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Restructuring puts Hitachi back in black

Japanese conglomerate Hitachi, which has a fairly substantial IT and electronics business, is saying sayonara today to the economic meltdown as it moves back into the black at the close of its fiscal 2009 year. The latest quarterly figures show restructuring maneuvers at the company last year more than paid off. A recovery in …
The Register breaking news

King Coyne snaps chains, escapes Western Digital

Under CEO John Coyne, Western Digital bought Hitachi GST and has become the world's number-one disk drive manufacturer. Now, leaving on a high note, Coyne is going to transfer the reins to HGST's ex-boss man Steve Milligan. The transfer of power will take place on 2 January, 2013. Milligan is now president of WD and will keep …
Chris Mellor, 10 Sep 2012
Sagate 6TB Enterprise Capacity Drive

Seagate brings out 6TB HDD, did not need NO STEENKIN' SHINGLES

Seagate sub LaCie has pre-announced a 6TB near line disk drive from its parent and it doesn't appear to use the slow write shingled magnetic recording technology. LaCie's news came out with the NAB event in Las Vegas, which opened on Friday. There are details of the drive on Seagate's website, although the drive has not been …
Chris Mellor, 07 Apr 2014
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Hitachi Data Systems SSD flashes into view

Hitachi Data Systems' customers can now buy flash-based solid state drives (SSDs) for the high-end USP V and VM storage arrays. HDS will also support the coming Hitachi GST SSDs, built by Hitachi GST and Intel. This leaves IBM's DS8000 as the last enterprise drive array with no flash drive option, as both HP and Sun resell the …
Chris Mellor, 15 Dec 2008
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WD to research flash in Taiwan

Disk drive supplier Western Digital is planning a solid state drive (SSD) research and development centre in Taiwan. Digitimes reports it could be located in Hsinchu and employ some 50 local technicians. It would focus on enterprise SSD applications, and would complement WD's existing R&D centre at its headquarter offices, …
Chris Mellor, 08 Dec 2011
For Sale sign detail

Western Digital slips solid hardness into EMC's eager slot

Getting ahead of ourselves by a few days, Western Digital is supplying solid-state disks to EMC for its VNX5500-F all-flash array. Of course, currently the chips are funnelled through its arms-length independent Hitachi GST subsidiary, but this is just a formality. WD is buying Hitachi GST and the acquisition is expected to be …
Chris Mellor, 06 Mar 2012
Plane crash

Krakoom! OCZ flies into the ground. Time to salvage the engines and look around

Ryan Petersen made OCZ a high-flyer: and then nearly piloted it into the ground. Replacement CEO Ralph Schmitt did crash-land the damaged business, but was unable to repair it and get it flying again. Bankruptcy beckons. OCZ shot itself in the foot (causing its feet to slip from the rudder pedals leading to a crash -Ed) with …
Chris Mellor, 28 Nov 2013
The Register breaking news

Seagate squeezes out 4TB desktop monster

Seagate seems set to replace its desktop Barracuda brand with the Desktop HDD brand and introduce a 4TB desktop drive with it. The Desktop HDD 15 line runs up from 250GB through 320GB and 500GB all the way to 1TB, 2TB, 3TB and 4TB. It uses 1TB/platter technology, spins at 7,200rpm, has a 64MB cache, transfers data at up to 160MB …
Chris Mellor, 07 Feb 2013
homeless man with sign

Mixed fortunes for Hitachi disk division

A profitable 2008 for Hitachi has been followed by a miserable 2009, with two loss-making quarters and a possible fall behind in the areal density stakes. In April last year, and after much high-level debate within Hitachi, it was decided that Hitachi GST would remain as part of Hitachi, not be sold off in whole or part, and …
Chris Mellor, 09 Aug 2009
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Toshiba swaps flood-soaked Thai plant for WD disk biz

It's as if we were tipped off: Toshiba is buying the 3.5-inch disk drive operations that WD has to sell to gain EU approval for its Hitachi GST acquisition. At the same time, Toshiba is transferring to WD its flood-ravaged HDD manufacturing subsidiary in Thailand, Toshiba Storage Device (Thailand). Western Digital said: "TSDT …
Chris Mellor, 29 Feb 2012
WD RE4 Enterprise disk drive

