Feeds

Virident tempts EMC flash boss over, creeps up on Fusion-io

Intrigues all round in the flash supplier world

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Server flash card upstart Virident has recruited Ken Grohe, EMC's flash business general manager, to run its worldwide customer operations, while it strengthens its position against flash supremos Fusion-io

The recruitment is open for anyone to see on Grohe's LinkedIn page.

Concurrent with Grohe's hire, Virident, which used to be a respectable PCIe flash card supplier with the Tachion product, and later its FlashMax line, seems to be going through the usual founder-CEO-to-professional-CEO shuffle.

Ex-BlueArc CEO Mike Gustafson took the CEO's chair in late 2012, with co-founder Kumar Ganapathy relinquishing that post to become chief business officer. It's not entirely clear what Ganapathy's responsibilities are, given that the firm already has Carl Munio asveep of operations, Sunil Samel as veep for strategic partnerships and Ganapathy's co-founder partner, Vijay Karamchetti, as chief technology officer.

Why did Grohe join Virident? He was, apparently, sitting pretty atop EMC's flash business, and must have had some seriously attractive salary, bonus and share options dangled in front of him to tempt him across.

Gustafson is driving Virident hard. The FlashMax card's architecture is said to be closer to Fusion-io capabilities than any other PCIe card. Virident is developing its software capabilities, like its Connect Suite, towards making storage memory more manageable, with the card's capacity viewed as a logical adjunct of main memory. Virident's chairman has landed his firm a $40 million investment from Seagate, which is OEM'ing Virident's FlashMax card technology as its X8 Accelerator card.

Virident displaced LSI as a supplier for EMC's XtremSF PCI card product line, partnering up with Micron. EMC says it's developing lower cost and simplified flash cards for hyperscale and web-scale data centres, to compete with Fusion-io's ioScale technology.

If Virident is providing technology for that effort then it is substantially broadening its attack on Fusion-io, and will represent much tougher competition to the other PCIe server flash card suppliers like Intel, LSI, Micron and others.

Fusion-io's revenues were $359 million in 2012 and its quarterly revenues run between $90 million and $120 million. If privately-owned Virident are trying to knock them off the top flash spot, what are their revenues? El Reg would be incredulous if they were anywhere near Fusion-io's numbers.

With Fusion-io's new management setting out a steady technology development roadmap Virident will have to run fast to keep up, let alone overtake Fusion-io. Can Gustafson's crew propel Virident into the front rank of PCIe flash card suppliers? Much hangs on FlashMax III, the next-generation of its storage technology and on how it expands its PCIe card product offering. The real near-term and long-term success factor will be how it can ensure a steady flow of flash chip supplies.

Perhaps Seagate, with its Samsung flash connections, can help there?

Gustafson was at the helm of BlueArc when that company was bought by Hitachi Data Systems. With $63 million of venture capital funding, in addition to Seagate's $40 million, Virident's VC backers will be looking for an IPO or a company sale to get profits. Our betting is on a sale, with Seagate boss Steve Luczo as the sugar daddy du jour. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
729 teraflops, 71,000-core Super cost just US$5,500 to build
Cloud doubters, this isn't going to be your best day
Want to STUFF Facebook with blatant ADVERTISING? Fine! But you must PAY
Pony up or push off, Zuck tells social marketeers
Oi, Europe! Tell US feds to GTFO of our servers, say Microsoft and pals
By writing a really angry letter about how it's harming our cloud business, ta
SAVE ME, NASA system builder, from my DEAD WORKSTATION
Anal-retentive hardware nerd in paws-on workstation crisis
Microsoft adds video offering to Office 365. Oh NOES, you'll need Adobe Flash
Lovely presentations... but not on your Flash-hating mobe
Cray heaves out even mightier, Lustre-ous Sonexion 2000
Met Office and Los Alamos bomb boffins are apparently among its fans
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
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.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence
Download Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence to learn more about cloud computing - the new opportunities and new security challenges.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.