Thoughts on The Fusion-IO Acquisition of IO Turbine
There was big news in our market last week as Fusion-iO announced an acquisition of IO Turbine for $95 million. This was good news for lots of folks.
For IO Turbine founders, employees and investors, this was a nice win. IO Turbine had only raised $7.75 million and its product was still in beta. $95 million is a super price, and I’m sure the founders, investors and employees made a few bucks. I’m always happy to see fellow entrepreneurs rewarded. Congratulations, IO Turbine.
This is a good move for Fusion-iO as well. The virtualization market is in pain – I/O is a bottleneck in virtualized environments, and SSDs are a natural solution. An SSD-alone – even a powerful one like the type Fusion-iO provides – cannot be leveraged effectively without optimization software that turns the “dumb” hardware device into a smart solution. IOTurbine will enable Fusion-iO to serve the virtualization market more effectively, and expand its market.
The acquisition is great for the SSD optimization software market, and for VeloBit. The deal validates the importance of server software that optimizes SSD. The IO Turbine acquisition is sure to create partnering opportunities for VeloBit and our competitors – FlashSoft, NVelo, and others – as the other SSD and storage hardware vendors scramble to respond.
Unfortunately, I think the news for customers is mixed. On the positive side, Fusion-iO will be able to leverage its rapidly growing direct sales force to introduce IO Turbine to folks who might not have seen the solution otherwise. And I’m sure the combined Fusion-iO and IO Turbine engineering teams will do some clever integration that makes the combined solution work smoothly.
Two Problems Gating SSD Adoption and Deployments:
However, the customers I talk to consistently cite two problems gating their SSD adoption and deployments:
- SSD is too expensive.
- With current solutions an SSD deployment creates a change in primary storage. Data moves out of its current storage device, where backup, restoration and data management are already in place, to a new primary storage device – the SSD. Fusion-iO loves this, as it gets customers to sign up to the Fusion-iO view of the data management world. But it creates complexity and disruption for storage administrators. Is this really the best way?
With Fusion-iO owning IO-Turbine, customers can’t use IOT’s software without also buying Fusion-iO hardware. That’s vendor lock-in! And that’s vendor lock-in to the most expensive SSD in the market. This drives cost in the wrong direction. In addition, the combined solution leaves SSD as primary storage – creating disruption to backup and data management.
A Better Data Storage Solution:
- supports any SSD, allowing customers to choose whatever SSD best balances their price-performance goals; and
- allows primary data and primary storage to remain unchanged, so that customers could deploy SSD without reinventing backup.
At VeloBit, we think we have a better way. Stay tuned and sign up for updates.