EMC bets on flash storage with ScaleIO buy

ScaleIO's virtual SAN software works well with Flash-based storage arrays, EMC has found

Boosting its portfolio of solid state storage technologies, EMC is acquiring ScaleIO, a purveyor of storage management software, for an undisclosed amount of cash.

EMC plans to fold ScaleIO's software into its EMC XtremSW Suite of software for managing server-based flash storage arrays. ScaleIO operations will be placed under the EMC Flash Product Division.

The company will also combine the software with PCIe flash cards to provide storage systems designed for private clouds and service providers.

"The addition of ScaleIO to our portfolio will enable EMC customers to build protected, shared storage pools from in-server direct-attached storage (DAS), such as XtremSF PCie Flash cards -- while not limiting them to any storage media type or form factor," wrote Zahid Hussain, senior vice president and general manager for EMC Flash Products Division, in a blog post announcing the pending acquisition.

ScaleIO's Elastic Converged Storage (ECS) is used to create virtual SANs (storage area networks) by combining multiple hard drives -- including solid state disks, PCIe-based flash cards and hard disk drives -- into a single logical configuration. ECS can scale up to tens of thousands of servers and is natively supported in Linux.

EMC has been aggressively pursuing the flash storage market of late. The company offers all-flash arrays in its XtremIO line and flash/hard drive hybrid systems in its EMC VMAX and EMC VNX storage.

EMC is not alone in its pursuit. In April, IBM announced that it would invest US$1 billion in developing flash technologies. Such solid state disks promise faster response times and greater reliability than traditional hard drives, though they remain more expensive to purchase on a per-GB basis.

SAP, Check Point Software Technologies, and private cloud provider StackScale have all used ScaleIO software. ScaleIO is based in Santa Clara, California.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

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Joab Jackson

IDG News Service
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