HP will honor Violin Memory sales deal but not extend it: source

SAN FRANCISCO Mon Oct 22, 2012 2:30pm EDT

A man walks past the Hewlett Packard logo at its French headquarters in Issy le Moulineaux, western Paris, in this September 16, 2005 file photograph. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/Files

A man walks past the Hewlett Packard logo at its French headquarters in Issy le Moulineaux, western Paris, in this September 16, 2005 file photograph.

Credit: Reuters/Charles Platiau/Files

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SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Hewlett-Packard will honor an agreement to sell solid-state storage devices made by Violin Memory but has no plan to extend the deal to future products, a source familiar with the situation said on Monday.

On Friday, Bloomberg reported that HP was planning to end its agreement selling solid-state storage devices made by Violin, potentially complicating Violin's plan for an initial public offering.

HP will respect its current agreement with Violin but not add future products, focusing instead on selling storage machines from 3PAR, which it had bought for $2.4 billion, the source told Reuters. An HP spokesman on Friday described 3PAR as HP's strategic platform for solid-state storage.

Violin Memory, which has been planning a stock market listing for over a year, said in a statement that its current relationship with HP remains unchanged.

"The VMA product family (the Violin 3000 and vSHARE software) continue to be available to customers via HP as per the announced relationship," the company said.

Violin spokeswoman Suzanne Chan declined to comment specifically about future plans with HP.

Retrieving data from flash memory chips is much faster and more energy efficient than from hard drives, which read data from spinning metal disks.

While storing data on flash chips is still expensive compared to hard drives, IT executives see the extra cost as worthwhile for functions where speed is important -- like operating social media websites or banking transactions.

(Reporting By Noel Randewich and Poornima Gupta; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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