HGST to Acquire sTec: FULL PR TEXT HERE

June 26, 2013

HGST to Deepen SSD Capabilities and Expertise with sTec IP and Engineering Talent 

SAN JOSE and SANTA ANA, Calif., June 24, 2013 – Western Digital® Corporation (NASDAQ: WDC) and sTec, Inc. (NASDAQ: STEC) announced today that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which sTec, Inc., an early innovator in enterprise solid-state drives (SSDs), will be acquired by HGST, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Western Digital. sTec will be acquired for approximately $340 million in cash, which equates to $6.85 per share. This represents approximately $207 million in enterprise value, net of sTec’s cash as of March 31, 2013.

The pending acquisition augments HGST’s existing solid-state storage capabilities, accelerating its ability to expand its participation in the rapidly growing area of enterprise SSDs. HGST remains committed to its highly successful joint development program with Intel® Corp. and will continue to deliver current and future SAS-based SSD products with Intel.

sTec has strong engineering talent and intellectual property that will complement HGST technical expertise and capabilities. HGST will continue to support existing sTec® products and collaborate with its customers to understand their future requirements.

“Solid state storage in the enterprise will play an increasingly strategic role in the future of Western Digital,” said Steve Milligan, president and chief executive officer, Western Digital Corporation. “This acquisition is one more building block in our strategy to capitalize on the dramatic changes within the storage industry by investing in SSDs and other high-growth storage products.”

“This acquisition demonstrates HGST’s ongoing commitment to the rapidly growing enterprise SSD segment, where we already have a successful product line,” said Mike Cordano, president, HGST. “We are excited to welcome such a talented team of professionals to HGST, where their inventive spirit will be embraced and encouraged.”

“At this key point in the evolution of the storage industry, sTec is excited to consummate this transaction. It will be an important next step in proliferating many of the innovative products and technologies that sTec has been known for throughout its 23-year history and provides immediate value for our shareholders and a strong future for our employees and customers,” said Mark Moshayedi, president and chief executive officer, sTec. “This merger will enable our world-class engineering team and IP to continue to make a significant contribution to the high-performance enterprise SSD space that has long been sTec’s focus.”

The board of directors of sTec, on the unanimous recommendation of a special committee of independent directors of the board, has unanimously approved the merger agreement and has resolved to recommend that sTec shareholders approve the transaction at a sTec shareholders meeting to be held to approve the merger agreement and the merger. The directors and executive officers of sTec have entered into separate voting agreements under which they have agreed, subject to certain exceptions, to vote their respective shares in favor of the proposed transaction.

Wells Fargo Securities, LLC has acted as the financial advisor to Western Digital and BofA Merrill Lynch has acted as the financial advisor to sTec in connection with this transaction.

Closing of the acquisition, which is subject to customary conditions, is expected to occur in the third or fourth calendar quarter of 2013.


What does India have to say about Fusion-io?

August 1, 2011

MISSED OPPORTUNITY

In March, research firm Gartner lowered its growth forecast for 2011 PC shipments to 10.5 percent from its earlier view of 15.9 percent, citing the cannibalization of notebooks by tablet devices.

“For the September quarter, we’re forecasting notebook shipments on a global basis to be up only 10 percent sequentially, when historically they grew about 25 percent sequentially,” said Rodman & Renshaw analyst Ashok Kumar.

Not only are tablets using SSDs, but companies like Apple and Hewlett-Packard have started replacing hard disk drives with SSDs in their new laptops.

“The sad part is that traditional HDD vendors had a tremendous opportunity because they had scale (and) original equipment manufacturer relationships, but they missed out,” said Kaushik Roy, analyst at Merriman Capital.

As flash drives become cheaper, more PCs will switch, forcing HDD makers to muscle their way into a market dominated by STEC Inc , Fusion-io Inc and privately-held Violin Memory.

READ MORE HERE:  http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/08/01/diskdrives-idUSL3E7J133420110801?feedType=RSS&feedName=technologySector&rpc=43

 

 

 


Steve Sicola: SUPERSTAR!!

June 22, 2010

 

CRN unveiled its 2010 class of Storage Superstars spotlighting 10 “individuals and groups that made the modern storage industry what it is today.” And among the visionaries honored was Xiotech CTO Steve Sicola.

The “driving force on several generations of storage arrays and architectures,” Steve was recognized for his nearly 40 patents, tenure at Compaq and DEC, and as VP of Seagate’s Advanced Storage Architecture (ASA) Group. Informally known as the “Skunk Works” – an homage to Lockheed Martin’s legendary engineering team – the ASA Group was acquired by Xiotech in 2007 and architected ISE.

