Personally, I think that ZD-XL may have been designed primarily for Azure, and here is why... OCZ Jess posted an image of the hardware inside a DELL blade. DELL blades are exactly what are used in Azure. It's no secret that DELL sells Azure technology on physical servers that you can buy from them. I am unaware of any other hardware vendors who do. Azure is not going anywhere, but it's also in its infancy. If OCZ has a contract for hundreds of thousands of servers, or even just tens of thousands, and they'll all need to be upgraded over time to keep pace with service expectations (after all, these servers are like "rental cars", and will experience high burn and churn)..... That looks something like a major guaranteed stream of income, to me. Azure apparently does not use SSD for any primary storage, but it must use SSDs to some extent (?). That just means that there are still HUGE and REPETITIVE orders for SSDs down the line (within the next 1 to 3 years), and not just from Azure, but other clouds: public, private and hybrid. We're talking Minimum 300,000 servers that will need rolling upgrades (counting other cloud infrastructures as well - public info is that Azure has "100,000s of servers" alone). Servers are probably like $5K each, w/ probably ~$1K reserved for special cards/drives/devices/storage per server, per cloud revision. 300,000 X $1000 = $300B, per cloud generation, just to SSD sector (imho). HTGC throwing them a bone of a $30M loan was not just smart; but a no-brainer, in fact. It's very safe to say that OCZ will retain a sizable portion of market share and they'll be able to repay, given they make quality storage and compute hardware+software integrated solutions/products sprinkled across cost targets. In 6/12, multiple sources reported OCZ SSDs in Azure. How many today? No clue! Tomorrow, including ZD-XL? Literally, tonnes, I think.
You folks need to catch up on Microsoft/Azure news.
Microsoft has already made a decision for their Azure cloud storage requirements.
In October, Microsoft acquired Venture backed start up, StorSimple.
StorSimple provides cloud-integrated enterprise storage for Windows and VMware by integrating the cloud with on-premises enterprise storage through a single appliance that delivers high-performance tiered storage, live archiving, cloud-based data protection and disaster recovery.
The StorSimple device sits in between the cloud storage infrastructure and its applications and makes it look like they are talking to a local disk.
It's a hybrid solution that can support up to 100 TB of local storage and includes about 5% SSD to handle the most active data.
Google ' news-article/6420601-micron-unveils-new-pcie-i-o-accelerator ' for some other news you should catch up on.
Just 11 months ago this hit the wire... "Microsoft's Azure cloud using OCZ Technology SSDs, The Register reports
The new Microsoft (MSFT) Azure storage hardware is thought to include solid state drives, or SSDs, from OCZ Technology (OCZ), according to The Register, citing informed sources"
Interesting....Azure, like all cloud providers, must adopt SSD. They have no choice. It directly effects their bottom line by allowing them to increase the density of server virtualization by a factor or 10. They cannot compete in the cloud space without SSD. OCZ has had a long standing relationship with MSFT. What that relationship is, who knows. I find it hard to believe that MSFT would base their platform on the technology of a company with such a weak balance sheet. Small underfunded companies with great products are not unusually in the tech business. If a big player decides they need to work with one, they either buy the company or shore up their balance sheet with an investment. STX just made an investment like this in Densbit. Since we haven't seen that from MSFT, I think its unlikely that OCZ is providing a critical component to MSFT. I think what is more likely is that they partnered on development of SQLServer accelerator which is a win-win for both parties. Now if MSFT could just get behind the marketing of this product, we'd have a winner.
"I find it hard to believe that MSFT would base their platform on the technology of a company with such a weak balance sheet"
this may be true but MSFT may also be getting a great deal on the SSDs because OCZ needs them badly. If the cost savings is worth it then I could see it as a possibility. How do we know MSFT wouldn't invest in OCZ like STX did in Densbits? This would be a win-win for both companies and is a possibility.
Do a google search on "Azure OCZ stackoverflow" - you'll find a link to what seems to be a server tech running code and there seems to evidence of OCZ integration (?). It's dated March 14, 2013.
What do you make of it?