Feeds

Micron buys PCIe extender Virtensys, backers trouser hefty payout

Like a SAN without the SAN. And you know what that means

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

SSD maker, Flash and DRAM fab operator Micron is buying Virtensys, a startup selling PCIe-sharing appliances

Virtensys' VIO 4000 product connects to servers' PCIe busses and enables a group of servers to share PCIe peripherals, such as NICs, HBAs, direct-attached disk drives and PCIe-connected solid state drives (SSDs). Such SSDs have become one of the hottest server technologies, led by suppliers like Fusion-io, because they dramatically accelerate server applications that would otherwise be disk I/O-bound, eliminating both network latency and hard disk drive latency from I/O times.

Virtensys, founded as a spin-out from Xyratex in 2006, has offices in Manchester, UK, and Beaverton, Oregon, and has consumed some $40 million of funding in three rounds. Its CEO and chairman is John Nicholson and the company sells its products to OEMs, such as Micron. The VIO 4000 product line uses Micron's P300 and P320h SSDs.

Edward Doller, Micron VP and Chief Memory Systems Architect, said: "Virtensys' PCIe-sharing technology has helped change the way data center operators manage and deploy their virtualized I/O resources, and Micron's enterprise PCIe drive delivers market-leading speed, reliability and power efficiency. This agreement would enable a combination of enterprise technology solutions that have the opportunity to virtualize SSD storage on the path to a more flexible and dynamic data center."

That's the key. A bunch of Micron SSDs could be shared by servers and form a subsidiary tier of memory. Software will be needed to populate the SSDs with data and farm out their capacity to servers in some optimised way. Fusion-io has its ioTurbine caching software to do this, but only on a per-server basis, and Dell is working with its RNA software on server flash storage. OCZ has acquired SANRAD for its server flash caching functionality.

Micron can now be expected to make PCIe-connect flash memory arrays. Virtensys' ability to turn DAS disk into a shared, but not networked, storage facility, a SAN without the SAN so to speak, is something that is quite new to Micron and it will be interesting to see what happens with it.

The transaction is subject to closing conditions and is currently anticipated to close by the end of the month. The amount paid has been kept secret but, based on $40 million funding and a 4x payout to Virtensys' backers, looks to be in the $160 million area. ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
SHOCK and AWS: The fall of Amazon's deflationary cloud
Just as Jeff Bezos did to books and CDs, Amazon's rivals are now doing to it
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
The triumph of VVOL: Everyone's jumping into bed with VMware
'Bandwagon'? Yes, we're on it and so what, say big dogs
Carbon tax repeal won't see data centre operators cut prices
Rackspace says electricity isn't a major cost, Equinix promises 'no levy'
Disaster Recovery upstart joins DR 'as a service' gang
Quorum joins the aaS crowd with DRaaS offering
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.