“Steve embodies the passion, commitment and innovative thinking – all hallmarks of Xiotech – that serve as the foundation of this company and have fueled the revolution that is ISE,” said Xiotech President and CEO Alan Atkinson. “With Steve overseeing our Storage Fellows Program, we look forward to his (and others’) continued contributions to the industry and Xiotech – including the next-generation of ISE.”

Congratulations Steve!


Too good to be true? Make me prove it…

April 19, 2010

  

Taking disruptive technology to early adoption is in my DNA — the very fabric of who I am.  I’ve had the privilege to engage with great technologists — many of whom remain colleagues today.  As many of you know, I am recently on board at Xiotech, some of which was part of Seagate until a few years ago and is still an integral part of our ownership and our IP.  The messaging in the storage space can be confusing — here are some ideas that may help break through the noise.  So here’s your challenge:

 

Q:  What do IBM, HP, Dell, EMC, NetApp, 3Par, Compellent and Xiotech have in common?

A:  We all use disk drives manufactured by Seagate.

No matter which storage vendor you deploy, Seagate drives are at the heart of the technology.  Now let me share with you Xiotech’s Integrated Storage Element (ISE).  We take the very same Seagate technology to the next level — after all, we know these drives better than any other storage vendor.

Example:

PLAN #1:  Deploy 100 $20k storage subsystems of [INSERT YOUR BRAND HERE] each costing  15% to keep under maintenance in years 4 & 5 (assuming 3 year warranty) = $600,000. 

PLAN #2:  Acquire xiotech ISE @ 30% less initial acquistion cost/space/energy to produce the same performance (or better) and pay $0 in hardware maintenance over 5 years. 

          or – use the comparable acquisition cost to get 30% more performance from the start

          or – use the NPV of the maintenance to get more performance/density

If you’re a former client from FileTek, Agilis, Sensar, Verity, Immersion or Fusion-io, you’ve seen what I’ve seen:  disruptive technology making a significant difference — and Xiotech ISE is no different.

Don’t believe me?  MAKE ME PROVE IT!

 


Xiotech Bolsters Storage Partner Push

April 7, 2010

If you’ve got data problems or simply are looking for a better data solution, you might want to check out Xiotech. Wrought out of Seagate, these guys know storage down to the firmware on the driver board. Any storage VARs, or ISV’s might want to read on, check out what Xiotech is about, and their upcoming announcement for April 12th 2010…

I had the opportunity to sit down and talk to Brian Reagan, senior VP of marketing and development at Xiotech, and Jason Sprenger PR Manager. Upbeat, they quickly gave a rundown of Xiotech’s place in the storage cosmos, and why they’re different than other storage companies out there.

“We’re essentially largest privately held data storage company in the world. [We were] bought by Seagate and then spun-out in 2002 as a mid-market storage player. [But in] mid-2007, [we acquired] the Advanced Storage Architecture team and technology from Seagate,” noted Reagan. And this was the impetus for their new ISE (pronounced ‘ice’) technology.

And what is ISE exactly? “ISE (Intelligent Storage Element) represents the industry’s first storage blade [with] massive computing and linearly scaling performance capacities,” explained Reagan. For a laymen’s translation, you can do more buying less storage, because storage is treated entirely differently than it has in the past.

Market Focus

So here’s the problem ISE is here to solve: Previous data storage solutions become giant behemoths of conglomerated drives, all acting on their own. Virtualization and cloud computing, to name a few, are the big culprits of this data consumption. To maintain performance, more drives are needed, but according to Reagan, drive usage is never utilized at near capacity, and to do so results in a decrease in performance; I/O demand is too high, and Apps, virtualized or not, tend to demand a lot out of the controller. Drive usages also is viewed as disposable; if one drive fails, toss it, plug in another.

But Xiotech turns this paradigm on its head and invents a new one. Since Xiotech has an intimate relationship with Seagate (as you might imagine), they’ve got a few tricks up their sleeves. Like I mentioned, they’ve actually tinkered with the firmware on board the drive, and what this means is that Xiotech can actually tweak, fix, recover, repair and control the drives at the platter and head level. What’s more, they’ve lumped a huge amount drives together inside a tightly knit 3U package dubbed the “DataPac” or more plainly “sealed drive canisters.” Each DataPac has typically has 10 drives, but with 2.5” drives you can fit 20 drives into a single DataPac. Customers can choose how many DataPacs they want in each ISE unit; one or two. But options are open to choose two DataPacs with 20 2.5” drives each, essentially giving them 40 drives into a single ISE unit. That’s dense storage.

