24 February 2010

Humpty Dumpty Falls Again

Well, campers, it's happened again, STEC has crashed. As I've mentioned before, this endeavor is not primarily dedicated to stock tips, but the health of SSD vendors (and storage vendors, too) is material to our journey down the Yellow Brick Road to the Wonderful World of Oz. As I type, the pre-market value is $9.50; this past summer the share was over $40. What happened?

If you take in the message boards (Yahoo! is the one I follow), many holding shares talk of deception and corruption and such on the part of management. But, fact is, the writing was on the wall with the third quarter report, and the share tanked then as well to about $11, when they announced that EMC wouldn't be taking additional shipments in the fourth quarter. EMC said as much during their earnings. So, it was clear that STEC wasn't shipping gobs o SSD.

As I've mentioned here a number of times, the storage vendors, likely under pressure from their clients, are resisting replacing HDD racks with SSD racks on a one-for-one basis. This was predicted. Both the SSD vendors and the storage vendors have to educate the end user clients to the types of systems which will benefit from SSD, and how those applications are superior to other sorts of applications. The answer, which ought not to surprise you, dear reader, is the BCNF database. The current approach by storage vendors is to promote SSD as a caching support. That's a niche, and small at that. There won't be much future in it.

Building from the datastore, rather than the code, has not yet reached the top suite in most companies. I happened on an email the president page at HP, and sent off a missive to Hurd on just this subject, referencing their SSD promotion web page. I might even get a reply, but I won't be holding my breath. I sent along something similar to STEC. As it is used to be said, "You can't turn the Queen Mary around in a bath tub".