IBM To Buy Texas Memory Systems.....Plus Lots More [Mostly Solid-State Storage] News

I mentioned in my the-announcement-olympics-hp-skyera-and-violinsymantec-start-things-well/index.html" target="_blank">last blog that we were entering a period that I have dubbed the storage vendor Olympics. And the couple of days since that blog have brought a range of new news. I don’t think many people in the storage world would disagree with the idea that the two ‘megatrends’ in the business over the next few years (and arguably, now) are the move to increased usage of silicon storage (flash, solid- state storage, call it what you will) and – often hand-in-hand with that move – an increasing reliance on software for storage management and orchestration. Now, not for one moment am I suggesting that the walls of HDDs and modular storage systems are tumbling any time really soon….but the writing is more clearly on the wall every day.

The activity of the last few days just adds proof to that….it feels as if everything is about solid-state. The biggest news of the week came today with the announcement that IBM has agreed to terms to buy the venerable Texas Memory Systems. Quite honestly, they seem made for each other – and not just because they have nearly a century of storage longevity between them (60 years for IBM and 34 for TMS)! It’s because each needs the other: if – as mentioned – we are moving to silicon and software then you’d better have both in good measure to succeed. TMS has good hardware, no doubt, but zero infrastructure ability (or sales and marketing weight, come to that); IBM has all the software and management tools you could want (and some pretty decent sales and marketing heft come to that!) but a gap in its hardware portfolio. Bingo. Happy, optimistic people in Somers... and happy, relieved people in Houston (although I’m fascinated to see which regional wardrobe becomes the corporate standard after the deal closes!)

While this news was the major item of the week (heck there’s one day left, maybe Oracle will buy HP just to mess with my assertion), there was plenty else on the flash-beat.

  • Early in the week (covered in my last blog) we had HP's VSA (OK, not solid-state but still interesting), as well as Skyera's coming out and Violin/Symantec changing their status to "in a relationship."
  • On Wednesday Pure Storage announced an over-subscribed D Series, which injects $40m to its coffers, and is largely to enable more focus on international expansion.
  • On the same day SanDisk’s FlashSoft unit (server based caching) added more performance, more VM support, and the ability to run transparently in the hypervisor.
  • Also that day…in NetApp’s overall-pretty-good results we read that it has now shipped over 17PB of FlashCache, which is to be supported by its already-announced Fusion-io relationship;
  • And staying in the server caching world (although the non-vendor-specific version), Thursday also had start-up VeloBit adding VMware and Citrix to its supported line-up.
  • Thursday also saw a decent 'momentum release from Virsto, the storage hypervisor start-up - which I include here almost because it's not solid-state (although, since it IS software I guess it still fits the overall theme!?)

And there's more to come - I'll try to provide round-ups and some insight as we head into the meat of these 'Vendor Games' with the arrival in our social calendars of Flash Memory Summit and then VMWorld in the next two weeks. I realize I’ve managed a blog without a truly horrendous pun, but now you can see ever more why vendors and users alike are so spun up about solid-state….

Topics: Storage IT Infrastructure