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HGST goes on Himalaya expedition with Amplidata purchase

Object storage is no object

Joins abound

HGST says of Himalaya: "It allows customers to store and manage zettabytes of data and trillions of stored objects, representing a geometric leap in scale that anticipates rapid growth in customers’ appetite for highly durable and available storage."

A graphic shows how the components interact:


Himalaya schematic. Click to make it bigger

Verizon was building a Himalaya-based offering in June last year.

HGST is the latest big beast to get into object storage and joins:

  • EMC with ECS, Atmos and Isilon
  • HDS with its Hitachi Content Platform
  • HP with StoreAll
  • NetApp with StorageGRID

Neither Dell nor IBM have an in-house object storage offering.

Object storage independents include Basho, Caringo, Cleversafe, Cloudian, Coho Data, DDN, Exablox, Nexenta, Scality, Storiant, SwitfStack and Tarmin, with China Telcom, Huawei and Red Hat also having stakes in the game.

A possibility is that the big beasts could tend to dominate the market with, perhaps, Cleversafe, DDN and Scality building on the progress they have made so far to grow further, leaving hard ground for the others to plough.

Quantum pres and CEO Jon Gacek supported the acquisition: “As both an Amplidata strategic partner and investor, we're excited about the acquisition. It reinforces the value of our solution, and we believe it will result in new strategic partnership opportunities."

HGST doesn't believe there will be conflict with its OEMS: "By focusing on scale-out storage systems for 'Third Platform' cloud data centers, we complement the capabilities of our existing OEM system customers, who focus on the traditional enterprise data centre space. Several of our OEM customers are adopting, or have shown strong interest in, the technologies, platforms and systems that we have developed for this initiative to augment their capabilities and portfolio."

It's just tough for those OEMS wanting to sell archiving products into cloud data centres, then.

Amplidata, with its 50 employees and headquarters in Ghent, Belgium, will become part of HGST’s Elastic Storage Platforms Group, led by SVP and general manager Dave Tang.

"The acquisition is a stock purchase, and thus it includes Amplidata’s existing product portfolio (eg AmpliStor, Himalaya, BitSpread and BitDynamics brands), patents, and all in-process R&D," HGST said. The cost was not disclosed, although HGST said it is a cash transaction.

It was a competitive transaction too, as there were other bidders. El Reg asks itself if Dell, IBM or even Seagate were involved, as they currently have no skin in the object storage game.

Relative to the amount, HGST said: "This was a technology acquisition and valuation was driven by multiple factors, both internal and external. Amplidata’s burn rate was a minor part of our analysis."

El Reg records show it has accumulated $44.5m in funding with rounds in 2008 – when it was founded – 2010, 2012 and last year. A 4X payout for the investors would be $178m and a 5X one would amount to some $222m. The buy is expected to close by the end of March. ®

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