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 ,
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
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
HGST was ranked #12 - in
Q1 2016 edition of
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.
who's who in SSD? - HGST
- September 29, 2015
HGST was ranked #4 - in the
Q2 2015 edition of
the Top SSD Companies.
It was in this same quarter that 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
who in SSD? - HGST
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
- 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.
In December 2014 - Western Digital acquired
Skyera (which at
that time was offering the highest capacity SSD racks based on its own
controller architecture and software).
- Western Digital
agreed to acquire SanDisk
for $19 billion.
|"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|
|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
in his recent blog - who's
who in SSD? - SanDisk (June 2016)|
|Why can't SSD's true
believers agree on a single shared vision for the future of solid state
|the SSD Heresies |
|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
|over 33 companies make M.2
SSDs - here's the list and an M.2 focused news archive|