VCs Pump Cash Into Solid-state Storage

Data center managers aren’t the only ones suddenly charmed by solid-state drives (SSDs) for computing storage needs. A growing number of VCs are also warming to the green, high-performance potential of the storage technology (GigaOM Pro Research, subscription required).
With no moving parts to speak of, a solid-state drive is far and away more energy efficient than its disk-based counterpart, the hard drive. Generally speaking, it also delivers better performance, resulting in a combination that’s proving increasingly attractive to data center operators. That edge helps IT shops overlook storage capacities that fall short of hard drives and helps justify the lofty price tags attached to SSD-based storage systems. It’s also an edge that’s attracting VC investment.
The latest news comes from XtremIO. This week the company announced that it had scored a Series A funding of an undisclosed amount from two Israeli venture firms, Giza and JVP. Heading up this early-stage storage player is CEO Rokach Ehud, with over a decade of experience in the telecommunications industry, including a stint as the CEO of Corrigent Systems, a carrier Ethernet switching provider. Details are scarce (the companies web site says it’s in stealth), but the company’s announcement makes clear that XtremIO has enterprise IT ambitions for its storage systems.
Read More about VCs Pump Cash Into Solid-state Storage

MySpace Gets Greener Data Centers with Fusion-io

HPmezz_v3a_high-22Storage — it’s the unsexy work horse behind social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter that require hundreds of thousands of servers to handle the data of millions of users. Traditionally taking the form of spinning disks, data storage also sucks a whole lot of power. But companies, like Fusion-io, are innovating on more energy efficient forms of solid state storage technology (no moving parts), helping web companies drop their monthly energy bills and cut their carbon footprints. This morning Fusion-io said that MySpace has been using its Flash-based storage tech and managed to cut its energy consumption significantly.

Fusion-io, which has raised a total of $66.5 million to build its products, sells a module stuffed with hundreds of Flash drives on a PCI Express card. The card has the storage capacity of 80-320 gigabytes and plugs into a standard server. The company says the costs to power and cool the modules “are less than one percent” of the costs to power and cool hard disk drives, and because the modules are snapped into the server, the architecture takes up a lot less space than traditional hard drives.
Read More about MySpace Gets Greener Data Centers with Fusion-io

Fusion-io Gets $47.5M and Flash Storage Gets Interesting

Updated: Fusion-io said today it has raised $47.5 million in second-round funding led by Lightspeed Venture, and formally announced David Bradford as CEO. The enterprise Flash drive startup also saw Series A investors, including New Enterprise Associates, Dell Ventures and Sumitomo Ventures, return for this round of funding. The company is one of several trying to deal with the data deluge by using Flash memory to speed up access to stored information inside the data center.
Bradford, who had taken over the CEO role after former CEO Don Basile left the company earlier this year, was previously a senior V-P at Fusion-io. Earlier in his career, Bradford was an executive at Novell (s NOVL), which explains a quote in Fusion-io’s funding announcement that was offered by Google (s GOOG) CEO Eric Schmidt, who employed Bradford at Novell. I would have found it more interesting if Google were buying Fusion-io’s drives. Read More about Fusion-io Gets $47.5M and Flash Storage Gets Interesting