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HGST logoHGST, 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 valued data.

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

See also:- HGST links & mentions on, HGST's SSD page

Editor:- June 20, 2016 - Until the recently closed acquisition of SanDisk by HGST's parent company Western Digital, HGST has been - in effect - WDC's main enterprise SSD brand and business development surrogate in the enterprise SSD market.

That might soon change.

So for a clearer, consolidated picture of WDC's presence within the SSD market (by 6 major acquisitions so far) take a look at the profile page of Western Digital.

HGST was ranked #12 - in the Q1 2016 edition of the the Top SSD Companies which is researched and published by

Will its acquisition of the #1 ranked SSD company - SanDisk - change the market? See what I said in the sidebar article (which waswritten at the time of the announcement in October 2015).

One lesson we've learned from analyzing all the SSD acquisitions from 2000 to 2016 - is that acquisitions of this scale take time to prepare and consolidate - but the market doesn't hold its breath and wait to see what comes out the other end. The uncertainty process assists competitors and new startups. The big ideas now prevailing in the SSD market are not the same as they were when this acquisition was first mooted. What are they? Take a look at these articles below.
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who's who in SSD? - HGST

by Zsolt Kerekes, editor - - September 29, 2015

HGST was ranked #4 - in the Q2 2015 edition of the the Top SSD Companies.

It was in this same quarter that published one of the most popular articles in recent years - which discussed the pressures, 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 landscape in the enterprise when that happens.

HGST has a preference for large controller SSD architecture. All 3 of its most recently acquired SSD 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 management firmware).

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 commodity SSDs.

Who's who in SSD? - HGST

by Zsolt Kerekes, editor - September 2013

By the time HGST eventually emerged through the nearly year long delay of HDD-related market regulatory compliance hurdles in March 2012 (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.)

Recently, however, the potential market reach of of HGST's enterprise SSD IP assets has been greatly augmented by a series of acquisitions among which are the following companies. If 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" eras.
selected HGST milestones - from SSD Market History.

In November 2010 - Hitachi said it was sampling 3.5" FC SSDs and 2.5" 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 IOPS.

In March 2011 - WD announced it will acquire 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.

In March 2012 - WD completed its acquisition of HGST - which will retain its brand identity and operate as a wholly owned subsidiary.

Also in this month - HGST announced that its 2.5" SAS SLC SSD product - the Ultrastar SSD400S - is now shipping in EMC's VNX iSCSI arrays.

In June 2013 - WD announced that it had agreed to acquire Stec for approximately $340 million. Stec will be absorbed into HGST.

In July 2013 - WD announced it had acquired VeloBit (an SSD software company operating in the SSD auto-caching market).

In September 2013 - WD's enterprise SSD subsidiary - HGST announced it would acquire Virident Systems for approximately $685 million in cash.

In December 2014 - Western Digital acquired Skyera (which at that time was offering the highest capacity SSD racks based on its own efficient controller architecture and software).

In October 2015 - Western Digital agreed to acquire SanDisk for $19 billion.

"SSD is going down! - We're going down!"
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90% of the enterprise SSD companies which you know have no good reasons to survive.
market consolidation - why? how? when?
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I would expect many product lines to disappear - while at the same time SanDisk brings to WDC the opportunity to leverage a bigger set of powerful SSD brands than it had before.

So maybe we might see some readjustments:- Fusion-io becoming the predominant PCIe SSD brand in the mix maybe?

HGST becoming the new brand for the SAS SSD product lines from SanDisk?
Zsolt Kerekes, editor - in his recent blog - who's who in SSD? - SanDisk (June 2016)

DWPD (Diskful Writes Per Day) for 5 years - has become an established part of SSD jargon in the writings of enterprise SSD makers in recent years.
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HGST samples 3TB 2.5" PCIe SSD
news image - 2.5 inch NVMe SSD - click for infoEditor:- March 11, 2015 - HGST is sampling a new range of SSDs for the 2.5" PCIe SSD market.

The 2.5" NVMe Ultrastar SN100 (pdf) has upto 3.2TB capacity.

For 13 years MRAM makers have been saying they will "soon" replace flash.
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Customer designed fault tolerant wrap arounds usually operate outside the SSD controller loop. (The rare exceptions are big web / cloud entities like Baidu, Google etc who have designed their own software.)

Where the HA / FT scheme doesn't have native controller support - and simply engages data at the host interface level these schemes can incur considerable losses in latency and failure recovery time compared to systems where the HA fault tolerant architecture has been designed inside the SSD system - and is aware of what's happening between the host interface and the SSD memory arrays.
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