Western Digital's HGST storage subsidiary is mostly a hardware company that makes disk drives, but it posted a big move on the software side March 3 in announcing its acquisition of Amplidata, a privately held developer of object storage software for public and private cloud data centers.
Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed by buyer nor seller.
Irvine, Calif.-based HGST (formerly Hitachi Global Storage Technologies) is what remains of Hitachi's former disk business when it supplied large numbers of spinners to IBM. It is now building full storage systems using both conventional hard drives and NAND flash drives—or combinations of both.
Belgium-based Amplidata represents the second acquisition for HGST in the last three months. HGST, which had partially owned all-flash array maker Skyera for several years, bought the remaining equity of that company last December.
The acquisition is in line with the company's strategy to expand into higher-value data storage platforms. By adding Amplidata into its mix, HGST is broadening its storage software portfolio in view of three continuing trends: a) the growth of object storage; b) the growth of cloud storage; and c) the fact that enterprises are seeking more options in installing and/or refreshing older data centers.
Amplidata's primary offering is Himalaya, advanced object storage software that enables scale-out software-defined storage systems.
How exactly does Amplidata fit into HGST's plans?
"Object storage is optimized for large data stores -- 500TB and up -- where disk drives will be the storage medium of choice," storage analyst Robin Harris wrote in his blog. "HGST has publicly stated their intent to enter the active archive market where Amplidata is a great fit. But how far will they go? They could package up an HGST-branded archive product. They could offer an unbranded version for resellers. Or they could simply offer the software."
HGST previously had selected Amplidata as a joint development partner for its Active Archive platform. The deal is expected to close later this month, HGST said.