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Pure Storage logo - click for more infoPure Storage

Pure Storage, the all-flash enterprise storage company, enables the broad deployment of flash in the data center.

When compared to traditional disk-centric arrays, Pure Storage all-flash enterprise arrays are 10x faster and 10x more space and power efficient at a price point that is less than performance disk per gigabyte stored.

The Pure Storage FlashArray is ideal for high performance workloads, including server virtualization, desktop virtualization (VDI), database (OLTP, real-time analytics) and cloud computing. For more information, visit

see also:- Pure Storage - mentions on, Pure Storage's blog
the importance of being earnest about 3DXPoint
The enterprise SSD story - why's the plot so complicated?
are we ready for infinitely faster RAM? and what would it be worth

the leading companies in the rackmount SSD market (a historic perspective)

by Zsolt Kerekes, editor - - September 2017

I've spoken to hundreds of companies in the enterprise SSD market over a period spanning more than 20 years. As the number of competitive vendors in that market has grown and particularly in the enterprise flash storage era it has been interesting to see who is regarded by the industry and the most interesting companies which they need to take note of. The record of that can be seen in 10 years of the Top SSD Companies in which Pure Storage was ranked #1 for the 3 consecutive quarters upto Q4 2016.

But another measure of comparison is what competitors in the rackmount flash market think themselves when they're talking to bloggers and analysts like me.

When founders and CEOs were telling me in conversations that they'd like to be the next Texas Memory Systems, or Violin or Fusion-io - when those companies were at the heights of market attention - that was a good way to understand their ambitions. Today (in 2017) the enterprise market is more fragmented - so a leader in one segment - such as HPC - might be almost unknown in another segment like entry level flash storage.

But even competitors who think they have better products than Pure in their own segments acknowledge that Pure has helped the market expand beyond its technical roots and achieve mainstream adoption with its pure play flash strategy which aimed to beat hard drive array vendors in the bastions of general purpose storage.

In my prophetic article - this way to the petabyte SSD (March 2010) - I talked about the characteristics and user value propositions of a new type of SSD system which would one day displace hard drives in enterprise SANs - in the last bastion of hard drives - bulk storage. Ever since launching its first SSD arrays (in August 2011) - Pure Storage has been one of the leading companies demonstrating its focused commitment to the ROI, value propositions and associated business marketing which lead towards such a goal.
SSD ad - click for more info
Pure Storage summary SSD history
popular SSD articles
after AFAs - what's next?
what's the state of DWPD?
this way to the petabyte SSD
1 big SSD idea and some interesting companies in 2016
Exiting the Astrological Age of Enterprise SSD Pricing
What were the big SSD ideas to learn and forget in 2015?
why's and wherefores of enterprise SSD market consolidation

"In the most recent quarter (ending January 31, 2017) we had more than one customer running large scale simulations and analytics replace over 20 racks (think 20 refrigerators of equipment) with a single FlashBlade (at 4U about the size of a microwave oven).

Such dramatic consolidation depends on storage software that has been designed for silicon rather than mechanical disk."
Scott Dietzen, CEO - Pure Storage - in his blog Delivering the data platform for the cloud era and the secular shift to flash memory (March 1, 2017)

Editor's comments:- this is another confirmation of the replacement ratio predictions in my (2013) blog - meet Ken - and the enterprise SSD software event horizon.

PS - Another thing which Scott Dietzen said in his new blog was...

"This year, the 8th since our founding and our 6th of selling, we expect to reach $1 billion in revenues."

referencing EMC

Editor:- June 23, 2015 - A significant amount of Pure Storage's marketing rhetoric is invested in anti-EMC blogs and articles, for example these:- And there are many more examples of this.

Despite these examples - however - Pure Storage was nowhere near the worst offenders I had encountered and which I had in mind when writing my article - re all those flash systems "startups" who regularly and proudly (still) compare the superiority of their products to EMC
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Editor's earlier comments:- October 2013 - Pure Storage - which is in the rackmount SSD market and was ranked #6 in the Top SSD Companies in Q3 2013 - could arguably be one of the fastest growing storage companies in history.

In my prophetic article - this way to the petabyte SSD (March 2010) - I talked about the characteristics and user value propositions of a new type of SSD system which would one day displace hard drives in enterprise SANs - in the last bastion of hard drives - bulk storage applications. We haven't got there yet. But ever since launching its first SSD arrays (in August 2011) - Pure Storage has been one of the leading companies demonstrating its focused commitment to the ROI, value propositions and associated business marketing which lead towards such a goal.

how fast can your SSD run backwards?
How will hard drives fare in an SSD world?
meet Ken and the enterprise SSD software event horizon

editor's (earlier) comments:- February 2013

Pure Storage operates in the fast-enough and bulk enterprise storage SSD market - and has received about $100 million of investment funding. ($245 million by September 2013).

