Lightspeed portfolio company Pliant secured $15M in Series C funding earlier this month to bring its Enterprise Flash SSDs (EFDs) to Datacenter markets. While Pliant’s solution offers enterprise users the performance, reliability, and durability they can only dream of, there will need to be additional enabling technologies in order to propel SSDs into the datacenter mainstream.
The first wave of Flash SSDs solve performance problems – any IT administrator will tell you there are alot of these “hotspots” to fix, albeit they are regarded collectively as a fast-growing niche market.
The second wave is where SSDs will make their mark against rotating disks (the last bag o’ parts in the datacenter). This is the cost/performance wave. In this wave, Flash SSDs combined with cheap rotating storage will provide the capacity and performance of premium rotating storage solutions – at a fraction of the price. These “hybrid” systems represent a huge new opportunity in the datacenter (as discussed in our 2009 Enterprise IT predictions), and the large storage OEMs all know it.
But in order for this wave to happen, new file systems – ones that intelligently move data between performance resources and capacity resources – will need to be developed and deployed – more on that later…