WD was founded in 1970. The company's storage products are
marketed to leading OEMs, systems manufacturers, selected resellers and
retailers under the Western Digital® and WD brand names. Visit
www.westerndigital.com to access more information.
But these early "pure SSD" consumer
products were not judged to be successful enough to justify their longevity
within WD's strategic product line. Instead - WD's solid state product
ambitions within the consumer market have - in recent years - mostly been
enacted within the scope of
hybrid drives -
in which a small amount of flash is integrated as a cache within a hard drive.
- WD & SSD
After WD acquired HGST from Hitachi in
March 2012 -
HGST became the main
business entity for WD's activities in the enterprise SSD market - and became -
in effect - the reprocessing center for strategic
Editor:- October 22, 2015 - Following weeks of
speculation and leaks came the
yesterday that Western
Digital has indeed agreed to acquire SanDisk in a deal
valued at $19 billion.
If all goes as planned the transaction is
expected to close in the 3rd calendar quarter of 2016.
comments:- From an SSD server storage competitive landscape perspective I
think this is more significant than the
Dell deal. Because it
will impact the design, availability, competitive market health and future
direction of many classic SSD product types in a far reaching way which could
only be matched if Dell were to acquire
play a big factor too.
Looking back at past acquisitions by WDC
you shouldn't expect anything to come out the other end of the digester
before the end of 2017.
And in that time - 2 years hence - many things
in the SSD market will be different.
Some of SanDisk's best known
enterprise SSD product lines (PCIe, SAS and SATA cloud) are already looking as
if they were designed for a different movie generation.
got a perfect Bogart lookalike for a remake of Casablanca, but
webscale casting is hooked on an idea more like Tyrion Lannister
in Game of Thrones.)
In PCIe server sockets SanDisk has
the curve in NVMe, while in 2.5" storage arrays - new adaptive
intelligence flow symmetry
- which is emerging in many different forms - means that in the extreme case
of cloud deployments -
a single SSD with customized firmware - can replace 2 old style SATA SSDs.
the other hand - SanDisk has more than amply demonstrated its willingness and
capability to integrate flash memory in the enterprise outside traditional SSD
comfort zones:- in server based DIMMs and analytics scale big data memory.
Those market experiments haven't generated much revenue yet but
are the early steps on a learning curve which all memory makers will have to
explore. The combination of that software capability and access to consumer
scale, low cost flash will probably be more use to WDC than any single
What happens in the meantime?
As we've seen
before in such long drawn out acquisitions - it's inevitable that some
SanDisk product developments will slow down and wither on the vine.
the other hand - there will also be pressure to accelerate new product
introductions too. You could say - it will be business as usual - but without
so many distractions coming from the investor angle.
Looking ahead to
a post WDC SanDisk...
WDC has a track record of swiftly EOLing
perfectly adequate SSD products which came bundled in the shopping basket but
didn't have high volumes and market scale.
This is a story which
you'll be reading about for a long time to come.