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Skyera hires flashy Western Digital veep as chief architect

WD potentially challenging the big SSD boys

WD RE4 Enterprise disk drive

Flash array startup Skyera, which counts Western Digital among its investors, has recruited a WD flash product exec as its new chief architect.

According to a story in the Sacramento Bee, Skyera recruited Andy Tomlin as its chief architect. Tomlin was WD's vice presidnt of SSD Development responsible for all firmware, software and hardware architecture.

Before that he was Vice President of firmware and software at SandForce, bought by LSI, and has previous experience at SanDisk, Quantum, Maxtor and IBM.

Andy Tomlin

Andy Tomlin

Tomlin's LinkedIn profile confirmed his latest move. El Reg's storage desk imagines that WD has given its blessing to Tomlin's departure and wonders if it presages anything more.

We note WD is using SanDisk NAND chips as the flash component of its hybrid WD Black SSHD product. It's apparent that WD lacks a broad SSD product portfolio, similar to arch-competitor Seagate until its recent flash product portfolio announcement.

The two possibilities suggesting themselves are that WD is going to offer a broader flash product portfolio using SanDisk technology, and that it has an interest in potentially supplying Skyera with SSDs - or in entering the flash array market itself in some way.

SanDisk, with $5bn-per-year revenues and capitalised at $14bn, is probably too big a mouthful for WD, which boasts $12.5bn revenue a year and is also capitalised at $14bn. ®

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