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

August 2, 2013

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See You At Flash Memory Summit

August 2, 2013

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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.

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FIO and OCZ got hammered last week…

July 15, 2012

OCZ got hammered after the earnings call so I went ahead added a boatload…earnings for FIO in 30 days.  One analyst predicts $95m for the quarter with increased margins above 54%*.  That equates to FY12 of $347.7m in revenue.  I believe the FY12 number will be closer to $400m and the margin will be slightly less — here is the YTD chart for FIO compared to OCZ.

FIO/OCZ YTD CHART

One expert I spoke with said the FIO/Princeton announcement about seamless memory w/ HSM applied is more marketing spin than technology innovation.  But my feeling is the horse is out of the barn on this announcement which was lead by Princeton University.  Net Net:  Rick White still owns the flash mindspace — no one even comes close.

In other not random news:

  • A buddy of mine is now at CORAID — he’s one of the most senior and respected pre-sales engineers in the storage space and his Rolodex is without peer.  Carl Wright is making waves over there.
  • Google just picked up some really ugly space on the western side of 101 and Informedika, my firm, got kicked out of our month-to-month lease recently — we were in the no-man’s-land east of 101 in that little corner tucked in between Moffett and NetApp.
  • Traffic on both the 101 & 280 are misery this summer.
  • Some friends  just paid $1000 sq/ft for a condo in SOMA on the east side of 3rd street.

Conclusion:  Silicon Valley (and the Bay Area in general)  Is Back

*Courtesy of Andrew Nowinski.  Copyright 2012 Piper Jaffray. All rights reserved.


Woz had this to say about my colleague John Walker

June 25, 2012

John was the best operations person I ever knew or imagined. He had tight control over his focus no matter how tough the job. When things get busy, John remains even and calm and in control. He is the sort of person I would want to work with or for. He had high integrity and would never distort the truth or significance of his work. As an aside, he accomplished amazing things that were critical to Fusion-io’s success.” June 15, 2012

Steve WozniakChief Scientist, Fusion-io
worked with John W. at Fusion-io


Motley Fool: Is Fusion-io the Perfect Stock? (spoiler alert: No — there’s OCZ among others)

February 22, 2012

…Fusion-io’s products are designed more for the high end, with a massive 10-terabyte drive that is several orders of magnitude faster to access than standard drives. For now, that gives Fusion-io a huge competitive edge over Western Digital and Seagate (Nasdaq: STX  ) — at least for the highest-end applications. The company counts Facebook as its biggest customer.

But competition will be fierce going forward. Western Digital and Seagate have gotten into solid-state drives and have seen some promise, and peer OCZ Technology (Nasdaq: OCZ  ) saw a similarly impressive jump in revenue in its most recent quarter. EMC (NYSE: EMC  ) has also recently announced its new VFCache technology, using flash chips to accelerate performance.

(full post here:  http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2012/02/22/is-fusion-io-the-perfect-stock.aspx)