Why DSSD Is a Game Changer

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Here at EMC World 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada, there is genuine excitement in the halls about all of the technology announcements we have made this week. Those who follow our company closely see that we are making significant bets in the right technologies for the 3rd Platform of IT. ViPR is a key strategic technology investment we are making today in the future of our storage business, and that is certainly getting a fair share of the attention at EMC World. People are equally interested in our announced acquisition of DSSD, so let me provide a little more color on that announcement in this post.

Flash technology is pervasive across our storage portfolio. More than 70% of our storage arrays ship with flash. XtremIO, our all flash array, is the clear industry leading all flash array based on performance as well as market share. Then there is server flash. A number of companies are taking advantage of the performance you can gain from putting PCIe flash cards into the server. That delivers a lot of speed, but here’s the problem: those flash cards have limited capacity, have to be managed as DAS silos, and to take full advantage of the performance, you have to rewrite your applications to get around it. That explains why there was an initial flurry of attention around this technology, but why you are hearing relatively less about it. Until now.

With the team from DSSD, we will write the definitive next chapter in server-attached flash storage. Imagine if you could have rack scale flash storage… with game changing bandwidth, IOPS and latency, an order of magnitude faster than anything you can get today… that has hundreds of terabytes of storage that can be addressed as storage, or as an extension of memory… that has the manageability of shared storage… and has native application interfaces. That would be nirvana. And that is exactly the technology the DSSD team has been developing.

We are betting on DSSD because we believe their technology is the perfect answer to accelerate a new class of emerging workloads like in-memory databases, very high performance transactional workloads, and Big Data applications with real-time analytics, applications like the ones we are building with Pivotal, SAP HANA and Hadoop. It is too early for us to talk about the product specifically, but our plan is to bring the first one to market in 2015.

EMC has been an early investor in DSSD for the last year or so, and we began working with them six months before that. Yesterday, in my keynote at EMC World, I had the privilege of introducing the DSSD founders who belong to one of the best and nicest technology development teams in the industry: Andy Bechtolsheim, Jeff Bonwick, Bill Moore, Stephen Hahn, Chris Hooper and Mike Shapiro. We couldn’t be more excited about having their team join us. They’ve reached the point where they have broken through a technical path and now look to EMC to help them design and execute a go-to-market model to engage with customers. This acquisition is a great deal for both sides. We will accelerate their roadmap. Their technology is very extensible, very disruptive, and we are very excited to have them join us at EMC.

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