Feeds

Seagate-Steve trash for Apple-Steve flash pash

In the cloud or the machine, there'll still be platters

High performance access to file storage

The MacBook Air is not a pointer to a diskless notebook future, according to Seagate chairman and CEO Stephen Luczo.

Luczo made this pronouncement while discussing Seagate's poor results with financial analysts. The headline first quarter results for Seagate's financial 2011 set the scene: revenue rose $34m to $2.7bn compared to the year-ago quarter while profit slumped $30m to $149m. Oops. There was weaker-than-expected demand in the quarter, which led to over-supply and consequent price falls. Seagate built too many drives and sold them too cheaply.

Western Digital also experienced a weakening in demand, and CEO John Coyne said he could see an iPad/tablet computer effect whereby their use of flash memory (SSD) rather than hard disk drives (HDD) would erode netbook/notebook HDD demand growth by 10 - 20 per cent over the next four quarters or so.

Since then, Apple has announced its widened and more affordable MacBook Air range of flash-based notebook computers. Analysts were keen to hear the thoughts of Seagate Steve on the Apple Steve's assertion that all notebooks are going to move this way.

Luczo said MacBook Airs were a tiny proportion of Apple's product shipments: "The percentage of their units that they sell with SSDs versus HDDs is a tiny fraction. I think it’s under 3 per cent, certainly under 5 percent."

Then he slagged off the Air: "I have an Air book with an SSD unit that I’ve had for I guess a year and a half now," said the Seagate chief. "And [there are] things that are little bit frustrating … the cost and the lack of capacity. I spend a lot of time cleaning out files so I can make room for not a lot of content to be honest with you. [But] I think there are some users that can operate [in a] net environment and be happy."

He said there is an SSD response-time issue: "I can tell you that my [Air] SSD drive takes about 25, 30 seconds to boot now versus the 12 seconds when I bought it. And that’s just an issue more related to OS than it is specifically to the technology but … with the hybrid there is things that you can do it alleviate that so your boot times are actually as compelling one and two, three and four years down the road."

Luczo is referring to Seagate's Momentus XT, a notebook hard drive with a small flash cache used to hold the O/S and main application files so the host boots and loads applications faster than from a hard drive alone but at fraction of an SSD-based system cost.

He said: "Seagate introduced [its] hybrid drive last quarter. You get basically the features and function of SSD at more like disc drive cost and capacity."

High performance access to file storage

Next page: A move to hybrid?

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
European Court of Justice rips up Data Retention Directive
Rules 'interfering' measure to be 'invalid'
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Cisco reps flog Whiptail's Invicta arrays against EMC and Pure
Storage reseller report reveals who's selling what
Bored with trading oil and gold? Why not flog some CLOUD servers?
Chicago Mercantile Exchange plans cloud spot exchange
Just what could be inside Dropbox's new 'Home For Life'?
Biz apps, messaging, photos, email, more storage – sorry, did you think there would be cake?
IT bods: How long does it take YOU to train up on new tech?
I'll leave my arrays to do the hard work, if you don't mind
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.