SanDisk Spins Off NexGen Hybrid Array Unit

By Pedro Hernandez

SanDisk has spun off NexGen storage, the hybrid storage systems maker the company acquired as part of the Fusion-io buy of 2014.

On June 16, the Milpitas, Calif.-based flash storage provider announced that it was acquiring Fusion-io for $1.1 billion. At the time, SanDisk CEO Sanjay Mehrotra said in a statement that the deal aligned with the company's enterprise storage strategy by accelerating his company's "efforts to enable the flash-transformed data center, helping companies better manage increasingly heavy data workloads at a lower total cost of ownership."

Along with Fusion-io's server-side flash storage business, SanDisk took home NexGen, a provider of hybrid storage arrays that combined solid-state storage with traditional hard drives and maker of ioControl software. Fusion-io acquired NexGen a year earlier, on April 25, 2013, in a bid to provide small and midsized businesses (SMBs) with advanced, enterprise-grade storage management capabilities.

"Many SME businesses have lean IT teams and budgets, making it critical to offer an integrated and affordable entry point for flash-powered application acceleration that delivers consistent performance, even under demanding workloads like VDI and analytics," commented Fusion-io CEO David Flynn in a statement regarding the acquisition. Fusion-io would later re-brand its NexGen hybrid storage systems for SMBs as ioControl.

Now, NexGen is independent once more as SanDisk focuses on its core competencies.

"Hybrid systems incorporating hard-disk drives are not part of SanDisk's strategic focus," stated SanDisk's executive vice president and chief strategy officer, Sumit Sadana, in prepared remarks. "Spinning out the ioControl business allows us to focus our resources on our core business, while positioning the independent company to address the significant opportunities in the dynamic enterprise storage market."

The newly spun-off company will be helmed by John Spiers, co-founder and chief executive officer.

"NexGen was founded to address the performance and management challenges associated with solutions that use multiple types of storage like NVDIMM, flash, hard disk drives, cloud as a tier, and others yet to be commercialized," said Spiers. "Operating as a stand-alone company enables NexGen to retain our technology vision and best serve our customers."

In an email, a NexGen spokesperson told InfoStor that the move allows NexGen to accelerate "the delivery of new, innovative technologies and solutions to customers" as well beef up its sales, marketing and channel initiatives. Naturally, new higher-performance, more cost-efficient products are coming down the pike as well, claimed the spokesperson.

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

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

This article was originally published on January 10, 2015