Samsung Acquires Proximal Data: Server-Side Caching Software Company

Samsung Acquires Proximal Data

Recently, Samsung acquired Proximal Data, a San Diego-based flash software caching company, to boost its SSD business in the server and data center market. The acquisition move will help bring server storage software expertise to Samsung's upcoming solid-state drive (SSD) solutions and boost Samsung's presence in the SSD market. Samsung will likely use Proximal Data's technology to expands its SSD business in the server and data center markets.

The Proximal Data deal comes after Samsung's acquisition of NVELO back in 2012, a privately held company that specialized in SSD caching software for client computing space. Proximal Data will definitely play a similar role, just on the server side. Samsung is likely to use a “two-pronged strike” to expand the solid-state drive ecosystem that uses its own 3D V-NAND technology, both in the consumer and enterprise market.

The Korean tech giant has been aggressively moving and increasing investments in all-flash storage technology in recent years to create demand for its NAND technology. In October it started mass production of its 3-bits, multi-level-cell (MLC), three-dimensional vertical NAND flash memory for use in SSDs. Samsung's 3D V-NAND technology stacks 32 cells vertically and increases storage capacity 1.5 times more than multi-level cell (TLC) V-NANDs that the company pioneered.

Proximal Data, named to InfoStor's 5 Flash Storage Vendors That Shine list in August 2012, specializes in server-side caching software with I/O intelligence for virtualized systems (ESXi hypervisor and Microsoft’s Hyper-V). Its best known for its virtualization-friendly SSD caching software called AutoCache, which leverages PCIe flash cards or SSDs to increase virtual machine density and performance by removing I/O bottlenecks without interrupting IT operations. Using AutoCache, data center operators can now packs more virtual machines (VMs) into fewer physical servers. Proximal Data received the Best of Show award at 2012's Flash Memory Summit for its SSD caching software - AutoCache .

Bob Brennan, Senior Vice president of the Memory Research and Development at Samsung Semiconductors said in a statement that “With this acquisition, we will be able to further expand our SSD business in the server and data center markets, while continuing to provide the most advanced SSD solutions to customers.”

Founded in 2011 by CEO Rory Bolt, Proximal Data makes server caching software that works within virtual data storage systems to relieve bottlenecks. Proximal was funded by San Diego’s Avalon Ventures, Correlation Ventures, and Seattle-based Divergent Ventures. And has already raised $6 million in capital.

Samsung isn't alone in building up its SSD software portfolio through strategic acquisitions. Rivals are also busy working on their own, in 2012 SanDisk acquired FlashSoft and its server-centric SSD flash-caching technology. And last year, Western Digital acquired VeloBit, US-based SSD caching and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) acceleration solutions provider.

*Image Courtesy of Venturebeat

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