Robin Wauters reports that Pure Storage has closed a Series C investment round worth $28 Million. This follows Fusion IO’s IPO and a $40 Million Series C for Violin Memory, both of which were reported last week. The company’s solution is still in private beta, but they describe their proposition as “a new class of enterprise storage that has been designed from the ground up to take full advantage of flash memory.” It’s difficult to assess how this compares to the competition until more information emerges, but it’s yet another example of the enthusiasm that investors are showing to the emerging solid state storage market.
Apple teased the next installment of OS X, 10.7 Lion, again at WWDC on Monday, and set its release for July. But this upgrade might leave a lot of users cold, even as it paves the way for wider adoption of OS X down the road.
Two startups making waves in the solid state storage market are talking money today. As Dean Takahashi over at VentureBeat reports, Violin Memory has closed a Series C investment round for $40Million, valuing the company at $440Million. Elsewhere, Leena Rao at TechCrunch notes suggests that Fusion IO has upped their pre-IPO price from $16 to $18 per share; valuing the company at a notional $1.4Billion. When Fusion announced their IPO back in March, Stacey Higginbotham suggested that the company was fishing for a buyer, but no one seems to have jumped (in public, at least) yet. Time is running out, and the price would appear to be heading upward. As Arik Hesseldahl notes at AllThings D, although the two companies are involved with solid state storage, they’re tackling different problems; “Where Fusion-io sells flash-based cards that make servers run faster… Violin sells flash-based memory arrays that are intended to replace the hard disk-based memory arrays that make enterprise applications run faster.” Flash, it would appear, remains hot.
The MacBook Air may or may not get a June spec bump, as per recent rumors, but at least one component appears to have already been quietly updated. Some newer MacBook Airs are shipping with what seems to be a noticeably faster SSD.
An interesting week for green data storage. University of Tokyo researchers have given us a tantalizing peek at our crazy-fast computing future with a new NAND flash writing method that can hit 9.5GBps and lowers energy requirements by 86 percent. Also this week, there have been rumblings that Seagate and Toshiba are prepping SSD-HDD hybrids. If this method of combining the performance and energy-saving benefits of SSD and the capaciousness of hard drives sounds familiar, it should. Samsung worked on similar tech a couple of years ago as a way to help speed up Windows Vista. Let’s hope Seagate and Toshiba can make it a reality for the Windows 7 crowd.
Say what you will about the future of MySpace as a social media platform, but it does continue to teach us a thing or two about building a web infrastructure. Its decision to utilize Fusion-io’s flash storage proves that high performance and energy efficiency are not mutually exclusive. Google and other companies are demonstrating how to achieve efficiency via unique cooling methods, stripped-down servers and the like, but MySpace is one of the first to demonstrate quantitatively the webscale savings of flash storage. Saving $120,000 per year on energy costs while getting far better storage performance is a compelling argument, and we should thank MySpace for going public with its story.