The company markets an FC SAN compatible SSD storage array which superficially looks like a classic RAID system with removable MLC drives. However, the company says that its architecture has been designed from the ground up - with the aim of deliveringusable storage capacity at price points below that of enterprise HDD storage - while also being capable of offering moderately high performance IOPS and throughput.

The product does that by combining elements such as inline dedupe and compression - which is similar to what the market has already seen from earlier rackmount SSD vendors such as WhipTail Technologies and Nimbus Data Systems.

Pure Storage 's FlashArray is assembled from a series of 2U storage racks and controllers which provide a raw uncompressed MLC SSD storage density of just under 3TB per U - which is 3x lower than vanilla FC SAN MLC SSDs such as the RamSan-810 from Texas Memory Systems. Pure Storage 's array delivers about 6x lower IOPS per rack unit too.

So you may ask - where's the market?

At 50K IOPS / u - it's more than fast enough to outrun traditional hard disk arrays. And with a 10x virtual capacity reduction - Pure Storage claims its SSD arrays will cost less than HDD arrays - offering 25TB of compressed storage per U and at much lower power consumption too.

Pure Storage isn't the only SSD company which claims to beat HDD arrays costs today.

Recent newcomer Skyera - which emerged from stealth mode in August 2012 - packs 44TB of unified enterprise SSD storage into a single rack U - at the lowest price point in the industry,
selected Pure Storage milestones - from SSD Market History.

In August 2011 - Pure Storage unveiled its first SSD product (an FC SAN compatible bulk storage SSD) and announced it had received $30 million in series C funding bringing its total capital funding up to $55 million.

In August 2012 - Pure Storage cranked up the heat on its funding to $95 million with a new $40 million Series D funding round.

In May 2013 - Pure Storage doubled the speed and density in its flash arrays with the launch of the FA-400 systems which include upto 24x 512GB SAS SSDs inside each 2U storage shelf. The company also announced an investment by In-Q-Tel (IQT) - a non profit ORG that identifies innovative technology solutions to support the missions of the US Intelligence Community.

In August 2013 - Pure Storage -announced that it has closed an oversubscribed $150 million Series E funding round with institutional investors which brings the company's total capital raise to $245 million.

In November 2013 - EMC launched a legal suit against Pure Storage alledging that former EMC personnel had taken with them detailed customer related market information. Pure Storage responded that the complaint was without merit.

In December 2014 - Pure Storage announced a new compatibility oriented marketing program called FlashStack Converged Infrastructure (blog) - whereby customers who also use Cisco and VMware in the same deployments as their Pure storage boxes can choose to buy single call support services.
Exiting the Astrological Age of Enterprise SSD Pricing
Although the many stories about the true nature of the stars, moon and other heavenly bodies in the night sky were created and developed over many thousands of years - the SSD market which has a much shorter history (spanning about 40 years) - has nevertheless managed to accrue an imaginative body of literature which includes truths, half truths, mysticism, misunderstandings. myths, legends - and in some cases - downright balderdash - when it comes to the subject of SSD costs, pricing and justifications.
new products from Pure Storage, the significance of 38KB, and a door opens for future government business
Editor:- May 29, 2013 - Pure Storage today announced new models in it rackmount SSD family of non-disruptively upgradeable HA storage which double the performance of the 2U controllers to 400K 8K IOPS and provides 12TB of raw storage in 2U. In a related video the company said - the average size of I/O requests its customers see is 38KB - which is why Pure Storage has stopped using 4KB IOPS metrics in its sales literature.

Editor's comments:- The rack density of Pure Storage's new FA-400 systems (approx 10TB usable/ U for a 10U stack using a mix of 2U controller shelves which manage 2U storage racks which each have upto 24x 512GB SAS SSDs inside) is low by comparison to industry leaders.

From a business point of view this means their architecture may not be the first choice for customers looking for huge installations of SSD (scaling to hundreds of petabytes) or who have datacenters in expensive city locations where increasing the square footage of storage or server cabinet space is simply not an option - and for whom higher density (SSD TB/U) outweighs any hypothetical considerations such as lower cost per terabyte to buy.

The company says it has shipped hundreds of units.

