Quantum Announces Agreement to Acquire Western Digital’s ActiveScale Business
February 2020 by Marc Jacob
Quantum Corporation announced it has entered into an agreement with Western Digital Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Western Digital Corp. (NASDAQ: WDC), to acquire its ActiveScale™ object storage business. The addition of the ActiveScale product line and talent brings object storage software and erasure coding technology to Quantum’s portfolio, and enables the company to expand in the object storage market. The acquisition demonstrates Quantum’s commitment to innovation and growth, extending the company’s leadership role in storing and managing video and unstructured data using a software-defined approach. Quantum and Western Digital are committed to executing a smooth transition for customers and key stakeholders, with Quantum providing post-closing continued support for ActiveScale products and a strong commitment to invest in - and enhance - the ActiveScale product line.
The transaction is expected to close by March 31, 2020, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Quantum expects the initial financial impact of the transaction to be neutral to slightly accretive to current business operations and additional guidance will be provided with the release of the fiscal Q4 2020 financial results.
Object Storage and Erasure Coding; Key Technologies for Managing Video and Unstructured Datasets
Video and other forms of unstructured data are growing exponentially in every industry. IDC forecasts this type of data will represent over 80% of all the world’s data by 2022*. Examples of this unstructured data include video and images for entertainment, surveillance and security, marketing and training, and more. In addition, industries like genomics research, advanced driver assistance systems, geospatial exploration, and more are generating huge amounts of similar data. This content requires high-speed capture and processing (typically done with a file system like StorNext®), then is generally retained for many years or decades.
Object storage software has a number of attributes that make it particularly well-suited for a wide range of datasets:
• Massive Scalability: Store, manage and analyze billions of objects, and exabytes of capacity.
• Highly Durable and Available: ActiveScale object storage offers up to 19 nines of data durability using patented erasure coding protection technologies.
• Easy to Manage at Scale: Because object storage has a flat namespace (compared to a hierarchical file system structure) managing billions of objects and hundreds of petabytes o capacity is easier than using traditional network attached storage. This reduces operational expenses.
Customers Increasingly Rely on Object Storage Software for Active Archives
Quantum has a history of success delivering object storage and has been selling and supporting the ActiveScale product line for over five years. Object storage can be used as an active-archive tier of storage – where StorNext file storage is used for highest performance ingest and processing of data, object storage acts as lower cost online content repository, and tape acts as the lowest cost cold storage tier, as shown in the diagram below.