Quantum Buys Western Digital's
February 4, 2020
has entered into an agreement with Western Digital 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
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.
In a diverse range of industries spanning media and entertainment,
genomics and life sciences, autonomous vehicle research, and university
research, ActiveScale can serve a number of use cases:
Object storage in media production: Object storage is used as a
long-term content repository for video content, in movie and TV
production, in sports video, and even for large corporate video
departments. Customers in movie and TV production require very high
performance ingest, edit, processing, rendering of their video files,
which typically is done with a file system like StorNext. Once content
is finished, it is preserved in an object store, with StorNext data
management handling the data movement between file and object tiers.
Object storage for enterprise
archiving and long-term retention: As object storage has matured, all
leading backup applications can now backup data to an object target, and
enterprise IT departments are looking at object storage as a long-term
Object storage for genomics and
life sciences: Genomics sequencing and other life sciences research
generates a massive amount of data, that must be processed and analyzed
quickly (typically with a clustered file system like StorNext), then
archived on object storage.
Object storage for video
surveillance: Object storage is also used as a tier for multi-petabyte
surveillance infrastructure. Video is typically captured and recorded on
higher-performance servers, then archived on object storage.
To serve the needs of these use cases
and others, Quantum StorNext is certified with many leading public and
private object stores today. With the addition of the ActiveScale
product line, Quantum will remain committed to maintaining an open
ecosystem of certified third-party object stores, with StorNext
providing the ability to move data to these third-party object tiers.
Quantum returns to a growth path, we will be evaluating strategic
acquisitions that bolster our technology portfolio," says Jamie Lerner,
President and CEO, Quantum. "Object storage software is an obvious fit
with our strategy, our go-to-market focus, and within our technology
portfolio. We are committed to the product, and to making ActiveScale
customers successful, and we look forward to engaging with them to solve
their most pressing business challenges around storing and managing
unstructured data. With the addition of the engineers and scientists
that developed the erasure-coded object store software, we can deliver
on a robust technical roadmap, including new solutions like an object
store built on a combination of disk and tape."
"With Quantum's resources, technical expertise and focus on solving
customers' challenges with managing video and other unstructured data,
we believe ActiveScale will enable new value for customers," said Phil
Bullinger, senior vice president and general manager of Western
Digital's Data Center business. "Western Digital and Quantum are each
committed to continuity of support for existing ActiveScale customers."