Hard-drive maker Seagate compensated for its slow entry into the enterprise flash-storage market this week by investing $40 million in Virident Systems, a major manufacturer of flash-based storage-class memory.
The deal gives Seagate instant access to the enterprise solid-state storage market: Seagate will - for the first time - immediately begin selling a re-branded line of flash-based PCIe products to system-makers and other OEM partners. Virident’s current line of PCIe-based flash modules, called FlashMax II, is available in capacities ranging from 550GB to 2.2TB.
Though Seagate began selling NAND flash drives in 2009, it hasn’t been a big player in data center storage. Instead, companies like EMC and Fusion-io have taken the lead with PCie flash technology, which connects directly to the processor on a server via the expansion card slot associated with the PCIe bus. PCIe-based storage offers increased throughput and more efficient data processing compared to SSDs, which are fast but are usually used to cache internal and external storage.
Seagate is the leading seller of hard drives to PC and server-makers in the world. Now, with Virident’s help, it will begin developing a deeper portfolio of flash-based storage products and accompanying software for use in data centers.
Rachel RosmarinRachel Rosmarin's technology reporting experience goes back a decade to the dawn of Wi-Fi, smartphones and the Mp3. She has an in-depth knowledge of consumer electronics and has cultivated her love of useful new toys and innovative social software at publications including Tom’s Guide, Forbes, Business 2.0, Sound & Vision and Mobile Magazine. She holds degrees in Journalism and Science In Human Culture from Northwestern University and is based in Los Angeles.
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