Articles about Western Digital

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Seagate's south UK factory hasn't a future but HDDs do (it hopes)

Seagate is closing down its factory in Havant on the south coast of the UK and axing 327 jobs. The redundancies are part of a renewed focus by the Californian giant on its disk drive technology roadmap to boost revenues and profitability. The Havant closure is part of the restructuring announced earlier this month, along with …
Chris Mellor, 25 Jul 2016

Intel and pals chuck money at another Fibre Channel killer

+Comment Kazan Networks just got $4.5m A-round funding from Intel, Samsung Ventures and Western Digital Corp for its storage array access acceleration technology. So what? So Fibre Channel and iSCSI external array access are poised to be devastated by NVME over Fabrics (NVMeF) and Kazan is developing a hot little ASIC number that it …
Chris Mellor, 22 Jul 2016
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Forget your RTO*: Real world Disaster Recovery needs garbage bags and bubble wrap

On-Call If it's Friday morning it must once again be time for On-Call, El Reg's end-of-week meander down memory lane to explore readers' reminiscences of jobs that went bump in the night. This week, reader “Olaf” shares his experience in Thailand's 2011 floods. Yup, those floods that left Western Digital's hard disk factory under …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Jul 2016

China really wants to get its hands on Idaho's 3D NAND tech

China is looking to license 3D NAND technology from Micron. Beijing wants to free itself of dependence on US, Korean and Japanese memory technologies by building its own, indigenous capability. A report in Chinese-language publication Commercial Times, referenced by DigiTimes, says Tsinghua Unigroup is allying with Wuhan …
Chris Mellor, 11 Jul 2016
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WD expects good quarter

Western Digital Corp (WDC) expects revenues of $3.46bn in the just-closed quarter, instead of the forecast $3.35bn - $3.45bn range – $3.4bn at the mid-point. This is its fourth fiscal 2016 quarter and the first with SanDisk results included. CFO Olivier Leonetti is leaving on September 1, with chief strategy officer and EVP …
Chris Mellor, 07 Jul 2016
Bowie image via Shutterstock

WDC's SanDisk flashes its vSphere speed-up creds to world+dog

Western Digital Corporation’s SanDisk unit has VAIO-compliant flash caching software and hardware for vSphere servers. This announcement represents WDC inheriting a two year SanDisk-VMware partnership to make use of SanDisk’s acquired FusionIO PCIe flash hardware and software. There are two products: FlashSoft 4 software for …
Chris Mellor, 28 Jun 2016
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WDC CEO buys $1m shares

Stephen Milligan, WDC’s CEO has bought 22,500 WDC shares for $1,024,425. Stifel Nicolaus analyst Aaron Rakers notes this is Steve Milligan’s first open market purchase and the first open market purchase by any key Western Digital executive since at least 2008. There’s confidence in the firm’s strategy for you. ® stack of …
Chris Mellor, 06 Jun 2016

Western Digital to axe 507 California staffers

Western Digital is planning to lay off 507 workers, according to paperwork submitted to California's department of employment. Under the US state's Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) system, employers must give a 60-day heads-up to affected staff plus state and local representatives prior to a plant closing …
Chris Mellor, 02 Jun 2016
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China says yes to SanDisk

China’s MOFCOM trade regulator has said it’s OK for Western Digital to buy SanDisk. WD wants to buy SanDisk and its flash foundry chips-to-SSDs business for around $16bn. The MOFCOM approval completes the worldwide regulatory body approvals process and the deal is expected to close on May 12. WD and SanDisk shareholders have …
Chris Mellor, 10 May 2016
WD RE4 Enterprise disk drive

Trouble at t'spinning rust mill: Disk drive production is about to head south

+Comment A sea change is looming in the disk drive industry as drive spindle motor maker Nidec reduces its total disk drive demand number. Nidec is a Japanese company and has the largest market share of any such manufacturer. It foresees demand for about 400 million units in 2016, down 13 per cent from its previous October 2015 …
Chris Mellor, 26 Apr 2016
K2

