Seagate was 1 of the Top 3 SSD companies researched by readers of
StorageSearch.com in Q3
|revisiting an old new hard
|Editor:- August 20, 2014 - From time to time I
get an email from a new (to me) company which really grabs my attention.
Here's one such which arrived this morning.|
"We now have the WORM
hard disk you refer to in your article in StorageSearch.com (Introducing WORM Hard Disk
Drives - February 28, 2005).
"It was developed for the Department of Justice, and is now in
use, by GreenTec-USA, Inc. in conjunction with Seagate. Can we send you some
information? Would love to hear from you!" - Bob Waligunda,
VP of Sales at GreenTec-USA.
comments:- I haven't spoken to Bob yet - because of the time difference. But
here's some info I got from GreenTec's web site:-
The interesting thing for me is it shows that
innovation in the hard
drive market hasn't stopped completely. And GreenTec's 3TB (for now) WORM
drives are also available as arrays in micro cloud blocks.
WORM whitepaper (pdf) - "Organizations today have demanding needs to
ensure that their sensitive data is protected. Considerable damage could be done
if critical or sensitive files are deleted or altered either accidentally or
I had almost
forgotten about my 9 year old WORM HDD (market needs this) article. I'll update
it later with this note.
Linking this back to SSDs - there have been
several companies in recent quarters who have announced physical write-disable
switches into embedded SSDs - including:-
also:- SSD security,
| If you can't beat them -
Seagate acquires LSI's SSD business.
|SSD news - May 29,
| Although areal density
growth in HDDs is expected to slow down in the period 2014 to 2017 - another
possible way to increase drive capacity (within similar form factor
constraints) may be to use helium sealed drives - such as the
family from HGST - which cuts down the disturbances caused by adjacent
heads - in comparison to air - and therefore enables more heads and disks to
operate reliably within the same volumetric space constraints. |
- taking heads to new heights (pdf) - November 2013|
|"On average, SSDs show
2.5x higher cost-per-performance, a gap far narrower than the 50x difference in
Truth About MapReduce Performance on SSDs - which compared SSDs and HDDs
having similar throughput capabilities (and interfaces) in large scale disk
arrays - when used in cloud related operations. (March 2014)|
also:- inside SSD
|hdd / hard disk drive news|
|average Seagate hard drive
capacity will exceed terabyte|
Editor:- January 28, 2014 - Seagate said yesterday
in its earnings conference
call it expects the average capacity of the
hard drives it ships in
2014 will exceed 1TB per drive (up a little from
/ drive already in the recent quarter.)
what changed in SSD year 2013?
Editor:- December 18,
2013 - unlike the hard drive market where the basic ideas haven't changed much
in recent decades - the important ideas in the SSD market seem to change nearly
To avoid making bad decisions you not only have to learn
new SSD ideas each year - but you also need to identify which old SSD ideas to
forget because they're no longer helpful.
Reviewing what those
ideas are - (which to assimilate and which to forget) is the theme of my
home page blog.
new ORG founded to ensure future of rotating magnetic storage
August 13, 2013 - Today a new storage org was
to conserve and nurture the interests of rotating magnetic hard drives and
hybrids. Founder members of the
Association are HGST,
other things - the
SPA's faqs page
says "the SPA will seek to clarify how hard drive technology, solid-state
technology and variations of these technologies may be combined to effectively
meet the needs of a growing storage requirement."
How will hard
drives fare in an SSD world?,
directory of past storage ORGs
Stec to be acquired by WD
Editor:- June 24, 2013 -
it has agreed to buy Stec
for approximately $340 million. Stec will be acquired by WD's subsidiary HGST.
Seagate's latest pronouncements on SSDs
8, 2013 - "Seagate
is Serious about SSD and Flash Technology."
headline of a new
products overview page mentioned in a recent
release about 3 of the company's newest SSDs.
On the other hand - I would take Seagate's sentiments about SSDs more
seriously if they had been expressed on http://www.seagate.com instead of on
the less imposing address where it currently resides -
new WD hybrid has SanDisk SSD inside
Editor:- May 7,
2013 - a new 2.5"
from WD -
called WD Black
SSHD (500GB HDD
capacity, 5mm high SATA)
- has a tiny SSD from
- it was
Editor's comments:- SanDisk' contribution to this is
a tiny SSD which they call
iSSD which has
9K/1K R/W IOPS performance and measures 16mm x 20mm x 1.2mm for capacities
upto 16GB. The height budget moves up to 1.85mm for 128GB of flash.
iSuppli predicts 239 million SSDs shipped in 2016
January 23, 2013 - iSuppli
that worldwide SSD shipments this year will rise to 83 million units this year,
up from 39 million in 2012.
iSuppli also said it anticipates that in
2016 - SSD shipment volume could be 239 million units - equivalent to 40% the
size of the hard drive
How will the hard drive market be impacted in a solid state
Editor:- November 14, 2012 - in the past 7 years
the topic of
how the SSD
market will affect the HDD market has changed in character.
longer true that both markets can continue growing side by side in edgy harmony
with some localized border skirmishes and minor exchanges of territory.
