Storage Giant: Seagate's Barracuda 180


At a price of $ 1,999, the Barracuda 180 is certainly not targeted at average home or office use. Putting four 45 GB drives into an IDE RAID array will provide the same storage capacity and more performance at a better price point. However, this new drive targets a different market, namely one that demands capacity. Even though the drive may look expensive and also its performance doesn't seem particularly ground-breaking, I expect it to become successful simply because it offers more than twice the capacity than the largest drives available (73.4 GB). SCSI drives used to double their capacity with each new generation (9.1, 18.4, 36.7, 73.4 GB).

The next logical step would be 146 GB, which I expect to hit the market shortly as the remaining 73 GB drives at 1.5" height are replaced by 1" models. Therefore, Seagate's new drive provides more capacity than people would have for this generation, so the Barracuda 180 will be a boon to expanding server farms. Putting the new Barracuda into vast drive arrays will allow expansion of capacity at existing performance levels without much effort.