Tuesday, June 17, 2014

drag2share: SanDisk buying Fusion.io highlights importance of software-defined storage

source: http://gigaom.com/2014/06/16/sandisk-buying-fusion-io-highlights-importance-of-software-defined-storage/

Jun 16, 2014

Today's news of flash-memory giant SanDisk buying out Fusion.io in an all-cash transaction valued at $1.1 billion wasn't entirely all that unexpected. Today's flash storage market is in a state of flux with a flood of acquisitions and offerings taking place as big storage players like SanDisk and Western Digital are trying to boost their storage expertise with companies that can bring software expertise to the table.

In late May, storage provider Seagate Technology purchased Avago's flash businesses for $450 million. Last September, Western Digital swallowed server-side flash storage company Virident for $683 million, which came only three months after the hard-drive maker spent $340 million to purchase solid-state drive company sTec. EMC has even gotten into the flash storage battleground with its updated VNX hybrid storage array that it rolled out last September.

With the advent of cloud computing, companies don't want to have spend their time manually determining which data should be partitioned to RAM, flash or even a spinning disk; they want software to figure this out and automate the task.

While Fusion.io's recent management issues certainly don't offer a sense that the company was operating on steady ground, the fact that SanDisk sought it out highlights the ever-important need for software to be integrated with hardware in order to improve efficiency.

Both Western Digital and Sandisk have specialized in making physical boxes, but they haven't focussed on software, which is Cottonwood Heights, Utah-based Fusion.io's specialty.