Western Digital flogs IntelliFlash, exits storage systems market

September 20, 2019 | 11:38

Tags: #acquisition #activescale #alex-bouzari #financial #intelliflash #mike-cordano #storage-platforms #storage-systems

Companies: #ddn #tegile-systems #western-digital

Western Digital has announced it's moving out of the storage systems market, selling its IntelliFlash business to DDN for an undisclosed sum.

Founded in 2010 by Rohit Kshetrapal, Rajesh Nair, Justin Cheen, and Alok Agrawal, flash and hybrid storage system specialist Tegile Systems enjoyed considerable investment from Western Digital in its early days. Western Digital's acquisition of SanDisk, a fellow Tegile investor, in 2015 gave it a major chunk of the firm; by 2017, it had decided to acquire the company outright, taking Tegile's IntelliFlash product and turning it into a Western Digital initiative - and one it has now sold to privately-held storage giant DDN, in a move which heralds Western Digital's departure from the storage systems market.

'As we look to the future, scaling and accelerating growth opportunities for IntelliFlash and ActiveScale will require additional management focus and investment to ensure long-term success,' said Mike Cordano, president and chief operating officer at Western Digital. 'By refocusing our Data Center Systems resources on our Storage Platforms business, we are confident that the Western Digital portfolio will be better positioned to capture significant opportunities ahead and drive long-term value creation.'

'We are delighted to add Western Digital's high-performance enterprise hybrid, all flash and NVMe solutions to DDN's industry leading data management at scale product portfolio. We welcome members of the extremely talented WDC IntelliFlash team to our rapidly expanding DDN family and look forward to better serving our more than 10,000 customers and 500 partners worldwide with their data challenges across AI, analytics, IoT, multicloud and virtualized environments,' crows Alex Bouzari, chief executive and co-founder of DDN. 'With this acquisition, we are also strengthening our strategic partnership with Western Digital, who will become both a customer of IntelliFlash by DDN and a key HDD and SSD supplier to DDN.'

That latter is part of the deal, full terms of which have not been disclosed: As well as licensing IntelliFlash back to Western Digital, DDN has pledged to purchase flash and mechanical storage from the company. WD's departure from the storage systems market, meanwhile, will see it instead focusing its efforts on fabric-based data centre storage infrastructure and platforms initiatives - on top, of course, of its mainstream storage product portfolio.

The deal is expected to close later this year, pending regulatory approval. A buyer has yet to be found for ActiveScale, Western Digital's remaining storage systems subsidiary, with the company stating it is 'exploring strategic options.'

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