Another win for software-led infrastructure. Fusion-io, a data storage devices company and pioneer of server flash storage, announced that it’s bought ID7, a storage technology company based in the UK. ID7 creates storage software solutions across all types of interfaces including as iSCSI, Fibre Channel and InfiniBand, and its engineers are known largely as contributor to SCST, a Linux storage software subsystem used by storage vendors from all over the world.
“Software defined storage platforms are key to delivering peak performance and efficiency in today’s datacenters,” said David Flynn, Fusion-io CEO and Chairman. “ID7 has provided valuable contributions to the industry, making us excited to welcome them to our ION Data Accelerator team as we continue to grow our business with the expertise of many of the world’s most innovative engineers.”
Prior to the acquisition, Fusion-io and ID7 have been working together on ION Data Accelerator, software that transforms industry standard servers into shared storage appliances. The acquisition will integrate the ID7 team, including the SCST developers, into Fusion-io.
“As with other kernel contributors across the Linux stack working at Fusion-io, we will continue to support the open philosophies that have made ID7 and SCST successful,” said Gary Orenstein, Fusion-io Senior Vice President of Products. “In addition to maintaining an open source version of SCST, Fusion-io will continue to contribute to the open source distribution as we develop software solutions to help define the all-flash datacenter.”
It is expected that the products developed through this merger will target SAN systems users from mainstream storage suppliers, most of which are high-end. However, “we won’t aim at the highest end users,” says Flynn. ”Facebook, Apple etc use the application database to manage things. But hosting and cloud providers, for example, are often forced to buy proprietary systems. Software-defined systems can offer them high-end systems without the high-end price.”
That’s a strategy shift for Fusion-io, which slipped in the stock market after a less-than-stellar outlook for 2013 and the declining support of high-profile clients, specifically Facebook and Apple. Fusion-io’s crafting its opportunities beyond its early supporters, and this latest acquisition is one indication that the flash company is continuing to build on innovation. Defending its market position will become increasingly difficult as larger vendors like EMC are coming out with viable flash offerings to supplement their broader portfolio.
Vendors such as Fusion-io are steadily making strategic acquisitions in software-led infrastructure, too. EMC and IBM recently expressed their interest in acquiring Softlayer–a server, managed hosting, and cloud computing provider from Dallas– for $2 billion. As data centers undergo a massive shift to become smarter and more efficient, software becomes an increasingly important aspect of managing the data center’s many components. To learn more on the current impact and market implications of software-led infrastructure, read analyst David Floyer’s report here at Wikibon.