WD to parade flash-disk mutant for Wall St moneybags this week

Western Digital will face investors on Thursday and tell them what the world's new number-one disk drive supplier is going to do to stay at the top. That means products, products and more products. Having acquired Hitachi GST and its enterprise drives, WD can't wait to put competitive pressure on Seagate and dive deeper into the …
Chris Mellor, 11 Sep 2012
For Sale sign detail

Hitachi Data Systems: A storage giant lost in translation

Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) is the only world-class Japanese storage company, with its USP-V high-end enterprise arrays and AMS mid-range systems. Its fellow Japanese corporations, Fujitsu and NEC, are under-performers in comparison. In fact, the USP-V arrays are so good that HP OEMs them and Sun did resell them. Acer OEMs a …
Chris Mellor, 26 Jul 2010
SGI logo hardware close-up

WD fattens up S25 with third juicy platter

The third generation S25 drive from Western Digital has had a third platter added to reach the 900GB capacity point. WD's S25 is a 2.5-inch enterprise disk drive spinning at 10,000rpm with a 6Gbit/s SAS interface. It comes in 150, 300 and 600GB capacity points and competes with Seagate's Savvio 10K – the 10K.4 600GB version of …
Chris Mellor, 07 Mar 2012
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Toshiba may be getting excess WD disk biz

We are hearing that Toshiba is buying Western Digital's "excess" 3.5-inch disk drive business, clearing the way to the completion of the WD's acquisition of Hitachi GST . The Hitachi GST acquisition has been blocked by EU and Chinese regulators due to competition concerns. The EU has required WD to offload some 3.5-inch hard …
Chris Mellor, 08 Feb 2012
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WD soaked in sales cash bonanza after Thai flood hell

Western Digital, the world's number two hard drive vendor, is bouncing back after Thai floods wiped out disk assembly lines - but not quite enough to grab Seagate's crown. WD has included just three weeks of acquired Hitachi GST's earnings, $614m, in its third quarter fiscal 2012 results, but even so has seen a pronounced …
Chris Mellor, 27 Apr 2012
WD RE4 Enterprise disk drive

Seagate private equity whispers begin... AGAIN

Seagate is reported to be talking to private equity firms about shifting off the stock market and back into private ownership. This would be the second time it has held such talks, so it's anybody's guess if anything will come of it. We heard about it from Aaron Rakers, a Stifel Nicolaus analyst of good repute, and he heard …
Chris Mellor, 26 Nov 2012
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Hitachi takes losses, chops jobs

Japanese conglomerate Hitachi reported its financial results for its 2008 fiscal third quarter today and swapped some execs in its Americas unit and disk array and disk drive businesses. Because Hitachi's shares are traded on Wall Street, the company reports its financials in both Japanese yen and U.S. dollars. Sales across the …

Four terabytes (but five platters)

Hard drive vendors are having a tough time in getting 4-platter, 4TB drives to market. Seagate has a 4TB GoFlex Desk external drive but this is a 5-platter disk with 800GB platters. Despite announcing 3.5-inch terabyte-per-platter technology in May the company has been unable to get it to product status. Now Hitachi GST has …
Chris Mellor, 12 Sep 2011

WD pushes out super-slim shock-resistant Ultrabook drive

Western Digital has crafted up a slim half-terabyte single platter drive that uses the least power of all Ultrabook disk drive on the market. WD says it is also the most shock-resistant Ultrabook drive yet. The 6.8mm thin Scorpio Blue comes in 320GB and 500GB capacities, spins at 5,400rpm and has a 4000Gs operating shock …
Chris Mellor, 11 Apr 2012
The Register breaking news

Intel in Flash flush, offers 'smoother' fresh jobbie to data centre bods

Intel has replaced its data centre-class 710 SSD - and its poor write performance - with a DC S3700 that reads twice as fast and writes 15 times faster. The DC, standing for Data Centre, S3700 uses the same 25nm High-Endurance Technology (HET) multi-level cell NAND as the 710 - it was announced roughly only a year ago after all …
Chris Mellor, 07 Nov 2012
wd_thai_lake_1_small

