Seagate Invests $40M In Virident, Forges PCIe Development Pact


Seagate is expanding its flash storage product line via a joint development deal with Virident Systems and is sealing that deal with a $40 million investment in the company.

Under the agreement, Seagate plans to resell PCIe flash-storage acceleration solutions from Virident under the "Seagate: Powered by Virident" moniker while working with Virident to develop next-generation PCIe solutions, said Gary Gentry, senior vice president and general manager for Seagate's SSD business.

"Virident's background is from storage-class memory, while Seagate is a traditional storage company," Gentry said. "So the exciting thing about this is the two companies joining forces to bring out world-class products."

[Related: SSD Shipments To Double This Year, Hit 40 Percent Of Hard Drive Market By 2016]

For Seagate, the deal represents an opportunity to get closer to the processor inside the server. Seagate currently produces SSDs, which inside the server can offer high-speed storage or serve as a cache for internal or external storage.

By working with Virident, Seagate will get access to PCIe flash technology that, because of its connection to the PCIe bus, offers higher performance.

Doing so via Virident is also a quick way for Seagate to stake its claim in a market that has been dominated by tier-one storage vendors such as EMC with its VFCache technology, SSD competitors such as STEC, SAN component makers such as QLogic, and specialist PCIe flash storage solution developers such as Fusion-io.

"Traditionally, Seagate products included disk, hybrid disks with internal flash cache, and SSDs aimed at traditional storage products," Gentry said. "This new PCIe world -- we have to congratulate Fusion-io for really starting this market -- it's important for performance to also be on the server side. PCIe opens a new market for Seagate, getting us into the server. ... This partner helps with the hardware and software to get closer to the CPU."

PUBLISHED JAN. 30, 2013