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Violin Systems has announced it has signed a Letter of Intent with X-IO Technologies to acquire X-IO Storage, the division of X-IO Technologies that developed the popular Intelligent Storage Element (ISE) flash and hybrid storage array product lines.

Financial terms were not disclosed but the transaction is executed to be completed within 30 days.

This announce cames after few days the announce of the new Violing product XVS 8, confirming that the company is not only reborn, but is tring to get also back to the storage market.

X-IO has a long term (over two decades with different names) of expertise to deliver unmatched price/performance for enterprise applications. It’s started in 1999 with Seagate Technologies with the idea of build a new zero touch design storage: Seagate invested over $100 million in this project, but on 2007 this technology was acquired by Xiotech (in 2007) and Intellinget Storage Element (ISE) has began is life on 2008.

I’ve wrote several articles about them, because the solution it’s quite interesting. For example see those posts:

But why Violin Systems want to add X-IO ISE arrays to its flash storage product lineup? They say in order to meeting the needs of a greater variety of customers and providing the industry with a wide range of solutions spanning from terabytes to multiple petabytes with enterprise-class performance, features, and reliability. Ultimately Violin Systems intends to integrate its own extreme performance technology with X-IO price-performance value to deliver transformational economics for organizations of any size.

In addition to the X-IO products and engineering team, Violin intends to retain X-IO’s world class service process and organization.  This will ensure that the X-IO customer installed base, with more than 8,000 arrays continues to  get the same level of service.  Violin’s goal is to transform overall customer experience by utilizing the best practices from both organizations.”

“This acquisition will create substantial opportunity for Violin Systems in price-sensitive mid-markets where X-IO has excelled, and down the road, the opportunity to assimilate X-IO’s product strengths so we can keep shepherding customers into the ideal storage systems as their needs evolve,” said Mark Lewis, Chairman and CEO of Violin Systems. “Our global network of partners will also welcome the ISE arrays as a cost-effective alternative for common workloads like VDI and database acceleration.”

Ok, the term “assimilate” does not sound so good, and also I don’t understand the needs to change the make: X-IO Technologies will be rebranded as Axellio Inc. to focus on its solutions for edge computing and hyperconverged infrastructures.

“With the unmatched affordability of X-IO, and the extreme performance Violin is known for, the market has a clear leader in extreme performance storage solutions,” said Bill Miller, CEO of Axellio Inc. “Whether it is price/performance for midsized environments, or hyperscale density for large enterprises, Violin will be able to deliver the fastest enterprise storage in the world at the best value.”  Bill Miller will be joining Violin Systems Board of Directors upon completion of acquisition.

Is not clear what will happen to the ISE based products, because on the new Axellio web site there are a lot of other solutions, mostly different from the original.

Anyway remain an interesting move and a way also to consolidate the enterprise storage market that still has too much players and too much start-up. In order to have more mature products with long term support (needed by customers) those companies must be promoted or consolidated.