Violin Memory Pops, Suggesting Re-Emergence of Big Data

Jacob Harper  |

Flash-storage maker Violin Memory (VMEM) saw shares rise significantly on April 2, representing not just a second wind for the company, but for the entire data storage industry.

Perhaps no industry in the tech sector had experienced such hype in 2013 as data storage. While storage in and of itself is not necessarily a “sexy” line of business, the high-tech buzz associated with what people do with that data certainly has been.

Big Data,” the name given to the vast sea of digital information collected by companies, became a fixation for businesses seeking an edge on their competitors. High-tech enterprises began employing data scientists en masse to parse the reams of information companies collected on consumer activity in an attempt to predict trends. While the data scientists dug into the data, they needed a place to put it. As such, enterprise data storage took off

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A disastrous earnings report in November 2013 deflated the bubble, sending shares of Violin down some 50 percent in a single day. However, since that low point, Violin has moved up slowly but surely since, recovering much of the ground lost.

Violin was further dogged by allegations of mismanagement following the earnings shortfall, resulting in the ouster of its CEO and CTO in December and the resignation of its COO two weeks later. While the company still languishes at half its September 2013 IPO price of $9 a share, it is experiencing a rapid recovery.

Contemporary storagemaker/Steve Wozniak employer Fusion-io (FIO) has also shrugged off their own poor third quarter 2013 earnings to mount a recovery, indicating there’s still plenty of room for the enterprise flash-storage industry to grow. Whether one or both companies will continue growing in their own right, or just become a takeover target from a larger competitor like Hewlett Packard (HPQ) is up in the the air. However, one thing that is becoming clear is that the Big Data craze hasn’t become just a Big Disappointment.

By 3:30 EST Violin had gained 8.80 percent on the day to hit $4.52 a share.

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