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.


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.


GridIron CTO Talks About PCIe Flash

March 22, 2012

GridIron Systems is making news this week about its new SAN-attached data accelerator called the TURBOCHARGER (can somebody please alert the marketing department this product name is reserved for automobiles engines?).

Anyway, the CTO is Som Sikdar — no introductions needed, right?  Legend!  Here are his views on flash:

http://bigdatafasttracked.wordpress.com/2012/03/17/pcipart1/

GridIron Systems


SSD Update: this is the one session you MUST ATTEND at Percona MySQL in April

March 20, 2012

MySQL and SSD: usage and tuning

In this talk, Vadim Tkachenko (Percona CTO) will cover Solid State Drives internals and how they affect database performance.
IO level benchmarks for SATA (Intel 320 SSD) and PCI-e (FusionIO, Virident) cards
to show absolute performance and give an idea on performance per $.
And finally how you can use MySQL and Percona Server with SSD,
what tuning parameters are most important and what performance may expect in real
production usage.

Track:

Utilizing Hardware

Experience level:
 Beginner
REGISTER HERE:  http://www.percona.com/live/mysql-conference-2012/
Note from Steve:  This show is a MUST for anyone thinking about solid state memory extensions or SSDs.  Just take a look at the speakers, sponsors, and exhibitors!
Home

Virident Breaks Silence with Major *yawn* Announcement

February 8, 2012

After nearly 3 months of silence, Virident released news based on evaluations from ESG.  But you won’t find this on their website — so very strange. Also, it’s never explicit stated but I believe these results are sponsored.  Would love to see Finisar / Medusa independent testing wouldn’t you?

Here is the notice from Marketwire:  http://www.marketwatch.com/story/virident-and-nec-set-record-oracle-database-performance-of-12-million-iops-2012-02-08

Here is the reaction from The Register:  http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/02/08/virident_nec_oracle/

and here is the Virident-sponsored ESG whitepaper:  http://www.enterprisestrategygroup.com/2012/01/virident-flashmax/


This is why Fusion-io snapped at the chance to grab Woody Hutsell from TMS…

February 5, 2012

and why everyone else is trying to catch up…

Woody’s recent blog repost on the FIO website is stunning and tells the growth story in the VM world.  There is nothing like this anywhere else technology-wise.  EMC’s lightning has nothing on Fusion-io.

See it here:  http://www.fusionio.com/blog/why-server-side-caching-rocks/


Open Letter to Kevin Hunt re FIO Analysis

January 25, 2012

Kevin,

Your recent comments regarding FIO are off the mark, in my opinion.  The competition in the enterprise is, so far, non-existent; ask anyone at the end-users or even at the mftrs.  Can you find EVEN ONE data center to stand up and say we have a 2nd source w/ Virident?  OCZ?  TMS?  Or you can go direct to LSI, OCZ, Virident:  where has anyone developed even one relationship (OEM or end-user) or sold even one device to a major data center?

You keep saying there is pressure on FIO — but where is it coming from?  I think it comes from Violin, Exadata, etc — perhaps Solidfire, Nimbus.  But even Kaminario and Schooner use FIO inside  — so the appliance v. PCIe argument is less meaningful.

I think FIO shot itself in the foot this qtr — as a young company it really does not know how to manage expectations yet.  More importantly, the market is blue ocean and highly unpredictable.  But in the meantime, they are growing (incontrovertibly) to $100m per qtr.

I think you will agree that they are looking at something north of $350m for the FY.

And, at the same time, they are sucking the oxygen out of everyone else’s fire.  ioTurbine and ACM are truly disruptive — it takes time to get the message out, show the value, funnel the sales efforts.

The margins will come back — we both know this — and when they do, FIO is $40 and beyond.  They really ARE the next VM, DDUP, Riverbed — you name it.

I am a former employe and long FIO.


What’s going on at Virident?

January 18, 2012

Virident Repost of 3-year old Gartner Report?

Last night Virident posted a tweet with a 3-year old Gartner report about the dangers of going sole source.  Obviously they believe that Fusion-io is the “sole source” of danger.  I think Virident fails to realize that OCZ/Marvell has snuck up on them and perhaps overtaken them — at least on the sales/marketing front.

Once thought of as the natural competition to Fusion-io, Virident took down a really nice C round of financing in November 2011 but has not been heard of since except for a few job postings and the occasional tweet.

The message “We’re better than Fusion-io” seems to be what Virident is all about these days.


First it was John Cagle…then Woody Hutsell…now Shane Robison

January 12, 2012

I was just thinking about all the little camp fires that are now burning around Fusion-io.  Whether it’s the obvious competition from Virident or OCZ/Marvell or STEC or the less obvious and longer sales cycles of appliance vendors like Violin Memory or even attempts to update legacy storage with flash from EMC or NetApp.

And then I was looking at TOPSY results for Fusion-io.  If you are not aware of TOPSY go there right now — a very cool tweet search engine.  And I noticed a very long list of career opens at Fusion-io:  see the sample below.

Anyway, about those campfires — they are having the oxygen sucked out of them by some very clever folks at Fusion-io who are hiring just about everyone and anyone in the flash space.

Moral of the Story:  if you want to be relevant in flash — you need to be recruited into Fusion-io (at least for now).

