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HGST aims Amplidata object storage at OEMs, cloud providers

Western Digital's HGST division plans to pursue more OEM deals and launch turnkey object storage appliances with newly acquired Amplidata.

Western Digital's plans for its newly acquired Amplidata include more OEM deals and object storage appliances for cloud providers.

Amplidata will become part of Western Digital's HGST subsidiary and will be folded into the HGST Elastic Storage Platforms Group. The deal was announced Tuesday and is expected to close this month. Western Digital did not disclose the acquisition price.

Amplidata stood out among object storage vendors because of its scalability and availability features, said Dave Tang, senior vice president and general manager of the HGST Elastic Storage Platform Group.

"We thought they had the best-in-class capabilities," Tang said. "They can scale out into petabytes and exabytes. They have resiliency for fault tolerance and they have multisite capabilities. Not all providers have multisite resiliency."

Tang said HGST has several routes to take the technology to market, including the OEM deal that Amplidata has with storage systems vendor Quantum. Quantum uses Amplidata in its Lattus and StorNext archiving products, and that partnership will continue with HGST. Amplidata also has large deployments in Verizon Cloud data centers. Tang said HGST will explore new OEM deals and partnerships, and it will sell directly to cloud providers.

"We have a lot of system OEMs that are interested," Tang said. "There are cloud providers and system integrators that service end users who provide clouds. We believe the market is shifting its preference to turnkey solutions. What we are seeing is that a vast majority of users are experiencing DIY fatigue. They would rather use their resources to develop new capabilities."

Tang said HGST plans to enhance Amplidata's technology and sees opportunities in data management, data access and data retention. Amplidata claims its Himalaya storage software can handle zettabytes of data and trillions of stored objects under a single global namespace. The software was called AmpliStore until Amplidata rebranded it as Himalaya in June 2014.

The acquisition is a new direction for HGST, primarily a hard drive vendor that has been collecting flash-related startups over the past few years. It bought all-solid-state drive array vendor Skyera in December 2014, after picking up NAND controller vendor sTec, PCI Express-based flash card vendor Virident Systems and application acceleration vendor VeloBit.

HGST did announce plans for an Active Archive platform last year, and invested $10 million in Amplidata's 2015 funding round.

"HGST's lineage is in disk drives," said John Rydning, IDC research vice president for hard disk drives and semiconductors. "They are upping the ante with this in providing complete storage solutions. And they are moving up the value stack to provide complete solutions for their customers and potential customers."

Next Steps

Amplidata looks to expand partnerships

HGST adds high-performing PCI Express, cache software

Dig Deeper on Cloud object storage