How you interpret that will depend on your perspective. It's small by comparison to competitors which have been in the market longer - but also indicates that the product works and the company is capable of developing business in the difficult to reach smaller customers who were orphaned by the earlier stages of enterprise SSD adoption which focused more on SSD-CPU equivalency as the economic justification rather than simply displacing HDD arrays. Pure Storage's business model is the harder nut to crack - but is a bigger market opportunity - which has no clear leaders at the present time.

In another interesting announcement today Pure Storage today said it is receiving an investment from In-Q-Tel (IQT), the investment firm that identifies innovative technology solutions to support the missions of the US Intelligence Community. The partnership will allow Pure Storage to further develop its FlashArray technology to meet the unique needs of IQT's government customers.

This is just speculation on my part - but one of the big headaches for users with sensitive info on hard drives is the cost and secure logistics associated with disk sanitization when storage drives reach end of service life.

The only trustworthy way to deal with hard drives is to physically shred the drives into little pieces. SSDs present different challenges for this end of the data lifecycle - but also offer more technical solutions - such as built-in destructive fast-purge - but that adds to the cost of the drives. Within the context of an SSD rack - it should be possible to integrate reliable software based data shredding - which would save costs for customers who factor in these considerations.
re unified storage and gentlemen's clubs
Editor:- October 31, 2014 - Unified Storage...

What does it really mean?

And is SAN + NAS really enough to qualify a rackmount flash system as being Unified Storage in the age of the SSD?

I don't think so.

And I got an interesting response when I discussed this with Skyera's CEO. the article
another $150 million for Pure Storage
"the fastest growing storage company in history"
Editor:- August 29, 2013 - Pure Storage today -announced that it has closed an oversubscribed $150 million Series E funding round with institutional investors which brings the companys total capital raise to $245 million. The company has shipped hundreds of units of its FlashArrays (fast-enough rackmount SSDs) to a diverse global customer base and claims it's one of the fastest growing storage companies in the industrys history.

Editor's comments:- in 2001 I started an annual series which listed the fastest growing storage companies - based on revenue growth. I ended the series in 2007/8 when the credit crunch kicked in. But you can still see many of the archived articles.

In the last year of the series there were 3 storage companies which reported over 300% year on year revenue growth. Today Pure Storage is hinting that its year on year revenue growth is north of 400%.
aligning database block sizes with SSDs
Editor:- February 5, 2013 - I often hear from readers designing software for SSDs who - having researched the subject of flash etc - have spent too much time over-worrying about internal SSD hardware details that they really shouldn't be worrying about. Because by the time they learn about such things - that type of hardware anxiety is ancient history.

Today I came across a recent blog by Chas. Dye at Pure Storage called Please DON'T Fiddle with Your Database Block Size! - which also warns about this very issue.

Chas says - "At Pure Storage, we believe that a factor that should never influence the block size decision is your storage subsystem."

Editor's comments:- I'd certainly agree that trying to slavishly make your data structures look like something you've read about which might be inside an SSD controller is probably a waste of time - because unless you know the SSD designer you don't really know what's going on - and the abstraction you read about in some web site is only a small part of the picture.

If an SSD is so sensitive to the data you hit it with - it's not the SSD you should have bought in the first place.
SSDs and boats and planes
Editor:- October 11, 2012 - a recent blog by Pure Storage asks - what's the risk of over promising and under delivering with hybrid storage arrays?

When this blog talks about hybrids the meaning - in this context - is flash and HDD hybrid boxes - not flash and PCM or some other combination of faster and slower SSDs.

Among other things - the article says " imagine if you showed up to board your international flight, and they put you on a ship instead?" the article

See also:- SSD ASAPs news (hybrid arrays. auto-tiering, caching etc.)
One of the most potentially most rewarding market challenges which SSD companies are grappling with right now is - how to make enterprise solid state storage attractive to users who aren't worried about their hard drive performance and don't even think they need SSDs.
exciting new directions in rackmount SSDs
Pure Storage announces $40 million funding
In August 2012 - Pure Storage cranked up the heat on its funding to $95 million with a new $40 million Series D funding round.

That's about $1 million of funding for each system shipped since the company emerged from stealth a year ago.

Toughest competitor - based on price - is Skyera - although Skyera will have to prove during the next few quarters that their recently launched technologies work in real world installations before they become a real headache.

