IBM Gets Flashy With Texas Memory Acquisition

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IBM has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Texas Memory Systems (TMS), a leading developer of high-performance flash memory solutions, the companies said today. TMS is a privately held company based in Houston, Texas. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

TMS designs and sells high-performance solid state storage solutions. Unlike hard disk drives that rely on spinning disks and robotic arms, solid state systems are high-speed data storage solutions based on Flash or RAM memory that can provide significantly faster throughput and data access while consuming less power. IDC estimates the amount of solid state storage solutions being shipped into the enterprise will grow significantly, reaching nearly 3 exabytes by 2016.

“IBM acquiring TMS suggests the Flash storage market is finally reaching a threshold of disruption to the traditional Server/Storage markets and architectures,” said Alex Kurtz, an analyst at Sterne Agee.

TMS offers its solid state solutions as the RamSan family of shared rackmount systems and Peripheral Component Interconnect Express (PCIe) cards. The products are designed to help companies improve performance and reduce server sprawl, power consumption, cooling, and floor space requirements.

“The TMS strategy and solution set align well with our Smarter Computing approach to information technology by helping clients realize increased performance and efficiencies at lower costs,” said Brian Truskowski, general manager, Systems Storage and Networking, IBM. “Solid state technology, in particular, is a critical component of our new Smarter Storage approach to the design and deployment of storage infrastructures, and part of a holistic approach that exploits flash in conjunction with disk and tape technologies to solve complex problems.”

“IBM understands the positive and dramatic impact that solid state technology can have on storage and server infrastructures, and once the acquisition is complete we look forward to advancing the technology even further. With the global reach of IBM, we expect to grow the engineering staff and product lines much faster than we could before,” said Holly Frost, founder and CEO of TMS.
TMS employs approximately 100 people. The deal is expected to close later in 2012.

About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.

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