Investors in hard drive storage companies have been contacting me throughout the
past year - because they're starting to worry about
what will happen
to hard drives in a solid state storage world?
I want to put in my own hard disk
Editor:- June 23,
2012 - a recent article - by Chin-Fah,
Heoh - who edits StorageGaga.com - discusses why when an enterprise
user says -
want to put in my own hard disk" - it will trigger a storage vendor
Seagate to acquire LaCie
Editor:- May 22, 2012 -
just when you thought there were no
hard drive makers left
to be acquired... Seagate
announced today that it plans to acquire a controlling interest in LaCie .
has built an exceptional consumer brand by delivering exciting and innovative
high-end products for many years. This transaction would bring a highly
complementary set of capabilities to Seagate..." said Steve Luczo,
Seagate chairman, president and CEO. "We are also excited that Philippe Spruch
(LaCie's chairman and CEO) who is a true visionary and leader in the consumer
storage business, would join Seagate to run our consumer storage products
HGST - a WD company
Editor:- March 8, 2012 - after
waiting a year for regulatory clearances etc - WD has
its acquisition of HGST
- which will retain its brand identity and operate as a wholly subsidiary.
satisfy the regulators - a part of HGST's business (which makes 3.5" HDDs)
will be sold to Toshiba.
HDD warranties to be cut
Editor:- December 20, 2011
- The warranties offered on many new
hard drives will be
reduced next year - according to an article in
In a duopolistic market there's no need to make claims which are any
better than they need to be. The regulators should have seen this coming.
(which) SSD Makers Benefit From Thailand Flood ?
November 4, 2011 - a
on SeekingAlpha.com written by Dana Blankenhorn - discusses
which SSD makers could benefit in the short term from HDD shortages.
comments:- In my view Dana Blankenhorn is correct to suggest it will be
small form factor / notebook SSD makers.
3 weeks ago - when WD and
Seagate alerted the market to this potential supply problems in
hard disks - I said -
something along the lines of - "let them eat cake" - referring to
oems who may have to use SSDs instead.
I doubt whether the volume of
SSDs that switch sooner into HDD slots will make a big difference to any SSD
maker's profit in the next few months - but it could increase the urgency of
some SSD qualification programs.
The big market for
SSDs in 2012 will be
in the enterprise - where the shortage of HDDs will make absolutely no
difference - because HDDs were already on the hit list.
Marie Antoinette never said this
Editor:- October 12,
2011 - "Let them eat cake" said Marie Antoinette - on
hearing that bakers in pre-revolutionary France had run out of the right type of
flour to make bread.
If she were alive today and had shares in pure
play SSD companies (instead of a
tracker which oddly mixes in HDD makers too) then on hearing the
that severe flooding in Thailand has impacted WD's hard drive
production - which might lead some people in the HDD supply chain to fret
about where their next drives will come from - she might retort - "Let
them use SSDs instead!"
The Marie Antoinette quote isn't
strictly true. And neither is the idea that -
SSDs will directly
replace hard drives.
What is true is that WD did issue guidance
on the flooding impact today and most importantly said "The company is
gratified to report that its approximately 37,000 Thailand-based employees
are deemed safe at this time."
...Later today:- Seagate
production is also affected said - "This devastating natural disaster
has tragically taken hundreds of lives and displaced many families. At this
time, Seagate reports that all of its employees in the region are safe."
the true cost of hard drive vulnerabilities
August 23, 2011 - the problems caused by
sand blowing into hard drives in
the context of a desert war - is the subject of a recent blog by Mark Flournoy,
VP of Government & Defense at STEC.
other things this article shows the consequences of data storage failures. It's
the best blog I've seen so far on STEC's previously anemic SSD blog site.
