Seagate joins enterprise SSD market

October 10, 2008 | 12:50

Tags: #bill-watkins #nand #ssd

Companies: #seagate

Despite CEO Bill Watkins' opinions on the long-term feasibility of solid-state storage for laptops, it appears that Seagate is going full steam ahead with its own SSD models anyway.

According to CNet, the company is looking to enter the SSD market as a serious competitor beginning next year. Rich Vignes, senior manager of market development at Seagate, states that “as solid-state comes online, we're embracing this new media type,” - a far cry from CEO Bill Watkins' comments back in March that he didn't see “the flash notebook selling.”

Initially building products aimed at enterprise-level customers, Seagate is unlikely to offer a large range of consumer-level SSDs until it feels it's got the business market down pat – after all, that's where the real money is. The main problem the company is likely to face – ironically, given Watkins' publicly-stated opinion of the tech – is getting the businesses to trust the relatively new technology of solid-state storage over the tried and true mechanical drive systems they have grown used to. To reach this goal, Vignes has said that Seagate will be working with the solid-state industry's standards body, JEDEC to implement some convincing benchmarks and metrics “as an industry standard” so that Seagate – and, by extension, other manufacturers of SSD – can back up their claims of increased mean time between failures with approved statistics.

Hoping that his company's expertise in the storage market will guide it through – describing the company's approach to SSDs as “existing market, new product” - Vignes has confirmed that, at least initially, the tech behind the drives will come from others more versed in the ins and outs of solid-state technology: “We're not going to make NAND [flash memory]. We are in discussion with all the premier NAND suppliers.

Would you buy a Seagate-branded SSD even if the internal technology was from a different company, or are you better off with a manufacturer who rolls their own units? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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