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

August 2, 2013



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.


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:



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

FIO Financial Roadshows Update: Four Major Conferences in San Francisco

February 1, 2012

Credit Suisse Solid State Storage Conference
San Francisco, California
Wednesday, February 8, 2012, 2:15 p.m. (PT)
David A. Flynn, CEO, and Dennis P. Wolf, CFO

Barclays Big Data Conference
San Francisco, California
Monday, February 13, 2012, 4:30 p.m. (PT)
David A. Flynn, CEO, and Dennis P. Wolf, CFO

Goldman Sachs Technology & Internet 2012 Conference
San Francisco, California
Tuesday, February 14, 2012, 10:20 a.m. (PT)
David A. Flynn, CEO, and Dennis P. Wolf, CFO

Morgan Stanley 2012 Technology, Media & Telecom Conference
San Francisco, California
Tuesday, February 28, 2012, 4:05 p.m. (PT)
David A. Flynn, CEO, and Dennis P. Wolf, CFO

When Violin-Memory’s CEO Don Basile Speaks Out, People Listen…

January 31, 2012

The solid-state memory storage sector often gets a bad rap on pricing, Basile said.

“The mid-tier and below market is quite confused right now [about whether to move to pure SSD storage],” he said. “We’re finding a bifurcation in the market. We’re able to deal with large banks, Internet properties and government buyers very easily. They’re the ones who’ve helped shape our product line over the last two-plus years. That’s why we’re seeing traction with their platforms, and why we grew to $100 million four years faster than 3PAR, five years faster than Isilon, and two years faster than Data Domain.”

(repost:  http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Data-Storage/Violin-Memory-Pushing-Flash-Arrays-into-Tier-1-Storage-769120/)

Violin-Memory Ready to IPO

January 29, 2012

Over the weekend, Violin-Memory posted a job on LinkedIn for an SEC Compliance Manager:


Not to mention a ton of new job openings here and in Europe:


  • Linux Systems Administrator

    Tagged as: Engineering Services

    Violin Memory Engineering Systems team member required to participate in providing the engineering and support resources needed to drive an evolving, fast-paced engineering team in a startup environment.

  • SEC and Compliance Manager

    Tagged as: Finance

    This position will be responsible for managing all SEC reporting and managing the Company’s SOX compliance program.

  • ASIC Design Engineer

    Tagged as: Hardware

    Develop microarchitecture and RTL for high performance PCIe based RAID controller and flash controller. Drive synthesis, formal verification and timing closure (STA) of Storage controller ASIC. Candidate must be highly motivated, and well organized.

  • Verification Engineer

    Tagged as: Hardware

    Looking for a talented, motivated technical leader for Design Verification to design a verification environment for a set of storage devices, and have a big outcome on the acceptance of flash memory in large enterprises.

  • Release & Change Management Engineer

    Tagged as: Platform Engineering

    Administers and develops the source code control system for all mainframe and open server environments. Creates, tests and implements automated software code build and deployment scripts for mainframe and open server applications.

  • Product Marketing Manager

    Tagged as: Product Marketing

    The candidate will lead development of world class marketing materials that drive and support Violin’s leadership of the Flash Memory Array field in the marketplace. The candidate will develop/create a range of marketing materials and initiatives.

  • Channel Managers (Europe)

    Tagged as: Sales/Business Development

    Proven record of building an international channels team in a high growth competitive environment.

  • Sales Engineers

    Tagged as: Sales/Business Development

    The primary technical resource for the AM for both pre and post sales activities. SE’s will actively drive and managing the tech evaluation stage of the sales process via PoC

  • Sales Executives

    Tagged as: Sales/Business Development

    Proven track record of selling and partnering in the data center environment required.

  • Sales Executives – UK, France, Germany and Scandinavia

    Tagged as: Sales/Business Development

    Proven track record of selling and partnering in the data center environment required. Country, region and language experience required.

  • Solutions Architect

    Tagged as: Sales/Business Development

    A Solution Architect is a strong technical voice focused on key partner and customer relationships. A Solution Architect will work with customers and partners to design solutions that will create customer success.

  • System Engineers – UK, France, Germany & Scandinavia

    Tagged as: Sales/Business Development

    Experience in both pre and post sales of enterprise Storage & Computing solutions. High speed networking knowledge required – FC & 10Gb technologies. Hands on POC support skills a must. Country, region and language experience required.

  • Data Management Engineer

    Tagged as: Software

    Seeking experienced software developers to lead development of data mobility (Replication, Snapshots etc.) and reduction (Compression, De-dupe etc.) software features for a high performance storage array.

  • Device Driver Software Engineer

    Tagged as: Software

    Seeking experienced high performance storage driver developer for existing drivers, adding/extending features and supporting new hardware. Candidate will work with OEM partners in porting drivers to custom environments.

  • Infiniband Device Driver Engineer

    Tagged as: Software

    Seeking experienced Infiniband driver developer to lead development of an innovative high performance storage product. Requires proven experience with the IB protocol stack from RDMA and the verbs layer upward, including iSER and SRP.

  • Platform Integration Software Engineer

    Tagged as: Software

    Experienced software developer(s) to join Platform Integration Team. The engineer should have 5+ years experience software development, preferably in one or more of the following areas: embedded OS, networked storage or high availability systems.

  • Senior Web Interface Engineer (Front End Development)

    Tagged as: Software

    You will be responsible building the web-based front end interface for a new class of flash-based infrastructure product at Violin Memory

  • Storage Appliance Software Engineer

    Tagged as: Software

    Seeking embedded software developers with experience implementing features for storage appliances.

  • Systems Management Software Engineer

    Tagged as: Software

    Seeking experienced systems management developer with experience in appliance or embedded products.

  • Windows Storage Device Driver Engineer

    Tagged as: Software

    Seeking experienced Windows storage driver developer for existing drivers and new driver development, adding/extending features and supporting new hardware.

  • Technical Support Engineers

    Tagged as: Support

    The Technical Support Engineer provides phone, email and remote technical support and is responsible for assisting customers and field personnel with installation, configuration and troubleshooting our direct and SAN attached FLASH storage products.