TMS is a firm that has been making storage systems for the past 34 years, and is now known mostly for its flash arrays and rackmount systems. Big Blue said that it will integrate the firm’s assets into its Smart Storage strategy, and one thing’s for sure: this buyout is going to have a big impact on the market.
Most obvious, a flash-equipped IBM is going to be a threat to smaller specialized firms like Seagate and SolidFire that make their living from selling the same products as Texas Memory. JP Morgan’s Mark Moskowitz, however, expects that the single largest player in this market, Fusion-io, won’t be affected too much, even though TSM’s product line-up does include PCIe cards.
“We think that another major systems vendor’s affirmation of the all-flash array (EMC was first earlier this year) is not good for the growth prospects of HDDs. Enterprise HDDs are high- margin, and all-flash arrays could cut into the growth prospects of this segment at both Seagate and Western Digital,” reads an analyst quote from Barrons. ”In contrast, we do not think IBM’s acquisition of TMS is bad for Fusion-io (FIO). FIO makes PCIe-based flash solutions for the server. The FIO solution is not a standalone array or system. So the market opportunity is adjacent but not the same as all-flash arrays.”
This deal will also have an impact on the larger players. Dell and HP are going to need to jump on the HDD bandwagon if they don’t want IBM and EMC to gobble up this multi-billion markets.
EMC is invested in flash with products such as VFCache and VNX. And subsidiary VMware is being dragged to a similar direction by the ecosystem – SanDisk’s latest product announcement is a prime example.