EMC lands flash storage start up

LAS VEGAS – EMC pushed its EMC World conference agenda aside Monday to confirm the purchase of Silicon Valley start-up DSSD Inc., a new rack-scale flash storage solution.

Menlo Park, Calif.-based DSSD has architecture that complements EMC’s flash storage product line. The timing of the announcement might be a better indicator as to why EMC acquired the little-known vendor. At EMC World, Jeremy Burton, the president of products and marketing for EMC Information Infrastructure (EMC II), said the company is moving to a 3rd platform of storage where it enhances the performance of applications such as SAP Hana and Hadoop.

Burton cited an IDC study that found 2.8 per cent of all data centres will be flash by 2017. “Most will be hard drives, while flash is growing. Flash is important and the economics are also important. Supporting commodity hard drives will be important and it may lead to a church and state type of situation.”

Burton added that the acquisition was announced at 10:00 AM Pacific time and that there have been no discussions or decisions on new products based on DSSD technology. There was also no news on if DSSD would be part of EMC’s federation company strategy with VMware, RSA and Pivotal. EMC was an initial investor in DSSD when the company launched back in 2010.

DSSD was founded by serial entrepreneur Andy Bechtolsheim of Sun Microsystems fame and Bill Moore. The acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter of this year and both Bechtolsheim and Moore will be staying on. Bechtolsheim will be a strategic advisor. He is also currently at Arista Networks. Moore will be tapped to lead the DSSD business within EMC.

“The chip has capacity and performance,” said Moore. “We designed the system so that it can extract the latency and deliver it up to the application. The other part of it is we take the level of performance where an app can actually consume it natively,” Moore said.

DSSD is also somewhat of a mysterious company in Silicon Valley. Burton called them a “stealth company.” The DSSD Web site (www.dssd.com) has a white background with the logo and a generic email address.

Moore agreed with Burton’s assumption that DSSD ran in stealth mode. “Any time some came by to find out more information on us (they were) immediately hired by us,” Moore joked.

SAP CEO Bill McDermott made an appearance at EMC World via satellite uplink from Philadelphia. He said that Bechtolsheim is one of the great innovators of our time. SAP forged a partnership with DSSD for databases, app platforms and cloud.

McDermott called EMC’s buy of DSSD “a great acquisition.”

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Paolo Del Nibletto
Paolo Del Nibletto
Former editor of Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel community.

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