Top disk drive dog WD shakes off flood water, doubles its earnings

WD produced record results for its 2012 fiscal year despite two natural disasters and buying Hitachi GST for $4.8bn, the largest-ever acquisition in the disk drive industry. It is overtaking Seagate in revenue and disk drive unit production terms and is the undisputed top disk drive industry dog. Where next? WD beat the Street …
Chris Mellor, 26 Jul 2012

You know flash is king when disk giant Seagate grows its SSD line

Seagate is going to expand its solid state drive (SSD) line this year using co-developed Samsung controller technology and introducing its first multi-level cell drive. Seagate and Samsung have a flash chip supply and controller partnership. Stifel Nicolaus analyst Aaron Rakers has talked to Seagate execs and gleaned that: …
Chris Mellor, 14 Jan 2013
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Toshiba tears into enterprise drive space

Courtesy of its acquisition of Fujitsu's disk drive business, Toshiba has entered the enterprise 2.5-inch disk market with a bang: with a 300GB, 15K drive to be precise. This MK01GRRB/R series product is the second such drive available, and follows on from Seagate's Savvio 15K.3. Like the Seagate product, the Toshiba has two …
Chris Mellor, 14 Oct 2011
Galaxy

SGI slips on Scality's RING, awaits flood of Big Data

Scality's object storage software is being OEMed by SGI so that it can gulp down galactic amounts of unstructured data into its storage arrays. SGI has a Modular InfiniteStorage (MIS) array that was kicked into life a year ago and offered as a JBON or a NAS server supporting NFS and CIFS. Back then we wrote: "An SGI D-Rack can …
Chris Mellor, 28 Jan 2013
Constellation CS

Look behind you, WD: Seagate's turned up, and it has 3 biz drives

Seagate is playing catch-up in the enterprise space with its announcement of two new 3.5-inch drives for 24x7 operations and a new 2.5-inch Savvio drive optimised for performance and power-efficiency. The 3.5-inchers are Constellation drives, positioned as an enterprise value drive, the Constellation CS, and an enterprise …
Chris Mellor, 19 Oct 2012
Dragon

Facebook's sexy pick 'n' mix OCP model is great... for Facebook

Facebook's Open Compute Project (OCP) could potentially destroy the business models of the mainstream server, storage and networking vendors. It is an attempt to turn back time and return to a pick-'n'-mix server, storage and networking world where suppliers happily build to common interfaces, and component sets aren't …
Chris Mellor, 18 Jan 2013
Toshiba 4TB MG Series

New Tosh drive can wipe out 4TB 'near instantaneously'

Toshiba has whipped out its own enterprise-class 4TB hard drive just days after Western Digital revealed a 4TB disk. Toshiba 4TB MG Series Toshiba's 4TB MG series Tosh will build the rival drive at the 3.5-inch disk factory it bought from WD. Western Digital had to sell the plant in order to placate China's MOFCOM regulator …
Chris Mellor, 29 Nov 2012
globalisation

NEWSFLASH: Chips cheaper than disks

You better start believing in miracles; Thai flood-caused disk drive shortages are driving up disk prices beyond flash. Stifel Nicolaus analyst Aaron Rakers brings us the good news after talking to OCZ CEO Ryan Petersen on an investor call. Rakers says: "Recent HDD/SSD distribution indicates an average 20-25 per cent increase …
Chris Mellor, 14 Nov 2011
WD 4TB Black

Mighty 4 Terabyte whopper crashes down on the desktop

WD has released a 4TB desktop drive, an extension of its Caviar desktop range, now branded the WD Black. As with previous versions, it comes in a 3.5-inch form factor, rotates five platters at 7,200rpm, has a 64MB cache and a 6Gbit/s SATA interface. It carries over technologies like the dual-stage actuator head from the previous …
Chris Mellor, 22 Nov 2012
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Disk sales up 4%: No sign of Flash or Cloud impact yet

Despite the impact of the global downturn on global markets, disk sales in the second quarter were 4 per cent higher than in the first. Research numbers from IHS iSuppli showed 167.1 million drives were shipped in the quarter ending in June, compared to 160.5 million in the first quarter. The impact of the Japanese earthquake …
Chris Mellor, 08 Sep 2011

