March 6, 2015

HGST swallows Amplidata

Amplidata (, one of the few european object storage vendors, is acquired by HGST (, fully owned by WDC.
Is it a surprise or not ?
In fact not if we consider multiple elements: market success, CEO identity, funding campaign and investor profile. In term of market success, Amplidata recognized for its solution was a bit confidential with almost the same list of customers for several years even with the recent success with Verizon and the Himalaya pure software flavor. As a pure player of object storage, Amplidata refused to address directly other segments such as NAS as some other tried to do. The company stayed active in a small market. The reality is a bit ambiguous with almost 20 object storage players addressing different use cases and they don't finally really compete against each other. The other key point is object storage as a technology was defined and designed for large storage project but do we have many of them, not sure as companies can do and solve their problem with different methods. The second point is about the CEO Mike Wall who arrived in the company at board level in November 2011 to sell it as he did for Atempo. Mike Wall was named CEO in September 2012. Finally he did it so if his mission was that, he succeeds. I mentioned in the past that the Intel investment could have morphed in a acquisition but the next investor HGST was faster. In fact, HGST injected 10M$ in September 2014, it was not a classic round and many observer anticipated the acquisition. With HGST strategy with SMR, archive drives and the wish to penetrate the active archive market, the investment is clearly a good one. WDC with HGST also tried to mimic Seagate strategy sometimes in advance or trying to fill the gap. I anticipate that the exit is relatively good with a factor of no more choice or alternatives for Amplidata. I mentioned this for many years but I'm convinced that the first acquisition in the object storage will trigger others. Now let's see but I won't be surprise, there is just one less player but also on less buyer. I let you imagine what could happen...

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