PCIe Flash Storage Consolidates: Seagate Buys Avago Tech, Violin Sells To SK Hynix


"The reason to use PCIe is to get higher performance than with SSDs," Norbie said. "There's no need for RAID controllers. The problem is, unless you are working with HPC [high-performance computing] or with workloads which need high performance vs. capacity, you probably won't go PCIe."

Even though the PCIe market is falling, it is still a healthy market, Norbie said. "It could still swing back," he said. "For example, maybe someday SSD drives will be pluggable to the PCIe bus. That would require renventing the PCIe bus."

Eric Herzog, chief marketing officer and senior vice president of business development at Violin Memory, said his company decided to sell its PCIe storage business to SK Hynix in large part because it is not a core business to his company.

The sale also provides a way to handle that business without disrupting employees, and brings Violin Memory a cash infusion, Herzog told CRN.

For Violin Memory, all-flash storage arrays are a much larger opportunity, Herzog said.

"It's a larger market, and more diverse," he said. "And it's an easier market in which to compete. We've got strong technology, strong solutions and a strong market base. The sale is a way for us to focus."

At any rate, the PCIe flash storage market is shifting quickly towardtechnology that will likely be commonly found as a component on server motherboards, Herzog said.

"Look at the Ethernet business," he said. "The bulk of the technology today is on the motherboard. The largest vendor today is Intel."

Seagate was unable to provide any details about its acquisition of the Avago technology other than to confirm that the company previously did not have PCIe flash storage technology.

PUBLISHED JUNE 2, 2014