17 September 2009

Blood in the Street

There be carnage out there. I've been keeping a periodic eye gazing at the SSD stocks (and the increasing number of privates), with STEC being the "acknowledged leader" in enterprise drives. So their PR always says. It is true that STEC was, if not the first, certainly early and often qualified. Their list includes EMC, IBM, Sun, Compellent, HP.

It's been a week since I looked at the stock (I spend much of my stock time tracking biotech; more money more faster), and to my wondering eyes do appear but a true crash. Last I looked the share was over $40. Today it closed at $31.53. Trust me, stock promotion is not a factor in this endeavor, but it is undeniable that the current state of SSD in the enterprise is because of STEC's efforts to make itself rich, which it has.

The management of the company has been singing the "ain't nobody can do what we do" song for the last couple years, and in the last 12 months has signed up with the aforementioned companies. All the while deflecting questions about the likelihood of other suppliers of SSD. I never bought it. This site has been tracking the SSD world for more than a decade; since before flash was even used. Spending some time there makes it clear that STEC isn't the only game in town, and never was.

So, what happened? Turns out that Pliant Technology released its version of enterprise SSD a few days ago, which prompted some of the analysts to reduce their opinions of STEC.

The reason all this matters is that having multiple credible sources of enterprise SSD (what that term means is still open to discussion) is better for real relational database implementations. Which is what this endeavor is really all about. The SSD aspect is merely the implementation detail that makes it all possible.

What's bad for the Wall Street casino players is actually good for folks who are working at building useful things, and not merely engaging in zero sum games with each other.

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