Dell looking at higher debt mountain to buy EMC

Dell is facing its EMC acquisition debt mountain growing yet higher because the Wall St bond market will need higher interest payments to fund the deal. That could highlight product overlap costs to ex-money man David Goulden who will run the new Enterprise Systems Group, covering its servers, storage, networking, converged …
Chris Mellor, 22 Apr 2016

Seagate revenue numbers rain on cloud after market misses

+Comment Seagate has issued an early warning that its third fy2016 quarter revenue will be off by $100m from its forecast of $2.7bn. The company expects to report revenue of approximately $2.6bn and non-GAAP gross margin of approximately 23 per cent, for the quarter which ended April 1 – no, this is not a late April Fool joke. The …
Chris Mellor, 15 Apr 2016
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HGST has an entry-level 14PB archive box... is that enough for your, er, home collection?

Western Digital has added another HGST archive array, the SA1000, to its range of gear plus software enhancements across the product line. The Active Archive Systems provide object storage, using acquired Amplidata software, for markets such as media and entertainment digital data preservation, life sciences data pools, and …
Chris Mellor, 13 Apr 2016
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Seagate's Kinetic drives: They're moving... but in what direction?

Comment It was just 18 months ago that we were all writing about the release of new object-based hard disk drives from Seagate: Kinetic. The idea was that the drives didn’t use traditional storage protocols like SAS and SATA, but instead stored objects written and retrieved over Ethernet. Effectively, each drive is a large key-value …
Chris Evans, 11 Apr 2016
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Seagate – or rather, its Kinetic Ethernet drives – have seen the light

Seagate appears to be working on possibly adding an optical interconnect to its Kinetic Ethernet disk drives, which organize data in key:value stores. These drives provide a straightforward object-based access protocol, which is said to simplify the storage software stack needed by servers. PETRA, the Photonics Electronics …
Chris Mellor, 17 Mar 2016
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SanDisk stockholders book a table, prepare for Western Digital gobble

SanDisk shareholders have voted in favour of Western Digital buying their company. At SanDisk's special stockholders' meeting today, 98 per cent of the votes were in favour of the sale to WDC. WDC shareholders, via more than 90 per cent of the votes cast, have separately approved WDC issuing more shares (common stock) to help …
Chris Mellor, 16 Mar 2016
Western Digital PiDrive 314GB

Western Digital spins up a USB disk just for the Raspberry Pi

Western Digital's WDLabs has spun up a hard disk just for the Raspberry Pi 3. The “PiDrive” has a capacity of 314 gigabytes is just 7mm tall and looks, per the picture above (here for readers on our mobile site) to boast just a single platter. It's a USB affair, connectivity-wise, but WD says it has tweaked the device so “... …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Mar 2016
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No Kinetic energy at DataDirect Networks: Ethernet drives snubbed

DataDirect Networks has no plans to support Kinetic disk drives in its WOS object storage products. Kinetic drives are directly accessed over Ethernet, each having their own network address, and they receive Get and Put commands to read and write to a key:value store on the disks. They have been mostly associated with Seagate …
Chris Mellor, 10 Mar 2016
Leopard kill

WD CEO: We ain't getting Unisplendour's $3.8bn. But we'll buy SanDisk anyway

Western Digital is facing an investor revolt over its SanDisk buyout and has had the $3.8bn wad it expected from Unisplendour halted by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. Unis (Unisplendour) is a Chinese corporation, owned by the Tsinghua Unigroup, that proposed to invest $3.8bn in WD thus getting a 15 …
Chris Mellor, 23 Feb 2016
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Imation owner to Violin: Talk now or it's (proxy) war

Happy weekend guys and let us in, or else it's proxy war. On Friday the Clinton Group and Imation, both stockholders of Violin Memory, sent a forceful letter to Violin's Board about the ongoing sale process and a need for dialogue. Imation is controlled by the Clinton Group. The two companies believe that troubled Violin …
Chris Mellor, 20 Feb 2016
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The Nano-NAS market is now a femto-flop being eaten by the cloud

