be embraced and encouraged.”

“At this key point in the evolution of the storage industry, sTec is excited to consummate this transaction. It will be an important next step in proliferating many of the innovative products and technologies that sTec has been known for throughout its 23-year history and provides immediate value for our shareholders and a strong future for our employees and customers,” said Mark Moshayedi, president and chief executive officer, sTec. “This merger will enable our world-class engineering team and IP to continue to make a significant contribution to the high-performance enterprise SSD space that has long been sTec’s focus.”

The board of directors of sTec, on the unanimous recommendation of a special committee of independent directors of the board, has unanimously approved the merger agreement and has resolved to recommend that sTec shareholders approve the transaction at a sTec shareholders meeting to be held to approve the merger agreement and the merger. The directors and executive officers of sTec have entered into separate voting agreements under which they have agreed, subject to certain exceptions, to vote their respective shares in favor of the proposed transaction.

Wells Fargo Securities, LLC has acted as the financial advisor to Western Digital and BofA Merrill Lynch has acted as the financial advisor to sTec in connection with this transaction.

Closing of the acquisition, which is subject to customary conditions, is expected to occur in the third or fourth calendar quarter of 2013.


With Help From Fusion-io, Facebook’s Data Centers Are Going All Flash

January 16, 2013

With Help From Fusion-io, Facebook’s Data Centers Are Going All Flash

Today, Fusion announced that its latest product, Fusion ioScale, which has been available to existing customers like Facebook for a while, is now generally available to new customers as well. The implications for data centers aren’t trivial. I talked with CEO David Flynn about this last week and he summed it up to me simply: Data centers are going all flash. Hard drives are on their way out. Get used to it.

flash_madness


Barclays Believes In Violin Memory

February 20, 2012

Violin Memory – All Flash Memory Arrays Seeing Increased Interest

Violin Memory is a privately held emerging player in storage, offering all SSD Flash storage arrays for primary data. Violin’s storage arrays connect to servers and provide significantly improved performance over traditional HDD/SSD hybrid storage arrays. The company’s solutions are used in environments that require high power and capacity with little to no latency. According to Violin, its SSD arrays can help accelerate the performance of applications in database environments (for reporting and transaction acceleration), Web servers, scientific computing (HPC), and Tier 0 storage. In June of 2010, Violin acquired Gear6, a company focused on Memcaching, a distributed memory caching system for web and cloud environments, which helps increase utilization among server and storage assets. The company has key strategic relationships with Toshiba (a supplier of its NAND Flash) and Juniper, who have each made significant investments in the company over the past several years.

Violin’s go-to-market strategy consists of its direct sales force, key VARs, and co-branded joint-selling agreements with HP (to compete against Exadata) and IBM to deploy IBM’s GPFS file system in clustered, scale-out environments. Violin’s solution is seeing significant interest in databases running Oracle, DB2 and SQL. Violin has previously stated that it expects to exit its current fiscal year (ending in January 2012) with $100mm in trailing revenue, with a go forward run-rate of $40 million-$50 million per quarter. We believe the company is looking to fill out its solution set with feature-rich software and could look to acquire new point products or develop these capabilities internally. Violin’s technology already includes data management tools but the company seems to be looking at adding increased features and functionality over time. We believe that both all-flash memory arrays and flash-based PCIe-based server storage represent the next wave of technologies that are altering the landscape of the storage industry. We believe that customers can find compelling use cases for these solutions and that Violin Memory (as well as companies such as Fusion-io) will continue to gain share within this growing market.

(Copyrighted Material from Barclays Capital Equity Research)


The Bleak Future of NAND Flash Memory?

February 17, 2012

Newly published research purports to claim that as NAND flash dies get smaller (as they inevitably will) there is a predictable drop in reliability and an increase in latency to the point of a diminishing return that “makes the future of SSDs couldy.”

According to one source:  the researchers chose 45 chips from 6 manufacturers.  They did not use specialized NAND flash controllers as are used by SSD vendors such as Intel, OCZ or Fusion-io. Instead their results were baseline and considered “optimistic” because they didn’t include latency added through error correction or garbage collection algorithms.

Really?  No controller & no error correction & no garbage collection?  That’s like putting a racing car on the track and forgetting the tires — results will be poor.  Here is the entire paper:

http://cseweb.ucsd.edu/users/swanson/papers/FAST2012BleakFlash.pdf

 


Zebi Storage Array Features De-Duplication, Compression, and Thin Provisioning

February 16, 2012

The latest entrant in the flash appliance war is the Zebi Storage Array from Tegile.  The marketing engine at Tegile is on steroids — according to their website, we can expect the following:

5X the Performance

Through the deep integration of SSD and caching technologies, Tegile systems deliver five times the performance of legacy arrays. These performance gains are recognized by applications even when their data ultimately lands on hard disk drives. High IOPS and low latency for everyone.

Up to 75% Less Capacity

In-line compression and de-duplication are used on SSD and hard disk drive media throughout the array. This allows customers to significantly reduce their acquisition and operational cost of storage. All application data is reduced – not just secondary applications, and not in a post-process manner.

NAS and SAN From the Same Array

Enjoy the flexibility of choice in how your storage is connected to your servers. Fibre Channel and iSCSI block protocols are supported, while both NFS and CIFS file protocols are available for NAS environments. No more silos of storage in your data center.

Built in Business Continuity

Integrated snapshot and remote replication functionality shrink backup windows down to next to nothing and eliminates the need for backup software. Our thin replication feature only transmits changed data to reduce the burden on the WAN as well, saving even more.

Storage Simplified

Tegile’s arrays are dramatically easier to manage than legacy systems. Application optimized templates accelerate the provisioning process and implement best practices in a single mouse click. Backup and replication are built in – no complex back-end software to manage. Best yet – all of our software is included in a single license.

and the best part of all is the price, of course.  Learn more here:  http://www.tegile.com/products/zebi-storage-arrays/

 


FIO UPDATE: ioDrive2 Trouble?

February 6, 2012

from Seeking Alpha’s Spencer Knight:

“Fusion is working out the kinks for the ioDrive 2; which is turning out to be a more difficult task than expected.”

This is the first I have heard anything about challenges getting the ioDrive2 into production — frankly, there was no attribution for the comment so I am really wondering if it’s accurate.

Here is the post:  http://seekingalpha.com/article/344671-why-you-should-sell-fusion-io-buy-emc-and-commvault#comments_header