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Seagate Announces Pulsar SSDs for Enterprises

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 27 comments

Seagate joins the SSD fray with Pulsar.

While magnetic-based storage is still the popular one today, it's due to capacity and cost. Most of us would envision that solid state drives will be the one storing our bits in our next-generation rigs – both for business and pleasure – and Seagate today formally announced its jump into the SSD market.

Seagate new SSD, dubbed the Pulsar drive, the first product in its new enterprise SSD family. Designed for enterprise blade and general server applications, the Pulsar drive uses single-level cell (SLC) technology, is available in capacities up to 200 GB, and is built in a 2.5-inch small form factor with a SATA interface. The drive can achieve a peak performance of up to 30,000 read IOPS and 25,000 write IOPS, 240MB/sec. sequential read and 200 MB/sec. sequential write.

“Seagate is optimistic about the enterprise SSD opportunity and views the product category as enabling expansion of the overall storage market for both SSDs and HDDs,” said Dave Mosley, Seagate executive vice president, Sales, Marketing, and Product Line Management.

While Seagate does offer many of its products for the consumer space, the company's announcement today is focused on a product for enterprises. Businesses looking to move over to SSD are more likely to select a new technology from an existing storage supplier rather than a flash memory newcomer – something that Seagate is betting on.

“With its well-established OEM and eco-system relationships and a long history of serving global storage OEMs, Seagate is in a unique position to fortify its leading enterprise storage position with its entry into the enterprise solid state storage market,” said Dave Reinsel, vice president of research firm IDC.

For enterprise peace of mind, Seagate's Pulsar SSD provides its customers a 0.44 percent annualized failure rate with a five-year limited warranty.

Seagate shipped Pulsar units to select OEMs in September 2009 and is currently available to OEM customers for qualification.

For the rest of us consumers, we asked Seagate if it had plans for an SSD line for enthusiasts' personal systems. While the company remained tight lipped on future products, Seagate did tell Tom's Hardware that Pulsar is just the first of many solid state drives to come.

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  • 12 Hide
    IzzyCraft , December 8, 2009 4:29 AM
    What's amazing if that when you really open the casing to it that light really does appear.
Other Comments
  • -2 Hide
    El_Capitan , December 8, 2009 4:07 AM
    It's nice to see a leading HDD company adapting to the storage solutions climate with product development rather than marketing. However, if it's reliability these "enterprises" are looking for, shoving products out to enthusiasts to get feedback and critiques is the best way for these enterprises to show how well they're faring on their new SSD venture... though perhaps they don't want that to happen for fear of what problems will be pointed out to them later down the line.

    Reliability is key for enterprise storage solutions, with speed, capacity, and cost being determined from a company-to-company basis. I'd be more tempted to buy an Intel SSD had I not read about so many issues about stuttering, failures, bricks from trim firmware updates, lack of trim firmware updates, etc.

    Not to mention the cost. If a company's making money already with the storage solution they already have, why spend more to make things faster when they can just optimize their current set-up? There's no reason to take that chance, it's just too risky.
  • 12 Hide
    IzzyCraft , December 8, 2009 4:29 AM
    What's amazing if that when you really open the casing to it that light really does appear.
  • 0 Hide
    doomtomb , December 8, 2009 5:07 AM
    Go Seagate!
  • 0 Hide
    buwish , December 8, 2009 5:28 AM
    It's a bold move to say the least; but it was only a matter of time before enterprise SSD's started to make an appearance. Hopefully, enterprises won't be turned off by the high price tag.
  • 1 Hide
    back_by_demand , December 8, 2009 6:45 AM
    Seagate Maxtor was always going to make an entry to the SSD market, it was just a matter of when. I personally am enjoying my OCZ drive, but the future will be Seagate pumping out drive after drive and costs plumetting.
  • 0 Hide
    jacobdrj , December 8, 2009 6:53 AM
    Why are we not seeing more hybrid drives, particularly in the Enterprise market?
  • 1 Hide
    amnotanoobie , December 8, 2009 7:42 AM
    jacobdrjWhy are we not seeing more hybrid drives, particularly in the Enterprise market?


