The press has picked up on indications that EMC is about to acquire future SSD array vendor XtremeIO. This is an interesting development coming on the heels of EMC’s Project Lightning and Thunder announcements. As everyone knows, EMC is the mother of all disk storage vendors and has, until now, touted SSD primarily as a cache solution fronting and accelerating scores of legacy EMC disk storage arrays. Project Lightning and Thunder reflect this strategy, with Lightning providing a server based PCI SSD read cache solution and Project Thunder looking to do the same thing with a storage array.
XtremeIO is in prerelease semi-secretive mode right now, but has said clearly that it aims to produce pure SSD arrays to compete with the likes of Kaminario, Violin Memory, and all the other usual SSD array suspects. An EMC acquisition of such a vendor indicates that holes have developed in EMC’s SSD cache armor and the disk storage giant feels forced to validate SSD arrays as a large, viable, growing market competing with disk. It will be interesting to see how EMC integrates XtremeIO’s technology into its strategy without eating into its bread and butter disk array product line.