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.
- HGST integrates the Amplidata software with their smart disks (see Seagate’s Kinetic vision shipping – but not from Seagate).
- 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?
Stuff like your option #1 is why I found HGST’s version (which I first saw at OpenStack Summit) so much more interesting than Seagate’s. I’m not impressed by yet another maybe-sufficient maybe-secure maybe-performant object interface, totally controlled by one party, even if it’s integrated with the drive. Being able to put *any intelligence you want* on the drive? That’s much more interesting, and much more likely to lead to development of truly new things. It’s almost a textbook example of “embrace, extend, extinguish” vs. true innovation.
 AFAICT the answers in this case are all “no” BTW.
A hard drive’s controller is basically just a specialized ARM SOC. A natural evolution would be to make drives that run Hadoop on the disk controller itself, albeit beefed up with ARM64 and extra RAM.
Stay tuned. We will surprise you 🙂
Here is a part of our strategy for an ultra-dense storage system: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/hgst-delivers-worlds-first-10tb-070100365.html
We were acquired 3 months ago. The synergy and complementarity Amplidata – HGST is just fantastic!