Toughest competitors - based on impact of established market presence and reputation - are Texas Memory Systems, Violin, and Nimbus.
Pure Storage says what you can do with those HDD arrays
Editor:- May 16, 2012 - Pure Storage today published a new video on YouTube which pokes fun at the idea of hanging onto hard drive arrays and suggests what you can do with them.

The 142 second video packs a lot of humor into its tour of why their way of doing dedupe with flash is cheaper and better. And it includes animals too.

The company also unveiled a new generation of fast-enough (100K write IOPS) HA/FT SSD arrays today - with upto 100TB compressed capacity - which are clustered around InfiniBand.
see the SSD video I'm not great fan of SSD videos - because they mostly waste time - but this one will be added to my favorites list later today - because it's amusing and speaks for the SSD industry. the video
SSD articles here on

2.5" PCIe SSDs - How will the new concept impact existing markets?

the Business Case for SSD ASAPs - whether it's tiering or caching or both - these new SSD appliances find the data hot spots and give you the advantages of SSD acceleration as soon as possible.

what do enterprise SSD users want? - And what do SSD companies have to do in the next few years?

What makes this enterprise SSD different? - just 4 things really... (well - maybe 6)

adaptive flash care management IP (including DSP) for SSDs - what is it? and who does it?

how fast can your SSD run backwards? - Mysterious behavior in SSDs? - 11 core SSD asymmetries are often the root cause.

enterprise SSD market silos - 7 SSD types will satisfy all future enterprise needs.

where are we now with SSD software? - and how did we ever get into this mess?

Enterprise SSDs - the Survive and Thrive Guide - rules to help you get through an unruly market

exciting new directions in rackmount SSDs - the new math in enterprise flash arrays

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Pure Storage was the #1 company which grabbed reader attention for 3 successive quarters in 2016.

Although the memoryfication trends in 2017 inevitably dislodged Pure from that exalted position - it neverthless remained #2 in Q4 2017, and Q1 2018 (ahead of hundreds of other companies in the SSD and memory systems markets).

Western Digital buys Tegile as memory shortages shatter utility pricing model assumptions for hybrid storage arrays
SSD news - August 2017
miscellaneous consequences of the 2017 memory shortages
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"Flash memory based SSDs suffer the indeterminate delay inserted by the Flash Translation Layer in its production of the of physical block addresses.

This is one reason that All-Flash-Array architects like Pure Storage desire additional physical control at the Flash Translation Layer. Additional storage system functions such as deduplication, compression, error coding, power-on fill, data recovery ops, check pointing, and scrubbing are further accelerated by this approach."
Alan Niebel , CEO - Web-Feet Research (January 16, 2017) in his blog announcing a new annual edition of the company's SSD market reports "NVMe now, NVDIMM coming ".
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Nutanix says Pure's CEO doesn't understand the disruptive magnitude of hyperconvergence
Editor:- December 6, 2016 - A new blog - Pure CEO disses Nutanix. OK, let's compare numbers - by Steve Kaplan, VP of Client Strategy - Nutanix starts out with the idea of comparing the revenue and customer acquisition metrics of Nutanix to another well known company founded in the same year - Pure Storage - whose financial reporting periods are the same.

But the blog quickly repositions to a market analysis of enterprise architecture generations and customer segmentation preferences (both of which are often poorly understood in the industry by senior managers in SSD companies).

Among other things Steve says...

"Pure Storages CEO, Scott Dietzen isnt the only one at the storage manufacturer who doesnt grasp the magnitude of the disruption Nutanix has brought to the datacenter." the article

related reading:-
  • the SSD heresies - "Nowhere else in computer architecture will you get so many industry experts disagreeing on such fundamental questions."
  • Can you trust SSD market data? - "These are the 5 reasons why things go wrong in the SSD market data collection, interpretation, modeling and analysis business."
"This transaction comes out of weakness, not strength"
Scott Dietzen, CEO - Pure Storage - in his recent blog
Purely Observations on Dell / EMC Deal

Editor's comment:- That headline - which I extracted from one of many observations in Scott Dietzen's blog - is a profound understatement. I wish I'd written it.
High Availability Thinking in Pure's Flash Arrays
Editor:- June 7, 2015 - Purity: Building Fast, Highly-Available Enterprise Flash Storage from Commodity Components (pdf) by authors at Pure Storage describes several interesting aspects of Pure's flash arrays which internally use consumer grade SSDs.

