Amplidata announced this morning that Western Digital Capital has made a $10m investment.

HGST, a wholly owned subsidiary of Western Digital Corp., has selected Amplidata’s Himalaya software to jointly develop a family of ultra-dense storage solutions to address the rapidly growing demand to store data in public and private cloud data centers. . . .

The companies will partner to create solutions that will dramatically improve the storage economics for the Exabyte-scale needs of the world’s largest businesses and will be available in the market during the first half of 2015.

The StorageMojo take
Wow. Didn’t see that coming. But I like it.

WD getting into the high-scale storage business? The storage landscape really has changed. Time was when a drive vendor would never – well, except for Seagate’s flirtation with Xiotech – have competed with customers.

But the lure of vertical integration – and the margins – has worked its magic. When software eats everything the barriers to entry are lowered. And when new apps are speaking native S3 it’s way easier to look at a rack full of disks as a really big disk drive.

Instantiation? Two possibilities spring to mind.

  1. HGST integrates the Amplidata software with their smart disks (see Seagate’s Kinetic vision shipping – but not from Seagate).
  2. They stay with Amplidata’s controller model to produce something that looks like what Amplidata is offering today.

One is more difficult. Two is less disruptive. My money’s on 1.

I did a video for Amplidata a couple of years ago on their architecture that interested people will enjoy.

Courteous comments welcome, of course. What do you think?