Seagate, Virident team up on PCIe SSDs for data centers

Seagate invests $40M in Virident

Seagate Technology and Virident Systems today announced a strategic partnership to jointly deliver NAND flash-based storage for data centers.

Under the agreement, Seagate will immediately offer a complete line of rebranded, flash-based PCIe products to its system manufacturer and distribution partners. The PCIe flash modules are a first for Seagate, which has focused on serial-SCSI (SAS)-based solid-state drives (SSDs) for the enterprise and hybrid drives, which combine spinning disk with NAND flash, for the consumer market.

In addition, the two companies said they plan to leverage their "mutual strengths" to create next-generation hardware and software products for the solid-state storage market. In conjunction with the agreement, Seagate has made a $40 million equity investment in Virident, and will appoint one member to the Virident board of directors.

Virident produces a line of high-end, PCIe-based flash modules called FlashMAX. FlashMAX modules are available in both single-level cell (SLC) and less expensive multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash and range in capacities from 550GB to 2.2TB. The MLC-module can generate 325,000 random read IOPS (using 4K blocks) and one million IOPS using 512-byte blocks). The SLC card is able to generate up to 340,000 IOPS using 4K blocks and 1.4 million IOPS using 512-byte blocks

"Seagate is thrilled to team with Virident, a technology leader in one of the fastest growing markets in enterprise and cloud computing," Gary Gentry, general manager of solid state drives at Seagate, said in a statement. "We believe that this strategic agreement immediately strengthens our leading position in the enterprise storage market by adding a broad line of Seagate flash-based PCIe solutions powered by Virident to our portfolio."

In other news, Seagate today reported its second quarter financial results. Seagate, whose quarter ended December 28, 2012, reported revenue of approximately $3.7 billion, a gross margin of 27%, net income of $492 million and diluted earnings per share of $1.30.

"Seagate is executing well in an environment where customer demand forecasting is challenging," Steve Luczo, Seagate's CEO, said in a statement.

Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed. His e-mail address is lmearian@computerworld.com.

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