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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

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Who's who in SSD? - 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.
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"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."
The SSD Endurance Race: Who's Got the Write Stuff? (pdf) - by Ulrich Hansen Director of Market Development, HGST - (August 2012) - presentation at the Flash Memory Summit

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WD acquires Virident
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.

Editor's comments:- Virident is a Top 10 SSD company with its own big architecture SSD controller technology, and a market proven symmetrically 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 Seagate.

Following 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 than before.

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.

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