Samsung Acquires SSD Caching Company Proximal Data

By Pedro Hernandez

Samsung has acquired Proximal Data, a San Diego-based server-side caching software company, for an undisclosed amount. The move will help bring "server storage software expertise" to Samsung's upcoming solid-state drive (SSD) solutions, said the South Korean electronics giant.

Proximal Data, named to InfoStor's 5 Flash Storage Vendors That Shine list in August 2012, offers virtualization-friendly SSD caching software, called AutoCache, which leverages PCIe flash cards or SSDs to speed up virtual machine performance and allow data center operators to pack more virtual machines (VMs) into fewer physical servers. The product supports VMware's ESXi hypervisor.

A version of the software for Microsoft Hyper-V support was launched in May. "After installing AutoCache with a single command, Hyper-V servers will enjoy 2-3x VM density improvement depending on the workload," boasted Proximal Data's vice president of sales and business development, Rich Pappas, in a blog post.

Now, the company's caching platform will help Samsung tailor its SSDs to the growing market for flash-based enterprise data storage products, according to Bob Brennan, senior vice president, Memory R&D at Samsung.

The deal "will enable us to enhance our competence in SSD-based software for server systems," said Brennan in a statement. Proximal Data's technology allows Samsung "to further expand our SSD business in the server and data center markets, while continuing to provide the most advanced SSD solutions to customers," he added.

Rory Bolt, CEO and founder of Proximal Data, said he "sees tremendous value" being part of the massive flash storage provider. "We are excited at the opportunity to enhance our AutoCache, as well as to create revolutionary new products in enterprise storage, the potential of which will be greatly improved with access to the full capabilities of Samsung," he said in a statement.

The acquisition comes nearly two years after the company bought another flash caching software company. On Dec. 17, 2012, Samsung acquired NVELO, maker of DataPlex caching software that shipped with Corsair Accelerator SSDs, among others. The software has been shipping with Samsung-branded SSDs since 2013.

Samsung isn't alone in beefing up its SSD acceleration software portfolio through acquisitions.

In early 2012, rival SanDisk snapped up FlashSoft and its server-centric SSD flash-caching technology. Last year, Western Digital acquired VeloBit, a Lincoln, Mass.-based of SSD caching and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) acceleration solutions.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InfoStor. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

This article was originally published on November 05, 2014