Seagate: Enterprise SSD to be released next year

Storage manufacturer Seagate will release its first solid-state drive for enterprises by the middle of next year, CEO Bill Watkins said on Tuesday.

Storage manufacturer Seagate will release its first SSD (solid-state drive) for enterprises by the middle of next year, CEO Bill Watkins said on Tuesday.

The product will be aimed at customers such as financial institutions that need to transfer lots of transactional data quickly, Watkins said.

To meet the high performance demand for financial transactions, companies such as EMC -- which buys disks from Seagate -- will string together ten 200G-byte drives but only use the very outer edge of the disk, comprising 20G bytes or so, for data. The disk spins the fastest on the outer edge, which gives the best performance.

But for companies, it's a waste of a lot of disk. Watkins said the Seagate SSD, which could cost around US$2,500 for 200G bytes, would be cheaper and provide the same performance, taking advantage of the fast read speeds for NAND flash. Between 5 percent to 10 percent of companies have a need for the technology.

The product will be a combination single-level cell (SLC) and multilevel cell (MLC) drive, Watkins said. SLC drives are more reliable and faster than MLC ones, but MLC drives are cheaper to produce.

Watkins affirmed again that Seagate has no interest in building a flash fab and would instead buy flash from a contract manufacturer. Companies that do have fabs, such as Samsung Electronics and SanDisk, are struggling to make money, Watkins said. It makes no sense for Seagate to enter a business where it can't make money, he said.

However, Seagate is investing in research to develop flash controllers and interfaces for SSDs, as those technologies will be key, Watkins said.

The forthcoming SSD release could be a welcome bright spot for Seagate in what executives expect will be a tough environment due to slowing IT spending.

Enterprise spending is expected to be frozen in the short term, said Patrick O'Malley, Seagate executive vice president and chief financial officer. However, companies are expected to increasingly need storage due to data retention regulations, he said.

Seagate is also shipping a full-disk encryption drive, which is appealing to enterprises when it comes to disposing of the disks. Watkins said Seagate has done work for the U.S. government and pulled data off a disk with a bullet hole. The threat of losing data is a concern to companies, he said.

On the consumer side, Watkins acknowledged the upcoming Christmas season will likely be difficult. "We're not sure it's [the holiday buying surge] going to show up," he said.

But Seagate's consumer business is now growing faster than the enterprise side, driven by a rising need to store photos, music, movies and other digital content.

Seagate holds about 32 percent of the overall storage market, the highest in the industry, according to the company.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags solid-state drivesseagate

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?