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revisiting animal brands in storage
Editor:- July 19, 2016 - a press release today from Seagate about new hard drives isn't something I would have mentioned here were it not for its abundance of animal brands which include:-BarraCuda, IronWolf and SkyHawk.

Which got me looking at 2 lists which I compiled a long time ago on this theme, namely:- As I've often said before - all the best animals have been taken. But it's interesting to look at the 3 in today's news story.


Seagate's press release today acknowledges that the BarraCuda was a well known brand which it had used before. But what about the others?


We've had a wolf before - as a tape library from StorageTek.

But the new IronWolf brand - as a marketing construct - cleverly combines several different metaphors simulataneously.
  • wolf - as in the animal metaphor

I haven't seen SkyHawk used for an HDD before - but it was used as the brand for a rackmount SSD launched by Skyera in August 2012. Skyera was later acquired by Western Digital which could have made it a problematic choice for a storage related product. Except that differences between HDDs and SSDs are now well understood and WDC EOLed that product line so Seagate's SkyHawk and WDC's SkyHawk aren't circling in the same marketing skies at the same time.

But even if they were - the general principle is you can't exclusively trademark such common words.

The main exception to this being a well known fruit which appears in the same scene as a serpent in the Book of Genesis.
SSD Guru , Vector 180 and some random thoughts about product naming conventions
Editor:- March 25, 2015 - We live in a world where it's pointless buying a phone unless you are prepared to develop and hone your SysAdmin skills - so I shouldn't be surprised by the growing number of software utilities aimed at the consumer SSD market.

An aptly named such product - SSD Guru (not be confused with SSD market gurus) - appeared in an email today from OCZ - which plays a supporting role for the company's "next generation" Vector 180 SSD (a performance optimized SATA SSD) aimed at "gamers, enthusiasts and workstation users."

consumer SSDs guide
consumer SSDs
Editor's comments:- re that "next generation" tag line - as I'm not familiar with the numbering system OCZ uses for its SSDs - I'm not sure whether this is OCZ's 180th consumer SSD (that seems a bit low by my count) or whether this is OCZ's 18th consumer SSD generation (that seems too high).

If I get a helpful note of what the "180" means - I'll add a note here later.

the problem with numbers

Because I read about so many products and suppliers - I do sometimes miss obvious clues.

For example - it took me about 11 years to recognize that the numbers in TMS's rackmount SSD systems (the RamSan boxes) had been incrementing by 100 every year or so - each time they included a new generation of controllers or memory. Which did make sense when it was explained to me.

And it looks like IBM is still maintaining that tradition. What comes next? (after 900?) - numbers are the easiest part of the SSD guessing game. It's what could be inside the next box we're not so hot at guessing.

Such product naming schemes do run into problems after enough time has elapsed as we've seen many times in computer history.

CPUs give us some clues - as they were the primary apps acceleration technology before SSDs.

(80)86, went (with some detours) to 286, 386, and 486 and then morphed into Pentium - which (unlike numbers) could be a registered trademark.

SPARC started with numbers and then added words.

SSD product names have many naming variations too.

But - going back to numbers.

The problem with numbers is when they get too long (due to the longevity of the product family) you have to recycle them - which makes it confusing for old people who saw them the first time around.

And (I know it may be unfair to say this about product marketers) but sometimes you get the vague feeling - particularly in more slowly evolving markets like autos - that the names and the numbers and the colors have changed. But inside everything that matters still remains exactly the same as it was before.

the naming of SSDs

Branding Strategies in the SSD Market

by Zsolt Kerekes, editor -

Does - what you call the SSD...

impact - who the SSD buyer will call?

I've written this series of articles for marketers and business development people in the SSD market.

Everyone's in the same SSD market bubble - but due to frantic web navigation, going to events and talking to SSD analysts you already have a better picture of where the awesome SSD market is headed than most other people. Congratulations!

But how do you translate that into a business plan? - or as the marketing girl in the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy said - in response to the development of the wheel - "Alright, Mr. Wiseguy... "if you're so clever, you tell us what color it should be."

How will users navigate their way through thousands of SSD messages which compete for their attention?

In the time honored way of learning to recognize, filter out and disregard the 99% of SSD babel which is for someone else.

What can marketers do to create better messages for the modern SSD era?

How can users recognize a good SSD brand when they see it?

Learning from other people's good examples (and mistakes) is a good place to start.

In this new series of articles I'm looking at the SSD market - from a different perspective
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SSD articles on other themes

hostage to the fortunes of SSD

don't all PCIe SSDs look pretty much the same?

Enterprise SSDs - the Survive and Thrive Guide

Why I won't publish your press release? - Common PR errors

. FAQs for connected IT marketers

storage search banner

turbo SSD image .. How did mice
become the face of
Getting the name right for your new product, company or service is a difficult process.
Marketing Nomenclature, and the Naming of Names
"Compared to EMC - ours is better"
the unreal positioning of many flash array "startups"
90% of the enterprise SSD companies which you know have no good reasons to survive.
drivers, mechanisms and routes towards consolidation

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Our flash care scheme is 100x
MLC seniors live longer in my care home
We haven't got the stage where the color or the brand on the SSD box (are the main things which) determine how many SSDs get sold.

SSD IP (Intellectual Property) is still an important factor in establishing leadership in the minds of the market.
......Q4 2011 edition of - the Top 20 SSD Companies
Sonnet Technologies has been using the Fusion name for our storage product since before Fusion-io existed as a company.
One of the challenges for the enterprise SSD market when designing new rackmount products is to understand complex customer needs and decision criteria - which go beyond the traditional bullet points.
Decloaking hidden and missing segments in the analysis of market opportunities for enterprise rackmount flash
Kent Smith told me that LSI used to call the SandForce products "SSD processors".

But that didn't show up in Google.

Because designers were looking for "SSD controllers".

So LSI changed its parlance.

It now calles them "SSD controllers"

like everyone else does.
LSI integrates "SSD market on a chip"
November 18, 2013
. is published by ACSL