Violin Memory IPO Didn't Go Well. No Surprise.

Posted on September 30, 2013 By Henry Newman

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The IPO for SSD maker Violin Memory didn’t go so well. After some opening gyrations, the stock fell considerably.

It is not clear what specific reasons for Violin’s stock’s poor showing are, but what is clear to me is that this might signal the end of the SSD madness in Wall Street. The insane amount of money being spent on SSD companies, both with IPOs and purchases, might finally be over. I am not anti-SSD in any way shape or form, but as with anything, SSDs cannot solve all storage problems. And the market size is limited based on the cost per TB compared to hard disk.

I feel sorry for the people at Violin as they presumably expected the stock to rise, but Violin, similarly to most SSD companies, is not making a profit. Wall Street likes new technologies that have promise of changing an industry, but the providers of SSD products for the storage market (not the manufactures of NAND) have not change things that much. SSDs have had a significant impact on the storage industry, but I would argue that the changes have not been revolutionary, but more evolutionary in most cases.

Yes there are some applications that have had significant benefit from this technology, both PCIe and external SSDs. But I think there are two major reasons why SSDs are evolutionary technology and not revolutionary: 1) that operating systems, file systems which includes the hardware stack, cannot take full advantage of the technology and 2) applications which are designed around the POSIX I/O framework and synchronous I/O cannot fully utilize the major performance benefits that SSDs provide.

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