Feeds

Samsung buys into Fusion-io

Some vertical integration going on

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Fusion-io has taken a cash investment from NAND chip leader Samsung, strengthening an existing chip supply relationship.

Fusion-io makes the PCIe-connnected ioDrive, a NAND solid state storage module that fits inside a server and can be used as a solid state drive (SSD) to store data for a long time, or as a cache to store transient, hot data. It has also been developing the ioSAN, a networked SSD storage device of which little has been heard recently.

Samsung is the largest supplier of NAND chips with STEC, for example, using its flash chips in its zeusIOPS solid state drive. STEC supplies SSDs as replacements for hard drives and is expanding into the development of pure SSD storage devices, witness its recent deal with IBM to suply SSD product for the new SAN Volume Controller (SVC).

This represented a reverse for Fusion-io which had pioneered the concept jointly with IBM in the Quicksilver project, achieving one million IOPS from an ioDrive-equipped SVC.

On April 8 this year Fusion-io announced a new CEO, David Bradford, and a $50m B-round of investment. That investment was going to be used to "develop the next generation of Fusion-io technologies that will build on its... (current ioDrive) server-attached storage products to supply server-deployed, network-attached solid-state storage. The first of these products, releasing this summer, is the ioSAN. The ioSAN is a PCI Express-based product that extends the raw power of Fusion-io’s solid-state technology across the network."

Now we have an investment of an undisclosed amount by Samsung, a quasi C-round just six months after the $50m B-round. It would appear that Fusion-io has not been earning enough revenue to fund its development needs. The company says that quarter-over-quarter sales for its products have nearly doubled since the company announced its ioDrive product in late 2007, and MySpace has been announced as a customer. This growth rate might not be high enough.

The Samsung cash "will drive further solid-state innovation at Fusion-io". That's pretty vague. We're also told that Samsung and STEC "have also agreed to jointly evaluate technology for new SSD applications." That could be well-meaning marketing guff or it could refer to some new form of NAND or other non-volatile memory technology, 4-bit multi-level cell flash say, or Phase-change memory. Samsung has also almost certainly ensured Fusion-io will use its chips from now on.

If Fusion-io needs cash for further development and it went to Samsung rather than to its current investors this suggests that it's a serious amount, in the tens of millions, and that Samsung was a better source of the finance that the existing investors for whatever reason.

What Samsung customer STEC will think about Samsung investing in a competitor isn't known, but perhaps STEC might look more favourably at alternative NAND chips from now on. Micron has just introduced a new 34nm line of single and 2X multi-level cell chips. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
It's Big, it's Blue... it's simply FABLESS! IBM's chip-free future
Or why the reversal of globalisation ain't gonna 'appen
IBM storage revenues sink: 'We are disappointed,' says CEO
Time to put the storage biz up for sale?
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
Microsoft and Dell’s cloud in a box: Instant Azure for the data centre
A less painful way to run Microsoft’s private cloud
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
Windows 10: Forget Cloudobile, put Security and Privacy First
But - dammit - It would be insane to say 'don't collect, because NSA'
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.