...read the article - I wish I had an
SSD in Iraq. See also:-
fast purge SSDs
Pushing data reliability up hard drive hill
July 4, 2011 - Why didn't
hard drives get more
Enterprise users are still replacing hard drives according to cycles that have
haven't changed much since RAID
became common in the 1990s. So why didn't HDD makers do something to make their
Error correction code inventor Phil White -
founder of ECC
Technologies has recently published a
/ blog in which he describes the 25 years of rejections he's had from
leading HDD makers - and the reaons they said they didn't want to use his
patented algorithm - which he says could increase data integrity and the life
of hard drives (and maybe SSDs too.) It makes interesting reading for any other
wannabe inventors out there too. ...read
Phil White's article
But I think another reason for past
rejections might simply have been market economics.
versus the cost of HDDs has improved so much throughout that period - and at
the same time data capacity needs have grown - maybe the user value proposition
didn't make sense.
If you (RAID user) find that all your 5 year old
drives are still working (instead of being replaced) - how much is that really
worth? By now those 5 year old drives might only represent 3% to
10% of the new storage capacity you need anyway. (The reliability
value proposition is different outside service engineer frequented zone - but I
don't want to get side-tracked into
Looking ahead at the future of the HDD market my own
view is that whatever the industry does with respect to reliability won't tip
the balance against
in the enterprise.
The best bet for the future of hard drive
makers is in consumer products where fashion ranks higher up the reason to
buy list than longevity. Most people I know replace their notebook pcs, tvs
and phones not because the old ones have stopped working - but because the new
ones have lifestyle features which make them more desirable.
the missing link?
software which sits between hard drives
Editor:- July 1, 2011 - earlier this week I spent an
interesting hour talking to
CEO - Ted Sanford
about the company's business plans and technology.
recently launched software which enables almost any SSD to act as a cache
accelerator front end for hard disk storage arrays in enterprise servers. By
automatically learning data hot spots as little as 15 minutes after being
installed - the new software speeds up SQL queries for example 4x - and
enables users to use less servers. ...read more
Lortu announces 20TB virtual hard drive
17, 2011 -
unveiled the LDA-Mini - a
small form factor HDD backup appliance with upto 20TB of virtual capacity -
with internal dedupe
- with MSRP of 680 euros.
|Editor's comments:- in
my 2010 article - this
way to the Petabyte SSD - I explained that one of my assumptions was that
designers would start to put dedupe, compression and library management
features inside SSDs. Although Lortu's product is aimed at the
HDD market - it's one
step along the way to a new class of bulk storage devices.|
| "There is no amount of
flash that can even address one tenth of one percent of that (projected storage
demand in 2020). People get locked in to this view at a device level. Yes, you
could have some number of units that are serviced by flash. Let's hope so. In
fact, my bigger concern is that the flash guys can't figure out how to keep
delivering the performance and costs that they've been able to as they get to
sub-21 nanometers, than it is that somehow they're going to replace HDDs. Not
without literally $500 billion of investment in fabs they're not. And
even then they'd only be scraping the surface."|
|Stephen J. Luczo, CEO, Seagate - April 2012|
CEO Luczo On Drives, Zettabytes, Flash
|"SSDs will change
the way computer products are designed - so that by 2015 nearly all products
will be designed to be SSD-centric - instead of HDD-centric as they have been
for over 50 years."|
|what's the big
picture message re SSDs?|
for the offer, but... |
we don't want to deploy any new hard drive arrays.
Not even if you're giving them to us free!"
|This classic article described the pivotal
future storage market climate in which enterprise users will cease to regard
hard drive arrays attractive or usable - even if the cost of buying a new hard
drive array drops away to ZERO! -
this way to the
|2.5" HDDs more
recoverable than 3.5"|
|Editor:- Did you know that
2.5" hard drives
are more recoverable than 3.5" drives? - I didn't.|
blog written by David
Foster, General Manager of Memofix revealed this
curious fact and explained why it's not the other way round. You'd expect that
so called "enterprise" 3.5" HDDs would be better.
doesn't matter most of the time because in the enterprise data is protected
against small numbers of hard drive failures by
|Nibble - Re:
Hard Disk Drives|
invented disk storage and shipped the first HDD in
a 24" diameter it stored 5M bytes.
Until the late 1990s hard
drives were commonly called "Winchester" drives - named after the city
where the original hard disk designers were based.
Hard disks use
magnetic recording media on one or more spinning disks (also called platters).
That's where the magnet allusion in our
HDD Megabyte image
A read write head moves in a straight line along one half of the
platter similar in concept to (pre CD era) linear audio (vinyl) record
The seek / access time of the disk is determined by the
rotation speed. That can take as long as 1 complete revolution of the disk.
