The feel when...
Damn, I remember this from 2000, with backup to DAT tapes on an early Red Hat Linux. It was Java-based and a bit flaky (along the lines of "is something happening? is it stuck? why doesn't it repaint the screen??").
WD has admitted it is killing off its Arkeia backup software product: it is no longer selling it to new customers and stopping development. Privately-owned Arkeia was bought by Western Digital in January 2013, bringing WD its deduplicating Network Backup software product and technology. It was placed inside WD’s Branded …
It does/did more or less what other commercial backup software does (eg backing up vSphere VMs via snapshots, dedup, etc - I don't know if Bacula etc do that, I haven't looked in an eternity).
I don't think arkeia was ever java-based. In the earlier days it had a very funky X11 interface which had a lot of focus on rounded windows etc; possibly less on ease of use. For a long time now it's had a fairly decent web-based interface, though.
It worked pretty well but I guess I knew nothing good could come of the WD acquisition...
I checked. In the extremely detailed manual of 2000, we find:
X11 graphics user interface
This module is the interface between the backup server and the user. IIt may be installed on any machine, but is usually located on the backup server. The interface consists of an independent group of X11 client programs which can be displayed on any X11 server (R4, R5, R6) or graphics workstation. It ergonomic characteristics (colors, fonts, images...) can be fully configured interactively to provide maximum user comfort. A proprietary software display technology is implemented to prevent the slow, cumbersome features and excessive use of resources typically found in X11/Motif applications, at the same time providing unique function capabilities (animated icons, toolbar, context-sensitive menus, real-photo Vu-meters, tips, multi-language features...).
JAVA graphics user interface
This module is the interface between the backup server and the user. It may be installed on any machine, but is usually located on the backup server. The interface consists of an independent group of JAVA client programs which can be displayed on any workstation using NETSCAPE or MS Explorer. It ergonomic characteristics (colors, fonts, images...) can be fully configured interactively to provide maximum user comfort. A proprietary software display technology is implemented to prevent the slow, cumbersome features and excessive use of resources, at the same time providing unique function capabilities (animated icons, toolbar, context-sensitive menus, real-photo Vu-meters, tips, multi-language features...).
Arkeia has the following minimum hardware requirements: A computer capable of running your operating system. 32 MB RAM. SCSI tape drive. A SCSI tape drive is required for high speed positioning of the tape during restore operations. In the near future, the requirement for a SCSI tape drive will be removed and direct support of Travan and floppy based, and QIC tape drives will be implemented. This will allow high speed operation for all tape drives, SCSI and non SCSI alike.
There wasn't much focus on "rounded windows" either (in Motif/X11 an unlikely thing) but it had some weird styling indicating that the designer might have previously made games for Amiga or Atari ST:
Another version (possibly later than the above screenshot) did have X11 windows which were composed of overlaid rounded elements (always possible in X11, oclock is the most trivial example) but although we likely still have some documentation or media still around, I can't find it now. The overall amiga gaming aesthetic was still present though! It was almost comical, though to be fair after they switched to their new web interface it became quite nicely slick and functional.
Western Digital has confirmed the board is considering "strategic alternatives" for the storage supplier, including spinning out its flash and hard disk businesses.
This follows calls last month by activist investor Elliott Management, which has amassed a $1 billion investment in WD equating to a six percent share stake, for a "full separation" based on those product lines.
In a statement, CEO David Goeckeler said: "The board is aligned in the belief that maximizing value creation warrants a comprehensive assessment of strategic alternatives focused on structural options for the company's Flash and HDD businesses.
Updated Activist investor Elliott Management is pushing for Western Digital Corporation's board to break the business in two by splitting the hard disk drive and NAND flash divisions into separately traded entities.
In an open letter to the board [PDF], Elliott – which has over time invested roughly $1 billion in WDC, representing about a 6 percent stake – says it is almost six years since WD bought SanDisk for $19 billion, scooping up its NAND memory biz.
