Western Digital Acquires VeloBit

Posted on July 12, 2013 By Pedro Hernandez

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IT companies aren't letting up in their pursuit of flash storage innovators and their performance-boosting tech.

Western Digital announced on July 10 that it acquired Lincoln, Mass.-based VeloBit, a provider of solid-state drive (SSD) caching and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) acceleration software, for an undisclosed amount. VeloBit will be folded into Western Digital's HGST subsidiary, the companies said.

Western Digital acquired HGST, formerly Hitachi Global Storage Technologies, in March 2012 after a yearlong effort to seal the $4.3 billion deal. The transaction closed after Western Digital agreed to conditions imposed by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and China's Ministry of Commerce.

Today, as HGST ventures further from its hard disk drive (HDD) roots and into flash-based solid-state drives (SSDs), the company's attention turns to performance enhancing software. "In VeloBit we saw a great team that has developed and commercialized breakthrough I/O optimization software," said HGST president Mike Cordano in a statement.

"The acquisition of VeloBit is an important step in our strategy to develop robust software capabilities to augment our successful SSD product portfolio," he added.

The buy also helps put HGST on a trajectory that leads squarely into the burgeoning enterprise flash storage market. "Both the VeloBit acquisition and the proposed sTec acquisition by Western Digital reflect acceleration by its HGST subsidiary in the fast growing and strategic enterprise SSD space," noted the company.

Parent company Western Digital snapped up sTec on June 24 in a deal valued at $340 million. "This acquisition is one more building block in our strategy to capitalize on the dramatic changes within the storage industry by investing in SSDs and other high-growth storage products," stated Western Digital CEO Steve Milligan in company remarks.

HGST isn't the only storage maker with enterprise flash storage ambitions.

After weeks of rumors, EMC officially announced on July 11 that it had acquired ScaleIO, a server-side storage software specialist. The startup's flash-friendly Elastic Converged Storage (ECS) software pools SSD, flash PCIe caching card and HDD capacity and presents it as a virtual SAN. While financial terms remain officially undisclosed, EMC reportedly paid between $200 million and $300 million for ScaleIO.

On July 2, SanDisk made waves by acquiring SMART Storage Systems for $307 million. SMART specializes in high-performance SATA and SAS SSDs for enterprise, industrial and defense applications.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Small Business Computing and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.


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