The “Data Pack” has a 4Gb switches inside them making everything accessible at once in parallel. And at 96% full, performance is blazing fast. “[We’ve] create[d] super-drives instead of individual drives,” remarked Reagan.

Where Partners Fit In

So, once you have Xiotech’s fancy data package, how do you implement it? This is where VARs and ISVs might get really interested: The new CorteX API being introduced this month is a RESTful solution. And what does that mean? It means that the CorteX API can be written to using basic HTML and communicated via simple HTTPS. Data storage and manipulation front-ends, software, web-gateways, or any other custom apps or widgets can be provisioned to take care of everything, without complicated coding. All the firmware level hard-drive head tweaking? Nearly a hyperlink away.

And what about the channel, right? Well, as of 2009, 1/3 of business has gone through the channel, but both Reagan and Sprenger wanted to get it over 50% — nearly 65% for this upcoming year.

And how can VARs really propel in this arena? Reagan says that Microsoft had conducted a survey, analyzing Xiotech’s data solutions versus an unnamed ‘competitor’ (this blogger thinks IMB or HP…) for Microsoft Exchange deployment. The result? Xiotech’s solution outperformed and provided more data with half the number of drives, a fifth of the rack space, which translated to lower watt usage, and in the end, merely 1/8th the cost of the traditional setup. The competitors solution cost almost half a million, while Xiotech’s cost only $53K.

Couple the cost-savings with the value-add of the CorteX API, and Xiotech is looking like a good company to partner with.

lifted 100% from Dave Corbanou:  THE VAR GUY

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The Era of Application-Based Storage Begins Today

March 26, 2010

 

This emerging category of Intelligent Application Storage is predicated on storage solutions that enable business applications to manage, scale and seize control of IT environments and deliver unprecedented performance, efficiency, reliability and business agility. Xiotech has broken through in this area with our Intelligent Application Storage architecture, which is built upon three central pillars:

· Application-based, scale-out storage building blocks – This is our Intelligent Storage Element (ISE), which brings industry-leading performance, scalability and reliability to the table

· An application-centric management platform – This is our ICON Manager user interface, which provides single-console provisioning and management of physical and virtual storage

· An integrated application/storage API – This will enable multiple ISE to be treated as one, unlocking infinite system scalability and full application/OS/hypervisor/storage integration and interoperability

This architecture is the product of several years of work from our entire company, yet it’s just the beginning for Intelligent Application Storage. This is why I’m so excited to be here at Xiotech – we have the technology, vision and team to lead the industry forward into this new age where storage adds more value to IT environments than ever before and consumers are the big winners. Please continue to check back here for more on this story in the weeks and months to come.

If you’d like to read more about Intelligent Application Storage, please click here: http://xiotech.com/press-release.php?id=177.


Xiotech Launches Fellows Program, Names Inaugural Class

February 19, 2010

 

Yesterday we launched our Xiotech Fellows program and named our inaugural class of Fellows. As President and CEO Alan Atkinson said, “We at Xiotech are blessed to have an incredibly deep roster of storage ‘rock stars’ who have a collective body of accomplishments and patents that rivals anyone else in the industry.”

Our Fellows are:

•Richard Lary, Corporate Fellow – With 40 years of industry experience and 32 patents, Lary’s legendary influence spans from the creation of VAX and the Digital Storage Architecture at DEC to having been a vital consultant to many corporations.

•Rob Peglar, Senior Fellow – With 32 years of experience, Peglar is one of the industry’s most seasoned and recognized experts on a host of storage topics and the current treasurer of SNIA.

•Ken Bates, Fellow – With 35 years of experience, Bates is a performance guru and was a guiding force in the development of the gold standard in performance testing – the SPC benchmark.

•Todd Burkey, Fellow – With 33 years of experience, Burkey has helped to drive key Xiotech innovations for its industry leading reliability around predictive monitoring, telemetry automation and failure management.

•Clark Lubbers, Fellow – With 35 years and 56 patents pending or granted, Lubbers was an early and influential force in virtualization, performance and RAID architectures.

•Bill Pagano, Fellow – With 35 years of experience, Pagano was the lead hardware designer of the company’s Intelligent Storage Element (ISE™) technology and holds five patents for his hardware work.
For more information, please visit: http://xiotech.com/press-release.php?id=174.