At the time, this purchase was "nothing less than transformative", the letter adds, propelling five-decade-old WDC beyond HDDs into one of the biggest players in flash. Synergies, a better strategic position, and enhanced financial profile were among the rationale for the deal, says Elliott.
Users of Western Digital's EdgeRover app for Windows and Mac are advised to download an updated version to avoid a security flaw that might allow an attacker unauthorized access to directories and files.
The flaw, which was given the CVE identification number CVE-2022-22988, carries a Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) severity rating of 9.1, making it a critical weakness. It has now been addressed, however, with a modification to the way EdgeRover handles file and directory permissions.
According to Western Digital, the flaw meant that EdgeRover was subject to a directory traversal vulnerability, which may have allowed an attacker to carry out a local privilege escalation and bypass file system sandboxing. If successfully exploited, this could lead to the disclosure of sensitive information or even a potential denial-of-service attack, the firm said.
Western Digital has announced a "breakthrough in storage that works differently," in the form of a new architecture combining traditional platters with solid-state flash: OptiNAND.
Adding flash to traditional mechanical hard drives is not a new concept. Western Digital announced its first work on the concept back in 2011 after being beaten to market by rival Seagate's Momentus XT, a year prior. In both cases, the solid-state flash acted as a temporary buffer for the most commonly accessed data - attempting to blend the best of both storage worlds.
OptiNAND, though, is positioned differently. Rather than simply improving throughput and access time for the user's most commonly examined data, an OptiNAND-enabled drive is claimed to offer increased overall capacity, improved performance across the whole disk, and a fiftyfold increase in the amount of data retained if you accidentally pull the power in the middle of a write.
Western Digital says it will alert customers when it reformulates its products by modifying their firmware and electronics, as opposed to burying salient changes on a spec sheet without any public announcement.
This issue came up lately when the computer storage giant low-key altered the components in its WD Blue SN550 NVMe SSD. The product data sheet was quietly updated to reflect the change. Nonetheless, Chinese tech site Experview spotted the refresh when it compared an SN550 SSD made on July 28, 2021 with an earlier model and found the flash memory identifier and firmware number differed.
What made that a matter of concern was that the SN550 with the new components has a write speed of 390MB/s that's only about half the old configuration once the cache was used up. In effect, Western Digital silently downgraded the SN550, seemingly using slower NAND flash, presumably as a cost-saving measure.
The SweRVolf project, a fully open system-on-chip designed as a reference platform for Western Digital's RISC-V SweRV cores, has announced a major new release promising lower barriers to entry for those looking to experiment.
"Western Digital released the first of the SweRV cores, EH1, in 2018," Olof Kindgren, senior digital design engineer at Qamcom and director at the Free and Open Source Silicon (FOSSi) Foundation, told The Register.
"While it was an amazing core, and the fastest 32-bit RISC-V core at least at that time, they were new to the world of open-source silicon and asked me what they should do to make it easier for others to pick it up.
Western Digital has alerted customers to a critical bug on its My Book Live storage drives, warning them to disconnect the devices from the internet to protect the units from being remotely wiped.
In an advisory, the storage firm said My Book Live and My Book Live Duo devices were being "compromised through exploitation of a remote command execution vulnerability" CVE-2018-18472. The exploit is described as a root remote command execution bug which can be triggered by anyone who knows the IP address of the affected device – and is currently being "exploited in the wild in June 2021 for factory reset commands."
Western Digital ended the year on a relative high as the work-from-home trend across much of the world led to a buying frenzy from cloud builders expanding their data centres to feed demand.
Revenues for the Q4 ended 3 July climbed 18 per cent year-on-year to $4.287bn; client devices was up 19 per cent to $1.9bn; data centre devices and solutions was up a whopping 32 per cent to $1.68bn; and client solutions was down 9 per cent to $687m.
Pre-tax profit was $185m versus a loss of $474m in Q4 2019, and net profit of $148m compared to a loss of $197m. This is the first meaningful profit haul WD has achieved in this financial year, and it came right at the end.
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