    Because they particularly weren't very effective. I believe there was a review of a hybrid drive from another manufacturer and it performed pretty much like a normal hard drive (not even challenging the raptor). Also a hybrid drive is harder to make a firmware for, because you'd need to consider two storage locations rather than one.
  • 0 Hide
    jacobdrj , December 8, 2009 7:46 AM
    Cool. Thanks. I guess sometimes simple and separate is better than complex and combined...
  • -1 Hide
    techguy378 , December 8, 2009 7:53 AM
    A hybrid drive is only useful if it has enough flash memory to store the entire OS. Since Windows Vista requires about 20GB of space, this would make the cost of a decent performing hybrid drive prohibitive.
  • 0 Hide
    one-shot , December 8, 2009 7:59 AM
    There is a great preview of the drives over at Anandtech. I'd recommend a look if you want further info.
  • 0 Hide
    jacobdrj , December 8, 2009 7:59 AM
    But wouldn't a streamlined OS be expected for the Enterprise, and therefore small 4-8GB hybrids be ideal?
    Also, it seems like, for the Enterprise, the data for a database would be stored on the SSD while the OS would be stored on the mechanical drive.
  • 0 Hide
    back_by_demand , December 8, 2009 8:14 AM
    Please, will people stop banging on about hybrid drives.

    They clearly aren't as good as just SSD for access times and read/write, yes, maybe when it comes to nothing as complicated as capacity then there is an edge, but if capacity was the factor then stick with 2Tb HDDs.

    The future is SSD and no matter how hard people try, there is no going back and SSDs will get faster and bigger. I can see 2Tb capacity and 1Gb/s speed within 3 years and affordability for even ordinary users.

    If this wasn't true then Seagate Maxtor wouldn't have made it's move now.
  • 2 Hide
    DoofusOfDeath , December 8, 2009 11:56 AM
    Are they crazy? A Pulsar SSD would emit such powerful x-rays that it would wipe itself clean constantly.

    Now I'll never trust Seagate.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , December 8, 2009 2:54 PM
    Probably,if it's a line upto 200GB of SLC SSD,we're talking about +$2000 drives here.
  • 0 Hide
    jacobdrj , December 8, 2009 3:36 PM
    It isn't 'people'. Just me. And it was a question, not a comment. And my question was answered...
  • 0 Hide
    jerther , December 8, 2009 3:44 PM
    I'm a bit late on news about SSD reliability. Last I know was that the memory chips had a fixed number of read/write cycles. Is that still true? Because a working server can have LOTS of read/writes and is working 24/24 so a 5 years waranty seems very long to me! Can anyone clarify that?
  • 0 Hide
    back_by_demand , December 8, 2009 4:05 PM
    JertherI'm a bit late on news about SSD reliability. Last I know was that the memory chips had a fixed number of read/write cycles. Is that still true? Because a working server can have LOTS of read/writes and is working 24/24 so a 5 years waranty seems very long to me! Can anyone clarify that?

    Wear levelling ensures that differant sectors are used for re-writes and when sectors fail they are omitted from future use. This is why they are rated at odd numbers like 60Gb instead of 64Gb. This is why they have a MTBF something daft like 1.5 million hours.

    Put that into context, 1.5 million hours is over 170 years.

    By the time you have got just 2% into that a new range of SSDs will be around with even more stability and it can only get better.
  • 0 Hide
    Gin Fushicho , December 8, 2009 4:23 PM
    I've fallin in love with Seagate all over again. =)
  • 2 Hide
    shushikiary , December 8, 2009 4:55 PM
    I'll make a comment about the hybrid drives... they had amazing performance. They just tried to sell them to the wrong market. A few large OEM's said that they didnt want to pay an extra 20 dollars a drive for a 300% increase in random read write performance.

    Hybrid isnt dead yet.... that's all I'll say, anymore and I'll have to kill anyone who reads this.
  • -1 Hide
    Hanin33 , December 8, 2009 5:31 PM
    DoofusOfDeathAre they crazy? A Pulsar SSD would emit such powerful x-rays that it would wipe itself clean constantly. Now I'll never trust Seagate.


    NASA has not reported any such issue with Flash Memory in space so i doubt x-rays are of any real concern.. while other forms of radiation emitted by a pulsar surely would... ;) 
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