by Brian Beeler

WD Adds Virident to Growing Flash Portfolio

Hot on the heels of the pending sTec acquisition and the addition of VeloBit to subsidiary HGST's flash portfolio, WD is shopping again, this time acquiring Virident for approximately $685 million in cash. HGST currently only offers enterprise SSDs with a SAS interface, so Virident's FlashMax line of PCIe-based storage and the associated FlashMax Connect sever-side caching software make HGST's product line more complete. Coupled with the sTec SAS drives and midrange PCIe solution, HGST can now address almost any need in the higher-end tiers enterprise storage market. It just remains to be seen how successful HGST will at at integrating the technology, products and teams from sTec, VeloBit and Virident. 

What's somewhat humorous in this deal is that Seagate invested $40 million in Virident earlier this year and entered a reselling agreement with the company to pseudo-add the FlashMax II to their enterprise storage offering. Seagate surely did well with those investment dollars, but if they had it to do over again, they may have simply bought the company instead of investing and letting WD swoop in for the buy. WD is clearly being the aggressor as the traditional platter-based storage giants position themselves for increasing importance of flash storage in the enterprise. 

In addition to the stand-alone flash cards and software, Virident has also made recent traction forming alliances to further their reach in the enterprise space. These actions are highlighted by a deal they landed in March with EMC. When EMC re-launched their server-side flash storage portfolio, XtremSF, they added the FlashMax II in capacities up to 2.2TB. 

The acquisition is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year. 

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