Storage Vendors, Flash Manufacturers Buy Into Startups
Storage startups get interest -- and money -- from storage vendors and flash manufacturers. But investment doesn’t always mean viability.
Over the past few months I've noticed a string of investments in storage system startups by flash foundries and solid-state drive (SSD) vendors. Both the foundries and vendors emphasize the synergies that vertical relationships can produce, but my cynical side knows some relationships begin with great promise and end in divorce court.
The obvious synergy coming from a close relationship between SSD and array vendors is in the supply chain, with the SSD supplier gaining a direct market outlet and the array vendor gaining "most favored nation" status for guaranteed availability and price.
Less obvious, but potentially more important is the engineering connection. While the designer of an all-solid-state array could treat SSDs as black boxes, the more the designer understands about the quirks of the flash, controller and firmware in those SSDs the better....