Department Position Title City State
Sales Account Executive – Atlanta Atlanta GA
Sales – APAC Account Executive – Beijing Beijing
Reliability/Tools NVM Technologist Boulder CO
Reliability/Tools HA Applications Engineer Boulder CO
Sales OEM Systems Engineer Raleigh NC
Sales Account Executive – Carolinas Raleigh NC
Sales OEM Systems Engineer Round Rock TX
Sales Renewal Manager Salt Lake City UT
Software Engineering Software Engineer Salt Lake City UT
Software Engineering Test Automation Engineer Salt Lake City UT
Hardware Engineering Senior Software Engineer Salt Lake City UT
Reliability/Tools Solid State Storage Tech Salt Lake City UT
Reliability/Tools Engineering Technician Salt Lake City UT
Finance Accounting Manager Salt Lake City UT
Finance Accounts Receivable Manager Salt Lake City UT
HR Recruiting Business Partner Salt Lake City UT
Software Engineering Student Intern Salt Lake City, UT or Boulder, CO
Software Engineering Engineering Program Manager Salt Lake City, UT or Boulder, CO
Software Engineering Applications Team Manager Salt Lake City, UT or San Jose, CA
Software Engineering Senior Software Engineer Salt Lake City, UT or San Jose, CA
Reliability/Tools Software Engineer Lead Salt Lake City, UT or San Jose, CA
Operations Manufacturing Engineer Salt Lake City, UT or San Jose, CA
Software Engineering Senior Build Engineer Salt Lake City, UT; San Jose, CA; Boulder, CO
Software Engineering Software Engineer Salt Lake City, UT; San Jose, CA; Boulder, CO
Software Engineering Software Engineer Salt Lake City, UT; San Jose, CA; Boulder, CO
Software Engineering Software Engineer Salt Lake City, UT; San Jose, CA; Boulder, CO
Software Engineering Software Engineer Salt Lake City, UT; San Jose, CA; Boulder, CO
Software Engineering Software Engineer Salt Lake City, UT; San Jose, CA; Boulder, CO
Software Engineering Software Engineer Salt Lake City, UT; San Jose, CA; Boulder, CO
Hardware Engineering Software Engineer Salt Lake City, UT; San Jose, CA; Boulder, CO
Reliability/Tools Senior Software Engineer Salt Lake City, UT; San Jose, CA; Boulder, CO
Sales Systems Engineer Manager, West San Jose CA
Sales OEM Systems Engineer San Jose CA
Software Engineering Technical Manager of Platform Team San Jose CA
Software Engineering Senior Software Engineer San Jose CA
Software Engineering SAN Protocols and Windows Engineer San Jose CA
Software Engineering Senior SQA Engineer San Jose CA
Software Engineering Performance Engineer San Jose CA
Software Engineering SQA Engineer San Jose CA
Software Engineering SQA Engineer San Jose CA
Software Engineering Virtualization Engineer San Jose CA
Finance Sales Commissions Manager San Jose CA
Finance Finance Manager San Jose CA
Virtualization Solutions Senior Software Engineer San Jose CA
Virtualization Solutions Kernel Engineer San Jose CA
Virtualization Solutions QA Lead San Jose CA
Virtualization Solutions Systems Software Engineer San Jose CA
Virtualization Solutions Kernel Engineer San Jose CA
Virtualization Solutions Senior Software Engineer San Jose CA
Sales – APAC Sales Engineer – Shanghai Shanghai
Sales – APAC Account Executive – South China South China
Sales Account Executive – FED Civilian Washington DC DC

Random Post from Tom’s Hardware: ROI/TCO for PCIe Flash

January 11, 2012

 

 

 

CaedenV 01/11/2012 3:15 PM

If they manage to get 12TB on a single board, running at a fraction of the power of a salvo of 15K SAS drives then they could charge whatever they want to, that is just mind-blowingly amazing!
It would take 40 300GB 10K or 15K drives to reach 12TB of data. Assuming a throughput of 150MB/s/drive that would be 6GB/s of sequential read/write performance, which will beat this card (assuming it is a PCIe2 8x slot which caps out at 4GB/s throughput). For IOPS, this card (and even the R4 cards) would easily beat 40 SAS drives at 200IOPS each (for a total of 8,000IOPS vs the R4’s 410,000 IOPS, and I am sure the R5 is faster). If this is a PCIe3 card with 8GB/s of bandwidth available then it will be even faster still! Plus when you figure that this single magical card could replace 40 physical HDDs… that’s a lot of power, and a ton of space saved!
Now for price, 40 15K 300GB drives can be found on newegg for ~$450ea (I am assuming also this price is also inflated due to the floods just like the consumer drives are), totaling $18,000. The R4 3.2TB drive starts at $20,000, which means a 12TB drive would be ~$50-60,000, which is 3x the price of the SAS solution, and a rough equivilant in performance in sequential throughput. For IOPS however (again using the R4 specs as we do not know what the R5 is yet, except that it will be better) you get .4IOPS/$ with the SAS setup, and 6.8IOPS/$ with the R5 for the same amount of storage space, but a small fraction of power usage, and even smaller fraction of physical space used. I think that says it all for the pro markets, if this is anywhere near $60,000 for 12TB (or even north of $100,000) it would be more than worth the cost compared to the performance gained. Simply amazing!

CaedenV 01/11/2012 3:20 PM

Just realized, I didnt even take into consideration the lessened noise and cooling factor for a setup like this! Data center cooling is insane, and 15K drives are not exactly quiet, especially when you have 40 of them lol. Imagine cooling a data center with a simple/normal AC instead of moving to the artic circle like FB did to help cut their cooling bill.