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Fusion-io buys NexGen

Gets hybrid flash/disk array startup

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PCIe flash industry leader Fusion-io has bought a startup: hybrid flash/disk array vendor NexGen, paying $114m in cash and $5m in stock.

NexGen, founded in 2010 by its CEO John Spiers and CTO Kelly Long, uses Fusion-io flash cards in its n5 arrays which are sold to small and medium enterprises. It has total funding, that we know of, amounting to $12 million in A and B rounds. The $119 million acquisition price is a nice payout for the investing VCs.

Of late NexGen has been quiet, compared to competitors Nimble Storage, Tegile and Tintri who have all be saying how well they are doing.

Fusion-io is now a supplier of hybrid flash/disk arrays into the SMB market and can be expected to compete strongly with Nimble, Tegile and Tintri. But this is not all.

Fusion-io states; "The … ioControl management software at the core of the NexGen hybrid storage system transparently shares all storage resources and maintains simultaneous performance targets for multiple applications."

"With the ioControl software, customers can provision, prioritise and maintain predictable performance efficiently and cost effectively. The ioControl software also ensures that customers have a clear upgrade path to all-flash solutions as their data demands continue to grow."

A path to all-flash arrays, which Fusion-io does not - yet - supply but it surely will, and that will give all-flash array competitors a headache. Here's a brief roll-call of the current and intended ones: Dell, EMC, IBM, Greenbytes, HDS, HP, NetApp, Nimbus Data, Pure Storage, Skyera, SolidFire, Violin, Virident and Whiptail.

Fusion-io CEO and chairman David Flynn said; “The hybrid NexGen solution combines memory attached flash and disk on leading server platforms to provide a system tuned to deliver performance, price and capacity. With this acquisition, we will maintain the current NexGen product model as we transition to supporting customers’ preferred server platforms with our OEM partners"

NexGen's John Spiers becomes Fusion-io's SVP and general manager of Nexgen products, and talks about the NexGen platform evolving "into an open, software defined platform at Fusion-io." NexGen’s network of VARs will be added to the global Fusion-io reseller channels. The 50-strong NexGen team of employees join Fusion-io. ®

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