Hard Glass Spinner Technology: HGST's new 2.5-incher

Hitachi GST has announced the Charles Atlas of small format disk drives, a 1.2TB drive spinning at 10,000rpm. Aren't such drives supposed to be getting driven off the beach by SSD bullies? Charles Atlas No they are not. It's the 15,000rpm drives that are suffering from the flash raiders, up in 3.5-inch format land. Down here …
Chris Mellor, 30 Jan 2013

Western Digital leaps out of a plane, forgets to pull the 'chute

Western Digital's latest quarterly financial results signal a retreat in revenue and profits. Recession helped reduce both figures and the floor is not yet in sight. For its second quarter of fiscal 2013, which ended 28 December 2012, revenues were $3.8bn, an impressive 89 per cent increase on the year-ago quarter. Net income …
Chris Mellor, 24 Jan 2013
Toshiba external drives

Tosh grabs 2.5-incher, heads for single platter party

Toshiba has joined Seagate and WD with a single platter 500GB drive for thin notebooks, DVRs and the like. The MQ01ABF is essentially half an MQ01ABD, a 2-platter 2.5-inch drive storing up to 1TB. Like that drive it spins at 5,400rpm, has an 8MB cache and a 6Gbit/s SATA interface. Unlike that 9.5mm thin drive it is 7mm thin, the …
Chris Mellor, 12 Oct 2012
WD RE4 Enterprise disk drive

WD hopes biz barons will grab its new 4TB data tubs

WD has added two mainstream 4TB enterprise disk drives to its range, with Xyratex and Dell using them straight away. Basically it looks like the same 3.5-inch format drive mechanics with either a 6Gbit/s SAS or SATA interface. The RE SAS is available in 1TB, 4TB, 3TB and 4TB capacity points, with the RE SAS coming in 2GB, 3TB …
Chris Mellor, 01 Oct 2012
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Drive chip biz warns of flash-disk hybrid boom

Marvell, the main supplier of disk drive controller system chips, says most disk drive vendors will have hybrid flash-disk products in a few months. Marvell ships SoCs (system-on-chip) to the hard disk drive (HDD) vendors and reckons it has about 60 per cent of the market. It also ships SoCs for solid-state drives – such as its …
Chris Mellor, 07 Nov 2011

Western Digital cuts revenue forecast, cites 'muted demand'

Storage megacorp Western Digital dropped a bomb on its investors – and the entire computer industry – by announcing that it was lowering its revenue projections for its first fiscal quarter, which will end on September 28. That quarter, the company said in a press release on Thursday, will now see revenues of between $3.9 …
Rik Myslewski, 14 Sep 2012

Hitachi disk drive biz closed for the holidays

The vast majority of staffers at Hitachi's US disk drive center have been told to take an extended vacation whether they like it or not. Hitachi Global Storage Technologies issued a memo this week to workers, telling them that a required vacation will take place between Dec. 24 and Dec. 31. Only 900 of the US facility's 3,300 …
Ashlee Vance, 07 Dec 2004

Hitachi lobs lawsuit at Chinese disk drive maker

Hitachi's disk drive business has sued a young Chinese disk drive maker, charging the Chinese rival with patent infringement. Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (GST) - the joint venture of Hitachi and IBM - announced the lawsuit on Tuesday, saying it had been filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of …
Ashlee Vance, 29 Dec 2004
Pinnacle Video Transfer

Behold: Ten storage chieftains whose products hold humanity's data

Who are the ten most influential storage bosses? It should be an easy list to make but what do we mean by influential and should they be currently in post? "Influential" means more than that just "our customers have bought boatloads of our kit!" An influential company's competitors have had to react to its products and strategy …
Chris Mellor, 03 Apr 2013
OCZ VeloDrive

'Seagate's OCZ gobble was real, but went sour in CEO row'

Juicy scuttlebutt from storage insiders suggests the Seagate acquisition of OCZ fell through because the larger firm refused to give OCZ's CEO Ryan Petersen a seat on its board. According to our sources, this, in combination with flash NAND shortages at OCZ, led to Petersen's eventual resignation. Petersen founded and ran OCZ, …
Chris Mellor, 27 Sep 2012
homeless man with sign

