established in 2003 and formerly known as Hitachi Global Storage Technologies
(before becoming a Western Digital owned company) develops advanced hard disk
drives, enterprise-class solid state drives, innovative external storage
solutions and services used to store, preserve and manage the world's most
Founded by the pioneers of
hard drives, HGST
provides high-value storage for a broad range of market segments. For more
information, please visit the company's website at
links & mentions on StorageSearch.com,
HGST's SSD page
who's who in SSD? - HGST - September 29, 2015
was ranked #4 - in the
Q2 2015 edition of
the Top SSD Company lists
which is researched and published by StorageSearch.com
It was in this same quarter that StorageSearch.com published one of
the most popular articles in recent years - which discussed the
likely roadmap and consequences of future market consolidation in the
enterprise SSD systems market.
Is HGST a contender for supplying
standard box platforms viable with this model? Maybe. It depends how HGST
recycles Skyera's IP (which accounted for over 1/3 of the interest in HGST's SSD
IP in Q2 2015) and it will also depend on the market reaction and competitive
in the enterprise when that happens.
HGST has a preference for
SSD architecture. All 3 of its most recently
companies - which operate in the enterprise market - had their own unique large
controller architectures - which faciltate better efficiency, reliability and
spike free performance than small controllers (when the small controllers are
used in an array context without the benefit of 3rd generation multi-level
That's a good thing - which provides a
competitive edge - if you can maintain investment in updating the proprietary
IP. But as we've seen with some other vendors - if the core controllers aren't
updated with new memory paradigms (a case in point being the delay in adopting
new memory by
Fusion-io in the
period leading up to its acquisition by
SanDisk) then within a
year to 18 months the proprietary arrays begin to look expensive compared to
earlier comments:- July 28, 2014 - from
Top SSD Companies in
In this quarter it was still evident that the various SSD
acquisitions which HGST had made recently - were not integrated into a single
coherent customer facing view of enterprise SSD offerings on HGST's web site.
But that also made it easier for external analysts to see that the
majority of interest in HGST's SSD product line in this period stemmed from the
interfaces and form factors it had acquired from STEC - which generated more
than 2x the search activity as the PCIe SSD product line it had acquired from
It's unlikely that we will get such clarity in future quarters - until
some future time when HGST starts to disclose SSD revenue by form factor (which
may not happen).
who in SSD? - by
editor - September 2013
By the time HGST eventually emerged
through the nearly year long delay of
regulatory compliance hurdles in
(which had been triggered by
WD agreeing to acquire
it from Hitachi) HGST's already weak and late to market
SAS SSD product line
was looking even more tired and unattractive in comparison to leading
competitors in the enterprise SSD race than it already had done when this
storage drive acquisition marathon began.
One confirmatory indication of this being that (unlike WD itself)
HGST had never appeared in the
Top SSD Companies List
throughout the 6 year period from 2007 upto the middle of 2013. (Later:-
HGST's 1st appearance in the Top SSD Companies List occured after this comment
- based on metrics in the 3rd quarter of 2013 - at #18.)
however, the potential market reach of of HGST's enterprise SSD IP assets
has been greatly augmented by a series of
among which are the following companies.
successful - the cumulative impact of HGST's reprocessing of all the enterprise
SSD IP which will soon be at its disposal - could fundamentally change the
way that WD is
regarded within the SSD
market of the future - as "pre-HGST" and "post-HGST"
was sampling 3.5"
FC SSDs and
SAS SSDs with upto
400GB SLC capacity and 535MB/s read and 500MB/s write throughput (6Gb/s SAS)
46,000 / 13,000 R/W
March 2011 -
WD announced it
Hitachi GST for
approximately $4.3 billion. Although the primary motive is
hard drives - the
companies said they would put more resources into SSDs too.
its acquisition of HGST
- which will retain its brand identity and operate as a wholly owned
Also in this month -
announced that its 2.5"
product - the
SSD400S - is now shipping in EMC's
- WD announced that it
had agreed to acquire
Stec for approximately
$340 million. Stec will be absorbed into
In July 2013 -
WD announced it had
SSD software company
operating in the SSD
In September 2013 -
WD's enterprise SSD
HGST announced it would
Systems for approximately $685 million in cash.
|"Back in 2003 all
enterprise acceleration SSDs were RAM SSDs. Now - 10 years later - nearly all
enterprise SSDs are flash. But what kind of flash?"|
|sugaring flash for
|"How much write
endurance is enough? given that worst case write endurance wear out in
our own (best of breed) enterprise SSDs is between 14 months to 11 years
- depending on the model... Meanwhile other data failure factors may be even
more important in some applications - such as power off data retention of just
3 months at 40 degrees C... Continued customer education is needed."|
SSD Endurance Race: Who's Got the Write Stuff? (pdf) - by Ulrich Hansen
Director of Market Development, HGST - (August 2012)
- presentation at the Flash
|key SSD idea #7 - valuing
Acquisitions reported in 2014 seemed to indicate that SSD companies
aren't worth as much as they before.