The very small network attached storage (NAS) market is scarcely alive, according to IDC's 2015 Worldwide Personal and Entry-Level Storage Tracker. The analyst firm defines personal storage has having one or two disks and entry-level storage as packing three to twelve disk bays. The former category now accounts for 99 per …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Feb 2016

Xitore slings 4 million IOPS box under its arm, strides out into the light

Flash DIMM startup Xitore is exiting stealth before it has raised a dime and is looking for funding. The company was started up in March 2014 by CEO Mike Amidi and CTO Hossein Hashemi. Amidi has worked at STEC, SMART, Netlist, and WD, where he was director of the program management office in the Solid State Storage BU. At …
Chris Mellor, 04 Feb 2016

Western Digital, IBM enter patently cosy deal

WD has bought some storage patents from Big Blue and the two have also signed a cross-licensing deal. What has WD netted? More than 100 patents relating to distributed storage, object storage, and emerging non-volatile memory. These get added to its existing 10,000-plus patent portfolio. The patents involved in the cross- …
Chris Mellor, 26 Jan 2016
Toshiba

Troubled Toshiba ponders selling chips to save its flash bacon

Toshiba, recovering from a self-caused $1.3bn accounting scandal, could exit peripheral chip businesses while concentrating on its NAND core – with exit from the disk business a possibility too. Reuters and Japan’s Nikkei reported loss-making parts of Toshiba's chip business lines, such as systems LSI (Large Scale Integration …
Chris Mellor, 25 Jan 2016
DRagon

China has a chip to fry with y'all: Wants its own chip smarts and fabs

China is making more moves as it tries to set up an indigenous and patent-protected semi-conductor chip capability. Xu Jinghong, the chairman of Tsinghua Holdings, said in a Davos World Economic Forum interview that Tsinghua wanted to buy two semi-conductor manufacturing companies. Analyst haus Stifel Nicolaus' MD Aaron …
Chris Mellor, 25 Jan 2016

Which tech stocks are suffering and – crucially – why?

Analysis With the stock markets on a slide since the start of the year, the usual game of over-hyping companies that are doing well has flipped and now the game is to give companies – particularly tech stocks – a good kicking on the way down. Much of the current frenzy appears built around Twitter, which is having a bad year, and the …
Kieren McCarthy, 20 Jan 2016
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Seagate floats out 10TB HDD filled with lifting gas

Seagate has caught up with WDC’s HGST unit and built a 7-platter, 10TB disk drive filled with helium gas. Western Digital Corporation (WDC) introduced its own 10TB Ultrastar He10 drive in December last year. This was a standard PMR tech drive, unlike the Ultrastar Archive Ha10 announced in June 2015, which used shingled …
Chris Mellor, 13 Jan 2016
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Clinton Group to Violin: What do we want? Sale. When do we want it? Allegro

+Comment Back in July last year activist investor the Clinton Group expressed its feelings about Violin Memory, saying: "If the Company's sales execution does not materially improve and our voice continues to remain unheard, we will have to seriously consider seeking the election of replacements to the Company's Board of Directors at the …
Chris Mellor, 11 Jan 2016

Gartner sees enterprise SSD-HDD revenue crossover in 2017

Comment Gartner gnomes think revenues from enterprise sales of SSDs will exceed those from HDDs in 2017. Well, let's look into that claim. We all know SSDs are taking over from fast disk drives as the main storage medium for primary data, and now Gartner’s esteemed number-crunchers have estimated when the two revenue lines will cross …
Chris Mellor, 07 Jan 2016
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Seagate reorg: CEO puts ops man at the wheel

+Comment A new heir apparent has emerged at Seagate, the world's number two disk drive manufacturer, which experienced an 8TB drive production quantity mis-step in 2015. The company has consolidated Rocky Pimental's Global Markets and Customers organisation into Dave Mosley's Operations and Technology division. Pimental keeps his EVP …
Chris Mellor, 05 Jan 2016
Exocet anti-ship missile

Storage suppliers: Who reached for the stars, who burned up in orbit?

