Download PDF version Contact company

Quantum Corporation announced it has entered into an agreement with Western Digital Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Western Digital Corp., 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.

Key technologies for managing video

Industries like advanced driver assistance systems are generating huge amounts of similar data

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.

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.

Hierarchical file system structure

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 analyse 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.

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. 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.

Storage for video surveillance

  • 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 content repository.
  • 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 analysed 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.

Certified third-party object stores

As Quantum returns to a growth path, we will be evaluating strategic acquisitions that bolster our technology portfolio"

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.

“As 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.

Erasure-coded object store software

“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.”

Share with LinkedIn Share with Twitter Share with Facebook Share with Facebook
Download PDF version Download PDF version

In case you missed it

What are the latest trends in perimeter security technology?
What are the latest trends in perimeter security technology?

Perimeter security is the first line of defence against intruders entering a business or premises. Traditionally associated with low-tech options such as fencing, the field of perimeter security has expanded in recent years and now encompasses a range of high-tech options. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the latest trends in perimeter security technology?

Secure access control is helping to shape the post-pandemic world
Secure access control is helping to shape the post-pandemic world

With the continued rolling back of COVID restrictions in the UK, there is a palpable sense of relief. A mixture of mass vaccinations, widespread testing, and track and tracing of the infection is helping to enable a healthy bounce back for businesses – with secure access control taking an important role in facilitating this. However, rather than just being a reaction to the wake of the pandemic, there is every sign that the economy, and consequently the security sector as well, are both rebuilding and reshaping for the long-term new normal. Prioritising Safety Already deemed an essential service even during the first wave of the pandemic, the security industry has of course taken a vital role in protecting people and property throughout the crisis. Now that venues in the UK are starting to reopen again, our services are key to occupancy management and ensuring that disease transmission is limited as far as possible. Access control is also key in reassuring people that their safety is a priority. Making the upgrade It’s all been about choosing the most suitable components and technology that already existed with a few “tweaks”  Businesses and organisations have a duty of care to their employees and the safety of visitors – so controlling access, employing lateral flow testing, and deploying suitable Track & Trace mechanisms are all key components. I think those outside our industry are surprised to learn that most of the technology being deployed and used hasn’t just magically developed since COVID appeared – it’s all been about choosing the most suitable components and technology that already existed albeit with a few development “tweaks” or adjustments for the situation at hand. This includes using or installing facial recognition readers rather than using fingerprint or contact tokens, it is swapping to automatic request to exit sensors instead of buttons; it is using powered secure doors rather than having people all grab the same handle. Using mobile credentials is also a key technology choice – why not use the highly secure, easy to manage, cost-effective, and of course contact-free benefits of this approach? Touchless solutions We have seen a clear shift in organisations looking to protect their staff and visitors. For instance, we have a big utility customer in Southeast Asia that has just replaced close to 200 sites using fingerprint readers with an additional facial recognition capability. We have also seen a big rise in demand for touchless request to exit sensors and Bluetooth Low Energy Readers for use with smartphone authentication. Working together Integration of security systems is of course nothing new, but in the post-pandemic or endemic age, it has perhaps never been more important. Installations need to be simple, straightforward, and rapid to help maintain safe distancing but also to ensure systems can be deployed as soon as they are needed. The world is changing and developing rapidly and there is simply no place for systems that don’t work with others or cause the end-user considerable cost and inconvenience to upgrade. This flexible delivery of security solutions perfectly matches the evolving and increasing demands of the market. It’s clear that end-users want systems that work well and can easily integrate with their existing systems – not only security but all the other business components which work in unison with each other over a shared network. Great opportunities ahead The recent work-from-home trend is also clearly changing the way organisations and businesses interact with the built environment. Lots of companies are downsizing, offices are being split up, there is lots of revitalisation and reuse of existing office space – all of which creates considerable opportunities for security providers. UK inflation more than doubled in April 2021 with unemployment figures dropping and the Pound rising in value There are also, in the UK at least, clear signs that the construction industry is rapidly growing again -with a forecast of 8% rebound and growth this year. UK inflation more than doubled in April 2021 with unemployment figures dropping and the Pound rising in value – all positive signs for UK-based security providers. Undoubtedly the highly successful UK vaccination rollout has helped considerably, but there are signs that the Eurozone looks set to improve considerably over the next few months as well. Using integrated access control Undoubtedly the pandemic has made security markets around the world more aware of the benefits of integrated access control in managing the needs of the new normal COVID endemic environment. For example, as a business, we have always had keen interest from the UK healthcare sector, but over the last 12 months, we have seen a big growth in previously modest international markets including Morocco, Kuwait, Bahrain, Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Thailand – all of which are very keen to adopt improved access control solutions. Learning the lessons Nobody would deny the last year or so has been unprecedentedly tough on everyone, as a society we have had to make huge changes and sacrifices. Governments, organisations, and businesses all need to be better prepared in the future, to understand the things that went wrong and those that were successful. However, there is a world beyond the immediate pandemic and its effects. Flexible working practices and the changes these will have to the way we live and work will undoubtedly present great opportunities for the security sector in helping the world evolve. The pandemic has been a wake-up call for many organisations with regards to their duty of care to employees – particularly when it comes to mental health and providing a sensible work/life balance. Where we work and the safety of these facilities has received far more scrutiny than before. Flexible security systems Integrated security solutions have a vital role to play in not only protecting the safety of people during the post-lockdown return to work but also in the evolution of the built environment and move towards smart cities - which inevitably will now need to consider greater flexibility in securing home working spaces rather than just traditional places of work. Importantly, powerful access control and integrated security systems need to be flexible to the uncertainties ahead. The COVID pandemic has shown that nothing can be considered certain, except the need for greater flexibility and resilience in the way we operate our professional and personal interactions.

Which security technologies will be useful in a post-pandemic world?
Which security technologies will be useful in a post-pandemic world?

In the past few weeks, the light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel has brightened, providing new levels of hope that the worst of the pandemic is behind us. Dare we now consider what life will be like after the pandemic is over? Considering the possible impact on our industry, we asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: Which security technologies will be most useful in a post-pandemic world?