Although there are special factors which complicate any particular
analysis - as I discussed in the cases of Seagate acquiring LSI's SSD business,
and SanDisk acquiring Fusion-io - it's clear that from the viewpoint of the
people who matter (those with the money) an SSD company with a rich set of IP
and strong market recognition in 2014 isn't generally worth as much as you might
have thought if you had extrapolated from SSD company values in 2013.
10 key SSD ideas in 2014|
|Western Digital acquires
|Editor:- December 15, 2014 -
and HGST today
the acquisition of Skyera.|
comments:- This is a momentous acquisition for the enterprise SSD market.
I think the context in which to view this is as the embodiment of a new
wisdom in the industry - that to succeed in the enterprise SSD market today -
and to achieve the ultimate efficiencies at the manufacturing level - vendors
have to think like systems companies.
And some of the biggest
systems opportunities for efficient vendors nowadays - in which efficiencies
translate into business opportunities are in hyperscale systems and internet
I've been discussing these trends in the past 18
months or so in these articles - which I think are relevant to today's
directions in rackmount SSDs (May 24, 2013) - "One of the most
potentially rewarding market challenges which SSD companies are grappling with
right now is - how to make enterprise solid state storage attractive to users
who aren't worried about their hard drive performance and don't even think they
need SSDs... New SSD thinking inside the box will lead to better enterprise
- meet Ken -
and the enterprise SSD software event horizon (October 8, 2013) - "Why
it's so easy to fall into a trap when answering these questions... How big will
the SSD market will be when SSDs replace hard drives? When will it happen? and
What will be the revenue of the SSD market at that time?"
- Scary Skyera?
(October 22, 2013) - "You may decide that my ratios (of enterprise SSD
capacity needed to replace hard drives) are too timid - I said to Skyera's
founder - if so - scare us!"
- Seagate to
acquire LSI's flash business (May 29, 2014 ) - "...even if Seagate
focused only on the high volume potential of existing cloud infrastructure
customers and big web entities (like Google and Baidu) - who need value based
enterprise SSDs - but who are perfectly capable of designing their own software
and APIs and firmware tweaks - then Seagate could... establish it as one of
(several) leaders in the utility SSD segment of the cloud."
- Skyera's new
skyHawk FS (October 29, 2014) - "Re the mobile data center, new
meanings to unified storage and joining storage gentlemen's clubs..."
memory channel SSDs
trust SSD market data?
SSD endurance - the
changed in SSD year 2013?
how fast can your SSD
Where are we now
with SSD software?
How will hard drives
fare in an SSD world?
7 SSDs for the spin-free
solid state datacenter
enterprise SSD software event horizon
|HGST announces 2nd
generation clustering software for FlashMAX PCIe SSDs|
|Editor:- September 9, 2014 - HGST today
a new improved version of the
clustering capability previously available in the
PCIe SSD product line
acquired last year from Virident.|
allows clustering of up to 128 servers and 16 PCIe storage devices to deliver
one or more shared volumes of high performance flash storage with a total usable
capacity of more than 38TB.
HGST says its Virident HA provides a "high-throughput,
low-latency synchronous replication across servers for data residing on FlashMAX
PCIe devices. If the primary server fails, the secondary server can
automatically start a standby copy of your application using the secondary
replica of the data."
For more details see -
Virident Software 2.0 (pdf)
Editor's comments:- This
capability had already been demonstrated last year - and
ESG reported on the
technology in January
But at that time - the clustering product called vShare -
was restricted to a small number of servers - and the data access fabric was
restricted to Infiniband
With the rev 2.0 software - the number of connected devices has
increased - and users also have the lower cost option of using
Ethernet as an alternative
|Editor:- September 9, 2013 - it was announced
today that Virident
Systems will be acquired by WD's enterprise SSD
subsidiary - HGST
for approximately $685 million in cash. |
Virident is a Top 10 SSD
company with its own
SSD controller technology, and a market proven
scalable enterprise PCIe
SSD compatible product line.
The signs that Virident was behaving
like a company which might be imminently acquired (by someone) started to
become clear 2 months ago. However, if anyone had put bets on who that likely
acquirer would be - the most probable name which would have come up in such
conversations would have been
on the heels of an enterprise
SSD marketwide acquisition binge in recent months - this latest move
suggests that HGST will be appearing in rather more enterprise SSD shortlists
It also confirms - if you had any doubts about it - that
the main reason for WD wanting to acquire
Stec recently - had
little or nothing to do with Stec's weak PCIe SSD product line.
|"SSD is going down! -
We're going down!"|
If you've ever watched the movie - Black Hawk
Down - there's a memorable scene in which...
sudden power loss|