Is anyone going to play Violin?

Contact: Brenon Daly, Henry Baltazar

As Fusion-io continues to bask in the glow of its newly created billion-dollar valuation, Wall Street is already looking for the next solid-state storage specialist. Conveniently enough, Violin Memory popped up earlier this week, announcing a $40m round at a $440m valuation. (It’s pure coincidence, certainly, that Violin – headed by the same guy who used to head Fusion-io – picked the same week as Fusion-io’s debut to trumpet not only the new investment but also the valuation it fetched. Just a fluke of the calendar, of course.)

Whatever the motivation for landing two rounds of funding in just four months, Violin also talked about topping $100m in sales this year, which would certainly put it on track for an IPO of its own. Provided, that is, the company intends to go public. If it should opt to head for the other exit and sell, we suspect that the most interested bidder in Violin may well be Hewlett-Packard.

The two companies have been publishing benchmark results from a combined offering, and HP undoubtedly could use the technology boost to more effectively compete with Oracle, which has been punching HP every chance it gets. (Oracle’s none-too-subtle ‘cash for clunkers’ ad campaign around HP servers comes to mind.) Another possible suitor for Violin would be Juniper Networks, which has already invested in the startup.