The paper presented at SIGMOD 2015 says among other things-
  • Purity can tolerate the loss of 2 SSDs without losing availability. Pure encourages potential customers to pull drives and unplug controllers as part of their evaluation.
  • Due to efficiencies in deduplication Pure's customers on average provision approximately 12x more virtual space than physical storage.
  • Commenting on the differences in capability between flash management which is possible seen from a single drive level and a global array level the authors say - Pure's controller has a global view of the workload and much more computational power than the SSD FTL, allowing it to apply optimizations and make global decisions that the drives are incapable of.

    Pure says that "improvements" in consumer solo drive benchmarks do not always follow through to deliver better performance in the managed enterprise array context. Sometimes the optimized drives perform worse in a Pure array.
  • Re quality of service Pure says that to avoid application failures during controller failure, they have to guarantee that recovery will complete in under 30 seconds. the article (pdf)

See also:- high availability enterprise SSDs
what can we learn from Pure Storage's IPO filing?
Editor:- August 14, 2015 - Pure Storage needs more funds to continue its current growth strategy in the rackmount SSD market.

The reasons become clear in the details revealed in the FORM S-1 which the company registered recently with the SEC for an IPO.

One interpretation is that the company's R&D and sales and marketing costs have been disproportionately high relative to their revenue - judged by steady state market standards. However, if you choose to assume that the company's revenue will continue to grow rapidly - then these front end loaded losses are not dissimilar to what we have seen in many previous enterprise SSD IPOs.

Interesting things which emerge from Pure's S1.
  • Pure Storage's revenue in the year ending January 31, 2015 was just under $155 million.
  • Pure Storage has over 1,100 customers. And coincidentally - 1,100 employees. (Is 1 to 1 a sustainable ratio?)

    Maybe because of that Pure has a good story to tell about repeat business - although warns that this is based on a short history of 27 months of selling systems and that things could change.
  • silliest statement in the S-1:- "We have pioneered the all-flash array category..."
  • most profound statement in the S-1:- "The market for all-flash storage products is rapidly evolving, which makes it difficult to forecast customer adoption rates and demand for our products."
Investors make decisions based on all kinds of criteria and sometimes these don't make sense to anyone else - or even to the same person when looking back later. So I'm not going to speculate on the gambling aspects of the IPO.

Instead this is a useful opportunity to remind you that in the timeframe of the next 3 to 5 years there will be a great deal of market change and consolidation in the enterprise flash array market for reasons and with possible transformation paths which I wrote about in a recent article.

So if I'm trying to figure out the strengths and weaknesses of how a company like Pure Storage might morph and survive into that kind of future market my guesses would hinge around these factors:-
  • hardware:- companies like Pure (and most others too) will be buying all their hardware boxes from 3rd parties in the future. Pure's hardware IP is minimal today. But this doesn't matter so much.
  • software and marketing:- these are the things which will matter.

    Pure has demonstrated that it can sell systems - although it's hardly unique in that. And while Pure is currently a small and costly sales channel compared to the rest of the market it competes with - some longer established competitors are much worse.

    So the question is - can its software (its real core asset) stand up competitively compared to new upcoming generations of industry standard enterprise flash management software which will become the norm?

    And an equally important question related to software - is what proportion of the future flash array market will actually need to be backwards compatible with legacy architectures?

    That after all is the main point of Pure's business model today.

    So you might think about scaling back down the IDC numbers mentioned in the S-1 or look at the detail or - better still - completely disregard them if you're looking at TAM for Pure style flash arrays.
Of course I'm posing these questions knowing that reliable answers are unknowable. But despite all the uncertainty the beauty of the competitive capitalist free market system is that useful stuff still gets done and when companies become publicly owned the market provides real time feedback of what investors think.
We've all seen them.

Powerpoints, videos and pdfs in which small rackmount SSD startups (including Pure) proudly compare their systems with the size, price and power consumption of some old relic from the EMC back catalog.

The clear message is clear:- ours is better than EMC's...
can you take these AFA startups seriously?
Pure Storage's funding coffers fattened up to nearly $0.5 billion
Editor:- April 23, 2014 - Pure Storage today announced it had raised another $225 million in funding - bringing the total in all rounds to $470 million.

Editor's comments:- One of Pure Storage's many competitors - Nimbus - whose CEO has taken a different approach to funding (so far) - this week published an unflattering side by side features comparison between the 2 company's flagship rackmount SSDs.
Pure Storage's rackmount SSD shipment mille-stone
Editor:- March 11, 2014 - Pure Storage today announced it has shipped over 1,000 of its Pure FlashArrays (fast enough rackmount SSDs).

Editor's comments:- in case you didn't get that "mille-stone" thing. "Mille" is an olde English prefix (from latin) meaning "thousand".

