IBM To Buy Texas Memory Systems (TMS), Challenge EMC, Startups In Flash Storage


TMS presented IBM with the opportunity to get a complete product line with a well-established market presence, said Robert Cancilla, vice president and business line executive for IBM systems storage.

"We've had our share of startups," Cancilla said. "Some have been good, some not as good. We looked at a ton of startups. But, we felt none of them offered the market presence and technology that TMS did."

TMS has a viable and a profitable flash storage business, and unlike most startups, it brings a complete flash storage offering instead of a single piece of the puzzle, Cancilla said. "TMS's only weakness is in its marketing," he said. "We feel IBM can ramp up TMS quickly."

IBM has been looking at how to best integrate flash storage in its arrays, in its servers via PCIe, and in its applications including its Netezza data warehousing appliance, Cancilla said.

But, the first integration of TMS technology once the acquisition closes will probably be in the IBM PureSystems converged infrastructure architecture that combines the company's server, storage, networking and management technologies into a single integrated platform, he said.

Until the acquisition closes, IBM and TMS will operate as separate companies, Cancilla said. Holly Frost, founder and CEO of TMS, will continue to run TMS until the acquisition, and IBM fully hopes Frost will continue to be an active part of its storage team afterwards, Cancilla said.

After the close, IBM plans to continue to make TMS flash storage products available as stand-alone offerings while integrating them into IBM's storage and server technologies, he said.

PUBLISHED AUG. 16, 2012