Western Digital Completes SanDisk Acquisition

Posted on May 12, 2016 By Pedro Hernandez

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Two days after the company announced that it had secured the approval of China's Ministry of Commerce, Western Digital said today that it had completed the acquisition of flash chip maker and solid-state drive (SSD) provider SanDisk.

In October 2015, the companies announced plans to acquire SanDisk for $19 billion. The transaction was overwhelmingly approved by the boards of both companies in March.

For Western Digital, best known as a hard drive maker, incorporating SanDisk's technologies into its product mix expands its ability to cater to a flash-focused enterprise storage scene. The combined company's product line stretches from consumer-grade hard disk drives (HDD) and memory cards to all-flash storage systems for the data center, including SanDisk's Infiniflash arrays.

Targeting high-performance cloud workloads, SanDisk announced a strategic alliance with Red Hat in March. Under the terms of the agreement, SanDisk would offer Ceph, the distributed, open-source object storage platform often used as the storage backend for the OpenStack cloud platform, as the preferred software on its InfiniFlash arrays.

"This transformational combination creates a media-agnostic leader in storage technology with a robust portfolio of products and solutions that will address a wide range of applications in almost all of the world's computing and mobile devices," said Western Digital's CEO Steve Milligan in a statement.

Sanjay Mehrotra, co-founder and CEO of SanDisk, has been appointed to Western Digital's board of directors as a member. "As a combined company, we will be best positioned to address the demands for data storage, which is growing exponentially every year. Growth and change go hand in hand, and we couldn't be happier to grow and change together with Western Digital," stated Mehrotra.

The integration process is already underway and is expected to take up to 24 months to complete, according to Western Digital. In total, the combined company will employ 74,000 workers.

Of course, Western Digital isn't the only hard drive maker to diversify its product portfolio with flash.

Last year, Seagate and Micron entered into a strategic partnership aimed at developing enterprise SSDs. In August, the alliance bore fruit in the form of Seagate's 1200.2 line of 2.5-inch SAS SSDs. In 2014, Seagate snapped up LSI's flash storage business, responsible for PCIe flash accelerators that speed up application servers, for $450 million.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InfoStor. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.


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