Fusion-io, a maker of flash memory modules for fast, energy efficient server storage, has filed for an initial public offering in the hopes to raising up to $150 million. And for those watching the flash storage and SSD markets, it’s a pretty big deal.
The Salt Lake City-based startup has been a rising star in the data storage space, particularly in the wake of cloud services and data center growth. Fusion-io’s server modules address two major pain points for operators of big cloud computing centers: power consumption and storage performance. Its tech both consumes much less power and is able to shuttle data back and forth faster than hard drives. Though pricier than traditional magnetic storage, companies that rely on fast data transfers to imbue their web-accessible apps with snappy performance are adopting Fusion-io’s hardware nonetheless. Companies like…
Facebook + Fusion-io
As Arik Hesseldahl mentions in his WSJ | All Things Digital post, Facebook is Fusion-io’s biggest customer. It’s a mutually beneficial partnership that’s bound to grow if one considers the social networking giant’s growth and data center expansion. Facebook needs technologies that maintain good performance for its users and helps lower energy costs as its infrastructure grows bigger, more complex and power intensive. Plus, it’s a relationship made cosier by the fact, as pointed out by Hesseldahl, that VC vet “Marc Andreesen sits on Facebook’s board and is an investor in Fusion-io.”
Apart from the Facebook disclosure, the Fusion-io’s filing reveals that it has shipped 20 petabytes of storage to over 1,000 customers to date and that profitability eludes the firm, having posted a loss of $8.2 million on $58.2 million in revenue during the six months ending December 31, 2010. During that time, the company was busy updating its product slate and forging new partnerships like adding Dell to its OEM roster.
A successful IPO would do more than add funds to Fusion-io’s bank account. It could also help heighten the profile of other enterprise flash storage startups like Violin Memory, which raised $35 million last month. Like Fusion-io, Violin’s tech is being put to work in the data centers of big-name firms — namely Microsoft, AOL and HP in Violin’s case.