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STEC goes all the way with EVA

HP picks STEC SSDs

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Another tier one storage vendor has publicly pitched its tent in STEC's backyard - HP EVA arrays will use STEC solid state storage.

HP has been understood to be a STEC customer for some time. Now it is out in the open and we know that STEC's Zeus IOPS SSD is the product HP will use.

It's a case of the now classic array SSD use to provide a very fast tier of storage replacing Fibre Channel drives, which may be short-stroked for greater data access speed, and so providing a very much higher IOPS rate as well as lower latency and lower power consumption.

Bob Wilson, Storage Platforms Group VP at HP, sang from this hymn sheet, saying: "Combining the HP EVA with STEC’s SSD delivers improved input/output and lower latency, allowing existing storage platforms to handle increased transaction volumes faster and more profitability."

The roster of storage suppliers known to be using STEC includes Compellent, EMC (Symmetrix, Clariion), Fujitsu (Eternus), HDS (USP), HP, IBM (DS8000 and servers), and Sun (servers). Dell EqualLogic and Pillar are using Intel flash. Hitachi GST is developing an SSD with Intel, and HDS has said it will support that.

3PAR has said it will support SSDs in its storage products, but no supplier has been revealed. NetApp has also said, when announcing the FAS 3160 that it will support SSDs in the fullness of time without naming a supplier.

With STEC's rack record it wouldn't be too surprising if both 3PAR and NetApp picked its Zeus-IOPS product, giving STEC a clean sweep of enterprise storage array suppliers. If STEC can convert its first mover advantages into long-term supply relationships then it looks to be sitting pretty - and ready to give wannabee enterprise array SSD suppliers, which include Hitachi GST, Intel, Seagate and Western Digital, a hard time.

That leaves smaller enterprise and SMB arrays, such as HDS' AMS range, IBM's DS6000 and below, Infortrend, and Sun's 7000 and 6000 lines, and behind the scenes suppliers Dot Hill, LSI and Xyratex, still open to SSD design wins.

HP is also using Fusion-io PCI-e-connected flash technology in its servers.

For those of an investment bent, STEC shares had a low point earlier this year on February 3 of $3.87. They are now trading at $16.73, giving the company a market capitalisation of $810m. ®

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