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EMC snaps up “game-changing” flash technology innovator, DSSD

Tue 6 May 2014

emc-world-2014

Storage system specialist EMC made a headline grabbing opening to its annual get-together in Las Vegas this week with the announcement that it has bought the secretive ‘rack scale’ flash storage system innovator, DSSD.

EMC’s chief marketing officer, Jeremy Burton, told the assembled customers, partners and observers that DSSD has been “quietly developing an entirely new tier of flash storage” to cope with the big data requirements of modern enterprises that is an “order of magnitude faster” than current systems. “The DSSD architecture promises game-changing performance for I/O-intensive in-memory databases and Big Data workloads such as SAP HANA and Hadoop,” he said.

DSSD was founded four years ago and its chairman and chief funder is Sun Microsystems’ co-founder Andy Bechtolsheim. EMC was also a strategic investor and has been a development partner for a year. When the deal is completed, DSSD will run as a standalone unit within EMC’s Emerging Technology Products Division.

EMC Information Infrastructure’s chief executive officer, David Gouldon said that: “with the team from DSSD, we are writing the definitive next chapter in server-attached flash storage.” He added the technology offers “hundreds of terabytes of capacity that can be addressed as storage or as an extension of memory.”

EMC already has a portfolio of flash-based systems following its market entry in 2008 when it first integrated flash drives into enterprise storage arrays. EMC says that in the first quarter of 2014 it sold more than 17 petabytes of flash capacity, which was up over 70% over the first quarter of 2013.

“Working together with EMC, DSSD will deliver a new type of storage system with game-changing latency, IOPS and bandwidth characteristics while offering the operational efficiency of shared storage,” said Bechtolsheim. The company expects to launch its first product next year.

Other comment on the story:

Venture Beat said: “Hardware based on DSSD’s architecture should ship next year. If the products stand up to Bechtolsheim’s lofty claims, they could help EMC attain a new degree of leadership in flash storage. In the past couple of years, it has been on an acquisition binge to expand its flash storage portfolio so customers can record and serve up data faster than they can with hard disk drives. It bought ScaleIOlast year and XtremIO the prior year.”

Gigaom offered this reprise of a story from last year on DSSD. ” … the startup is building a new type of chip — they said it’s really a module, not a chip — that combines a small amount of processing power with a lot of densely-packed memory. The module runs a pared-down version of Linux designed for storing information on flash memory, and is aimed at big data and other workloads where reading and writing information to disk bogs down the application.”

The Wall Street Journal added: EMC Chief Executive Joe Tucci said some startups working on flash storage make “all kinds of stupid statements” about their technical performance and about the likelihood of flash storage taking over from disk drives.
“It’s bunk,” Tucci said in an interview.
When Tucci was asked if he was referring to startup Pure Storage, which recently was valued at $3 billion and previously has been involved in verbal and legal sparring with EMC, he said Pure was among the offenders.

You can read the original company announcement here.
For a live stream of EMC World click here 

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