The hard disk capacity depends on how many platters there are, whether data is
on both sides, how big they are (diameter) and the current state of the art
regarding megabytes stored per inch.
The throughput of the disk
depends on the spin speed, recording density and where the head is on the
surface of the disk. On the outer edge the data throughput is higher than on the
inner edge. Drives with multiple heads and platters can deliver more
throughput - but the added mechanical complexity and heat reduces reliability.
90% of the disk drive manufacturers which
in the 1990's have gone bust, or merged , or have been
acquired by other disk
The number of HDD oems shrank to a low point at the turn
of the millenium, and overall HDD market revenue was on a downward slide for
many years. That's because the cost of an average hard drive was reducing at a
faster rate than the growth of drive shipments. Improved technology and
competition was shrinking the value of the industry.
But since about
2004 new high growth markets have emerged for HDDs (both inside and outside
the traditional PC and server markets) which reversed the revenue slide.
The prospects of multi-billion dollar segments with double digit
revenue growth within the hard disk market has attracted new entrants and new
competition from products like solid
state disks and hybrid drives.
In 2008 the worldwide hard disk
market revenue grew to over $35 billion.
In 2008 the
highest capacity shipping drives were:-
- 3.5" - 1.5TB - from Seagate
- 2.5" - 500GB - from various oems
- 1.8" - 250GB - from Toshiba
of Early Hard Drives|
|Editor:- there were a great
many stories published in 2006 related to the 50th anniversary of the
hard disk drive.
But here's one with a different spin - about the dangers
posed by early mass storage devices. It came from my brother in law
"In 1964 I was a programmer / operator at
Pilkington Glass in St
Helens. At that time Pilkington had one of the largest commercial computer
installations in the UK. It included
computers, countless card punches and readers,
Ampex tape drives, and, I think,
"One night in the main computer room I witnessed the
internal cylinder of a hard drive break out of its cabinet. It was several
feet in diameter and spinning at high speed.
It bounced when it hit
the floor, then as if deciding which way to go, it hovered and raced through
the glass partition, and sped along until it hit the solid wall of the
building at which point it exploded. The computer room was sprayed with glass,
but luckily it was safety glass and I wasn't hurt.
I couldn't help
thinking that if it had come for me it would have killed me. One thing I'm not
sure about is why it bounced when it first hit the floor and only exploded when
it hit the concrete wall. There was a lot of energy in the cylinder - and it had
a horizontal spindle."
|Hitachi Celebrates 50 Years
of Hard Disks |
| In April 2006 - Hitachi published
some historic reminiscences and market data to celebrate 50 years of the hard
disk drive market.|
Hitachi holds the privilege of preserving the legacy
and upholding the innovation heritage of the hard drive, having acquired the IBM
hard drive business in
2003. IBM invented the
hard drive in San Jose, California and brought it to market in 1956 as the RAMAC
(Random Access Method of Accounting and Control).
- Over the past 50 years, areal density - the
measurement of how many data bits can be stored on an inch of disk space - has
increased 50 million times.
- RAMAC, the first hard drive - delivered on
September 13, 1956 - stored 5 megabytes of data. Today, the highest-capacity
hard drive holds 500 gigabytes.
- In 1956, the RAMAC cost $50,000 or $10,000 per
megabyte. Today, a gigabyte of storage on a 3.5-inch hard drive can cost less
than 50 cents.
The demand for hard drives is expected to
increase multiple-fold. In a recent paper, the University of California at
Berkeley projected the worldwide data stored on magnetic media to be 99.5
exabytes in 2005, as compared to 7 exabytes in 2000. (An Exabyte = 1,024 x 1,024
x 1,024 x Gigabytes = just over 1 billion Gigabytes. - from
- Today, 92% of all new data created reside on
magnetic media, primarily hard
Today Hitachi also announced two new 3.5" hard
drives. The Deskstar T7K500 and Deskstar 7K160 feature 7,200 RPM spin speeds and
3Gb/s SATA interfaces
for high-performance PCs, gaming systems and low duty cycle servers. The new
drives use 160GB+ per platter technology to deliver up to 500GB of storage
capacity in a one-, two- and three-disk design.
also:- - article:- Hard
Disks - on Wikipedia®
timeline:- 5 Decades of Disk
Drive Industry Firsts - on DISK/TREND
Hard Drisk Market Chronicle - Upto
reviews (1998 to 2001) - on StorageReview.com