Storage year in review, part 3 Winners, losers, refugees, death, near-death, and a miraculous recovery ... all these were things that characterised the year for storage suppliers in 2015. They experienced earthquake-level changes as the movement of tectonic storage plates like flash, the cloud, server-based storage and activist investors shook old assumptions …
Chris Mellor, 03 Jan 2016

Rockport’s Torus prises open hyperscale network lockjaw costs

Hyperscale IT is threatened by suicidally expensive networking costs. As node counts head into the thousands and tens of thousands, network infrastructure costs rocket upwards because a combination of individual node connections, network complexity, and bandwidth in a traditional (leaf-and-spine) design has a toxic effect on …
Chris Mellor, 30 Dec 2015

Hybrid cloud thingies, new media and everything is software-defined: Storage reinvents itself

Storage year in review, part 2 The foundation-shaking changes in storage media in 2015 were paralleled, if not exceeded, by the massive perturbations at all levels in the systems, suppliers and applications areas. EMC is fleeing into the arms of Dell, there were acquisitions and splits, activist investors, startups galore, and death and near-death experiences …
Chris Mellor, 27 Dec 2015
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Western Digital pushing archive data ideas

Western Digital corporation, or WDC as we must get used to now, has joined the Active Archive Alliance to help promote the disk archive idea. Its subsidiary brand, HGST, has an Active Archive System array, which runs acquired Amplidata software and could scale to 4.7PB in a single rack using 8TB He8 helium-filled drives. WDC …
Chris Mellor, 23 Dec 2015
Woman looks immensely happy while staring into blank screen of unplugged monitor

El Reg picked a pack of ace pic-titlers

We spent so long chortling at your entries to our WD "Caption This" competitions, we forgot to tell you who the winners were. Besides a stonking great Western Digital 6TB Black drive plus a My Passport Ultra, our winners receive the glory of their names on the wit list below. The full complement of winners from the …
Jude Karabus, 22 Dec 2015
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Tegile: Tesla, T4000 and playing the long game on cheap data storage

Analysis No one single thing stands out. When looking over Tegile there is no one special sauce ingredient. It just aims to be a better all-round business than its competitors, which means developing, selling and supporting a mixed media tier, external storage array for business users. Tegile presented its attributes to an IT press …
Chris Mellor, 22 Dec 2015
Toshiba

Toshiba denies NAND exit report with 'no decision made' comment

Giant Japanese conglomerate Toshiba, currently restructuring in the wake of a huge accounting scandal, has denied media reports that it intends to pursue a flash foundry spin-off. The Japan Times has reported (citing sources) that the flash foundry business could be set up as a separate subsidiary owning the Yokkaichi plant in …
Chris Mellor, 21 Dec 2015
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Oh my Tosh: SanDisk chatted to 3 other buyers before WD slurp

Comment Three other potential buyers were circling around SanDisk when it was being bought by Western Digital Corporation. A WD S-4 registration statement filing reveals Companies A, B, C and D were also involved in a potential purchase of SanDisk during the period in which it talked about a buy. The WD and SanDisk CEOs first met on …
Chris Mellor, 15 Dec 2015
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Seagate wears dunce's cap in hi-cap disk ship slip

Seagate has misjudged the high-capacity disk drive market, lacking helium-filled drives and mucking up its 8TB drive manufacturing tactics. Despite recognising that high-capacity drives are the key part of its enterprise portfolio, with SSDs killing off the high-performance 2.5-inch spindle market, Seagate has let WDC (HGST) …
Chris Mellor, 14 Dec 2015
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World bought 143 exabytes of storage in Q3, mostly spinning rust

The world bought 143 exabytes of storage in 2015's third quarter, according to analyst outfit Trendfocus, and looks to be on track for a 500 exabyte year. The firm doesn't usually name a “bytes shipped” number in the briefs it releases at no charge, but made an exception for the its Q3 data. That release reports 143 exabytes …
Simon Sharwood, 04 Dec 2015
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Exablox co-founder Tad Hunt flies the coop

