During its Q2 2017 earning call, Seagate disclosed that it already has 12TB HDDs in the field and 14TB and 16TB models in the design phase. The developments appear to provide a path toward its goal of producing 20TB HDDs by 2020.
Seagate's well-publicized difficulties have been growing as more customers transition from its bread-and-butter consumer HDDs, which account for 24% of its revenue, to speedier SSDs. The enterprise is also moving en masse to speedy SSDs for high-performance workloads, which recently led the company to halt further development of 15K HDDs. Many analysts opine that 10K HDDs are next on the chopping block.
In response, Seagate shifted its production might to more lucrative high-capacity enterprise HDDs, which now account for 37% of its revenue, to leverage the shrinking HDD price-per-GB advantage over SSDs. Seagate recently closed its Suzhou, China manufacturing plant to reduce manufacturing costs, but it simultaneously increased its investments in other facilities to address the challenges of moving from six platters per drive to eight. The net effects of its maneuverings total $300 million in savings per year.
Seagate is essentially retreating into the high-capacity segment, and the company announced that its new 12TB HDDs have already been shipping to key customers for several quarters. Seagate CEO Steve Luczoalso noted that the company would offer 16TB drives within the next 12 to 18 months. Seagate's new high-capacity offerings are destined for data centers, NAS, DVRs, and a booming surveillance market.
Seagate adopted helium technology several years after WD/HGST led the charge, and as a result, it continues to lose share in its target high-capacity market. To make matters worse, Seagate has also failed to capitalize on the SSD revolution--its strategic alliance with Micron failed to nudge Seagate's share above a paltry 0.1% of the SSD market.
Sk hynix has confirmed that it is considering a joint venture with Seagate, which might help the struggling giant penetrate the SSD market. Seagate certainly has the money to invest in the Sk hynix venture, as it has over $1.7 billion in cash or equivalents. However, a joint venture pales in comparison to WD's instant success when it gobbled up a large portion of the SSD market overnight with its SanDisk acquisition.
From a financial perspective, Seagate's earnings are encouraging with revenue of $2.9 billion and $297 million of profit during the second quarter, but its slow transition to flash-based solutions may prove to be the long-term fly in the ointment.
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Paul Alcorn is the Deputy Managing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He writes news and reviews on CPUs, storage and enterprise hardware.
I swear on my life that if I have to look at this Tinnitus Remedy click-bait picture after every article one more time, which I've had to do for a few months now, I just might throw up on my keyboard and never return to Tom's!!!!! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD I DON"T WANT TO SEE DRIPPING YELLOW LIQUID ON A FINGER GOING INTO SOMEONE ELSES EAR!Reply
I'm surprised anyone still buys or sells 15k HDDs. Worse price/performance/capacity ratio than SSDs for a while now.Reply
That's one nice thing about the old PATA standard that I really miss. You could daisy chain HDDs to increase capacity fairly easily. I remember using the "tapeover method" on my old 8 bit HDD controller card in my 8086 to gain the ability to daisy chain HDDs. It's too bad no modern standards allows us to daisy chain. 16bit controller cards could all do it, so the method was consigned to historical anachronism. What we need is a way to daisy chain cheap sata devices.Reply
19217102 said:I swear on my life that if I have to look at this Tinnitus Remedy click-bait picture after every article one more time, which I've had to do for a few months now, I just might throw up on my keyboard and never return to Tom's!!!!! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD I DON"T WANT TO SEE DRIPPING YELLOW LIQUID ON A FINGER GOING INTO SOMEONE ELSES EAR!
I run an add blocker and can disable it just for tomshardware but don't because the adds are very sketchy. If they were to switch to only legit tech related adds I would turn the add blocker off to let them make some money but nope if they want scummy adds I'm here on there dime. That is to say I feel you.
19217313 said:That's one nice thing about the old PATA standard that I really miss. You could daisy chain HDDs to increase capacity fairly easily. I remember using the "tapeover method" on my old 8 bit HDD controller card in my 8086 to gain the ability to daisy chain HDDs. It's too bad no modern standards allows us to daisy chain. 16bit controller cards could all do it, so the method was consigned to historical anachronism. What we need is a way to daisy chain cheap sata devices.
I have been there as well. Today this is done easily in software. Take a look at Windows 10 storage spaces for example or Intel RST.
19217146 said:I'm surprised anyone still buys or sells 15k HDDs. Worse price/performance/capacity ratio than SSDs for a while now.
Its mostly enterprises that want cheap, decently fast storage, and a ton of it. The cost for 20+ petabytes of storage on SSD's is much higher.
Why daisy chain drives when you can just jbod them? Its a terrible idea in the first place though.Reply
uBlock is much simpler. And I agree with an above comment, I can tolerate tasteful ads. But the ads on this site are completely tasteless and just obnoxious. Tom's, if you want me to support you, use ads I can bear to display on my screen. Not the trash you're currently using to line your pockets.Reply
I don't see why will need 10++ TB for now. 1~2TB of *movie* is more than enough for me. Can always remove some old stuff before adding new one.Reply