Looking forward to 2012, I was discussing which technologies would make the most significant impact for both TriAxis’ existing customers as well as be a means of acquiring new ones. I volunteered that the third wave of virtualization, after storage and server/desktop, was I/O. I originally heard this from, and agreed with, Steve Spellicy and his assessment. However, we never got a chance to engage in 2011 beyond a tech brief and product overview.
Essentially, Virtensys was extending the PCIe bus in servers with their own cards to one of their three appliances. This allowed them to aggregate 8Gb FC and 10GbE resources, effectively reducing the requisite port counts in the switch fabric and related costs. It also eliminated the need to buy the costly PCIe HBAs for the servers (pairs, if you required redundancy). On top of that, they had a management layer that provided tuning and QOS-like features to allow throughput as required within the fabric for each server. Very cool!
So, I sent an email to Steve late in December, but I didn’t hear back from him. Surprised by this, I sent an email to his personal address (we are LinkedIn) and Steve replied back that he had left in November, that they were running out of money and were going to have an asset sale.
Last week, Micron announced their agreement to purchase Virtensys. You can read more about that here.
This is an interesting acquisition. Micron makes, among other things, PCIe SSD. These point products can be deployed for specific needs, making a huge difference in latency for the right application. They claim they can get up to 3.3GB/s in sequential reads and 715K IOpS in random reads. Very nice.
What I am curious about is if they plan to take advantage of the management layer that Virtensys had to provide virtualized SSD storage? Or, are they going to continue with the product-set that Virtensys had brought to the market, but with deeper pockets to sustain them through initial market adoption.
The first would be interesting, but the second I’d like to see. It seems they, and now Micron, may have a winner.