Seagate launches XP-supporting 3TB drive

Being third in line after Hitachi GST and Western Digital, as Seagate is, to announce a 3TB drive does give you the option to improve its legacy BIOS and operating support. The Barracuda XT and its attendant DiscWizard software provides bootability from non-UEFI motherboards and Windows XP. Neither Hitachi GST nor Western …
Chris Mellor, 02 Mar 2011

Tosh unzips 3.5incher for video, cloud, anyone with a wallet

Toshiba is rolling a line of 1TB-per-platter drives off the 3.5-inch assembly line Western Digital had to offload to get approval for its Hitachi GST acquisition. Tosh has now joined Seagate and Western Digital in the 3.5-inch disk drive market. It has three products. The DT01ACA desktop range comes with 1.5TB, 2TB and 3TB …
Chris Mellor, 10 Aug 2012
Blimp

Helium: Can it prevent the onset of Shingles?

Filling disk drives with helium gas delays the time when shingled magnetic recording has to be adopted. That's because helium gas-filled drives can cram more platters into a disk drive enclosure, thus increasing capacity without having to alter the data recording method. The current PMR (Perpendicular Magnetic Recording) process …
Chris Mellor, 28 Jan 2013
cloud

Flood-hit WD takes half-billion kidney punch from Seagate

Beset by Thai floods, WD has just been hit by an amazing arbitration court decision which means it has to pay Seagate $525m - if the decision survives appeal. The decision was made by a single arbitrator in a pending confidential arbitration case in Minnesota, which was instituted by Seagate against Western Digital and a former …
Chris Mellor, 21 Nov 2011

SanDisk thrusts SSD into the client OEM battlefield

SanDisk has dived into the client OEM flash drive jungle with its latest X100 SSD. SanDisk bought SSD controller company Pliant last year and that company's Lightning SSD products provide SanDisk with its enterprise server-class products. Now it has introduced its X100 line of client SSDs – PC, notebook and ultrabook – which do …
Chris Mellor, 16 Feb 2012
MeRAM schematic from UCLA

'NAND flash killer now up to 10,000 times MORE efficient'

MeRAM has the potential to succeed NAND flash as the best non-volatile sold state memory with DRAM-like speed, better-than-NAND endurance and density, and now it has taken a step forward, with UCLA research making the stuff 10 to 10,000 times more energy-efficient. UCLA boffins - led by Raytheon professor of electrical …
Chris Mellor, 20 Dec 2012
WD RE4 Enterprise disk drive

WD blames hard drive woes on dominant mobile gear, feeble PCs

Western Digital's disk sales slumped in its last quarter, leading to lower revenue and profit than in the previous three months. Its next quarter is going to be even worse. Revenues in WD's Q1 of fiscal 2013, ended 28 September, amounted to $4bn, 17 per cent less than the $4.8bn a quarter before. And Q1 was the first quarter to …
Chris Mellor, 23 Oct 2012
Hard disk with salt shaker

HDD oligopoly to keep post-flood prices high till 2014

Hard disk drive prices are unlikely to return to pre-flood levels until 2014 despite rising production levels, thanks to surging demand, vendor lock-in and a market dominated by just two suppliers, according to analysts. IHS iSuppli’s latest Memory & Storage Market Brief report revealed that the average selling price (ASP) for …
Phil Muncaster, 07 Jun 2012
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Toshiba releases killer SSD

Tosh has announced an enterprise SSD with competitor-beating performance numbers. The MKx001GRZB – Tosh doesn't go in for catchy brand names – is a 2.5-inch form factor and comes with the same 100, 200 and 400GB capacity points as Hitachi GST's Ultrastar SSD announced in November, and has performance heavily skewed to read I/Os …
Chris Mellor, 14 Dec 2010
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Ex-top disk dog down in the revenue dumps

Seagate has announced preliminary third quarter results 11.5 per cent lower than a year ago, with 1.3 million fewer disk drives shipped, but announced it is going to begin making dividend payments. Happy investors have boosted its shares by 9.12 per cent to $16.03. Seagate said for its third fiscal 2011 quarter, ending April 1, …
Chris Mellor, 08 Apr 2011