In enterprise flash array history context:- Pure Storage's shipments milestone is less signficant than IBM's 1,500 FlashSystem 840s (fast rackmount SSDs), but more significant than Tegile's 1,000 Zebi storage arrays (hybrids) - which we have also heard about in this quarter.
Pure Storage launches maintenance program to allay user fears about flash array upgrade costs and obsolescenece
Editor:- February 6, 2014 - Pure Storage today announced a new business model for supporting its rackmount SSDs - the Forever Flash program - which the company says will provide users who have maintenance contracts better forward visibility of costs and upgrades.

Editor's comments:- One of the clever subliminal marketing messages here - when you get into the details - is the assumption that Pure Storage will still be in business in future years and still offering competitive SSD systems which you'd want to upgrade to.

But at the same time - Pure Storage - does also tackle head-on a key user fear which delays sales in this statement - "Flash storage changes completely every 6-9 months, so we built the FlashArray to allow for incremental expansion to take advantage of fast flash density and cost improvements."

See also:- playing the enterprise SSD box riddle game, the survivor's guide to enterprise SSDs
"Even if you had all your perfectly baked enterprise SSD cake - with all the software trimmings which are still a year or so in the future - available right now in your restaurant and offered it to these people at that futuristically low price today - they wouldn't want to taste it" I said to Skyera's CEO Rado Danilak.

"They prefer other people to experiment with the new enterprise SSD chef in town. You just have to live with that.

"In another few years these same cautious types may be saying to everyone they know - don't you just love dining at Skyera?"
scary Skyera
EMC really doesn't like Pure Storage
Editor:- November 6, 2013 - EMC is suing Pure Storage.

There's a good report on this in

EMC's premise is that it can't understand how Pure could have been so successful in picking up EMC customers in any other way than by leveraging the detailed knowledge which former EMCers brought to Pure when they were recruited.

Pure's CEO - Scott Dietzen - tells the world what he thinks about EMC's move in a blog in which he says - "While I have no insight that would allow me to comment on EMC's motivation, I would say in general more mature companies risk forgetting the golden rule - they are happy to recruit great people to join their companies from competitors (indeed they aggressively solicit such hires), but then resort to onerous non-compete agreements and lawsuits to deter the same employees from exercising their freedom to seek employment elsewhere..."

Editor's comments:- I was talking to the founder of another enterprise SSD company earlier this year about something different - but as a part of that conversation he told me about how upset companies like EMC, HP etc really are about what they regard as SSD upstarts causing them huge business pain.

I can't remember the exact ratio he used - but the gist was that from the big incumbants' point of view - whenever they see an upstart SSD company get one million dollars of business say - that effectively loses the big company maybe five to ten million dollars of business which they believe they would have got if these SSD companies didn't exist.

For most of us - that big company viewpoint is ridiculous.

Because in the same way that any rational customer in the late 1980s was going to buy a PC instead of a minicomputer to do their wordprocessing, or in the early 1990s - a Unix based server from Sun etc to do their departmental database and email instead of a mainframe from DEC or IBM.... customers today know they can save tons of money and do more stuff by switching to new SSD companies for their server and storage needs.

The main thing slowing them down switching over to the SSD highway is the bewildering array of SSD route maps on offer. (Not all of which have pavement and gas stops.)

Knowing these self evident truths about technology transitions doesn't stop the pain for the big companies like EMC who feel like they have been coerced into playing a game - which they don't like or understand.

This legal move by EMC reminds me of another pivotal moment in SSD history - in April 2008 - Seagate fights SSD Market Challenge - with lawyers - instead of engineers - when Seagate hoped to crush STEC using the same tactics which had worked before with several inconvenient hard drive startups. That didn't work for Seagate in 2008. It couldn't wish the SATA SSDs away.

In 2014 - the rackmount SSDs and PCIe SSDs aren't going to disappear either.

You could argue that if EMC's proprietary knowledge of what do enterprise SSD users want? was such a valuable business asset - how is it that EMC itself didn't do a better job in the SSD market while the talent was still on the payroll?

Is LinkedIn going to be the next target for the SSD lawyers? - After all - that's where you can advertise what you know.

Or how about the storage conferences and trade shows? Are the stars from EMC going to be forced to present their papers anonymously - so they can't be grabbed by competitors?

One the other hand - if it wasn't for the lawyers - we wouldn't have all those great books to read by John Grisham. I'm currently rereading - A Time to Kill.