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DDN Plans To Acquire IntelliFlash, Formerly Known As Tegile, From Western Digital

DataDirect Networks, which also recently acquired Tintri, Nexenta and the Lustre file system, is continuing its acquisition spree and looking to bring together a full range of storage capabilities that work together to serve customer requirements.

DataDirect Networks late Thursday said it is planning to acquire the IntelliFlash business from Western Digital.

IntelliFlash was formerly known at Tegile Systems before it was acquired in 2017 by Western Digital. Tegile specialized in the development of all-flash and hybrid flash storage arrays.

Financial terms of the deal, which is expected to close before the end of the year, were not released.  

[Related: 19 Hot Storage Products That Bring Power And Performance To The Cloud]

The IntelliFlash business is DDN's fourth acquisition in the past couple of years.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company in May acquired Nexenta, one of the pioneer developers of software-defined storage technology, in a bid to place its stake in the fast-approaching 5G networking business.  

DDN in July 2018 acquired Tintri, a developer of VMware-aware all-flash storage arrays that allow data to be easily managed at the virtual machine level. With the acquisition, DDN saved Tintri from bankruptcy, as the company had just filed for Chapter 11.

Earlier that same month, DDN also acquired the Lustre file system business and related assets from Intel for an undisclosed sum as a way to improve the scalability of its storage offerings and its ability to service customers in high-performance computing, analytics, artificial intelligence and hybrid cloud.  

DDN has long been a developer of high-performance storage for modern workloads including artificial intelligence and big data, but with its acquisitions has moved to adopt a more channel-friendly enterprise strategy, said Mario Blandini, chief marketing officer and chief evangelist for the Tintri by DDN business.

Tintri provides a virtualized file-based all-flash array that understands virtual machine data flows between machines, Blandini told CRN.

IntelliFlash brings DDN high-performance SAN, while Nexenta's software can be used in a variety of ways to provide lower-cost secondary storage, he said.  

"IntelliFlash brings us unified SAN and NAS," he said. "We didn't provide SAN before. This allows us to serve a larger customer base."

Kurt Kuckein, senior director of marketing for DDN, said the company will have what could be classified as four distinct divisions.

"What you'll see us articulate in the next few months is to expect a unified value-add that will take advantage of all the storage systems we have," Kuckein told CRN. "This is something we're marching towards."  

As DDN moves to bring its four acquired businesses into a more unified enterprise offering, solution providers can expect changes in how DDN markets its technologies to them, Blandini said.

"We'll need to thin out a couple of names," he said. "We are for sure starting with a disaggregated portfolio. We plan to do integration at the AI layer. It's hard to have one service to unify everything. But to use data across all the line and do unified analytics, we will be offering that. Each technology has its own piece of the pie. While they are separate now, they'll be looking at common data going forward."

As part of the acquisition of IntelliFlash, the two also expanded their strategic relationship. Western Digital will be a key, although not an exclusive, supplier of hard disk drives and SSDs to DDN, while Western Digital will purchase IntelliFlash systems from DDN.

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