Tad Hunt, the chief technology officer and co-founder of startup Exablox, which makes OneBlox, a clustered SMB storage array presenting a NAS interface on top of an object storage foundation, has left the company. Exablox received a $7m investment in May from Toshiba America Electronic Components which took total funding to $ …
Chris Mellor, 03 Dec 2015
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WDC's shingle-free stocking filler: A 10TB helium disk drive

Western Digital Corporation (WDC) has updated its Ultrastar He8 to the He10, providing the same capacity as the shingled HGST Ultrastar Archive Ha10 announced in June but without the shingling, meaning standard write speeds. Compared to the He8 it has 25 per cent more capacity, and WDC says it has a 56 per cent lower watts/TB …
Chris Mellor, 02 Dec 2015

Western Digital begins navigating the non-volatile memory maze

Comment Stifel MD Aaron Rakers has taken a deep dive look at the SanDisk technology Western Digital is aiming to buy, and his report brings out cost-savings derived from HGST escaping payment of an Intel tax, 3D NAND timescales, and possibilities for future planar NAND node shrinks. SanDisk brings Western Digital a NAND chip supply …
Chris Mellor, 19 Nov 2015

Is Tsinghua Unigroup still stalking Micron for NAND IP?

China's Tsinghua Unigroup, which is set on building China's first flash chip foundry, is talking to a US chip technology concern about a stake, according to reports. Reuters reports that Tsinghua Unigroup's Chairman Zhao Weiguo said he wants the group to be the world's third-largest chipmaker in five years. A deal could be …
Chris Mellor, 19 Nov 2015
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Samsung tosses lifeline to Netlist NVDIMMs

Flash DIMM technology developer Netlist has signed a five-year joint development deal with global memory leader Samsung to produce non-volatile DIMMs, giving it a lifeline from years of litigation hell against Diablo Technologies over memory channel storage IP. The basic concept is to put flash chips on DDR3 and 4 memory DIMMS …
Chris Mellor, 19 Nov 2015
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Seagate offers California Uni genome data storage K-drives

Seagate has given the University of California, Santa Cruz a petabyte of Kinetic drives to store and access genomic data. Kinetic disk drives have direct access over the Ethernet, and a key:value store structure with an object-style PUT and GET interface. Andy Hospodor, UCSC’s executive director of the Storage Systems …
Chris Mellor, 12 Nov 2015
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HGST closing SSD plant in Malaysia – report

HGST is reportedly closing an SSD manufacturing and research and development plant in Penang. The plant currently employs 450 people. Managerial staff are going to HGST subsidiaries in Singapore. The move is part of Western Digital's integration of its acquired HGST subsidiary, which was agreed by MOFCOM, China's Ministry of …
Chris Mellor, 10 Nov 2015
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Western Digital in joint push with Unisplendour to sell arrays in China

Following Unisplendour’s intended $3.8bn investment in Western Digital, the two companies are forming a joint venture to sell WD’s data centre arrays in China. According to analyst haus Stifel Nicolaus' MD, Aaron Rakers, this JV will be 49 per cent owned by Western Digital and 51 per cent by Unisplendour and its subsidiary …
Chris Mellor, 09 Nov 2015
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Will open source storage make the hyperscale dream real?

Open-source software has become an important presence in many areas of IT, and now, as storage increasingly becomes software-defined storage, it is storage's turn. The darling of the open-source storage movement – though it is by no means the only viable and popular option – is Ceph. A unified storage platform originally …
Bryan Betts, 09 Nov 2015
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Seagate’s suffering from mighty profit droop syndrome

Major droop alert: as per its preliminary warning, Seagate’s revenues and profits tumbled on the annual compare. Revenues of $2.9bn in its first fiscal 2016 quarter were 23 per cent down on the $3.79bn reported a year ago while the $34m profit was a whacking great 91 per cent lower than the $381m recorded a year ago. That …
Chris Mellor, 30 Oct 2015