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 Post subject: More HDD Consolidations
PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 7:06 am 
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http://www.silentpcreview.com/news-2011-04-18.htm

And then there were 3.

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 Post subject: Re: More HDD Consolidations
PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 8:25 am 
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That sucks. But I guess it's expected as the HDD market begins to dwindle. Hopefully if Seagate does buy them, they use them to make a better line of drives. Maybe continue the series for a while at least.


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 Post subject: Re: More HDD Consolidations
PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 8:26 am 
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Hey, Seagate finally gets access to AAM again via Samsung's portfolio, then :D

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 Post subject: Re: More HDD Consolidations
PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 8:58 am 
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I don't see any imediate competition for HDD as storage medium. A duopoly maybe good for their profits, but I'm doubtfull that it will be good for costumers...


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 Post subject: Re: More HDD Consolidations
PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 9:46 am 
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There goes another brand down the drain of the only HDD manufacturer who has to advertise firmware updates..


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 Post subject: Re: More HDD Consolidations
PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 10:30 am 
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Now that really chucks, even in an ideal scenario like if Seagate decides to ditch their own designs. ;)
Doesn't sound like much is happening very soon though.

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 Post subject: Re: More HDD Consolidations
PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 10:31 am 
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Manabu wrote:
I don't see any imediate competition for HDD as storage medium. A duopoly maybe good for their profits, but I'm doubtfull that it will be good for costumers...

Yeah. Samsung has some of the best bang for buck HDDs. Something tells me Seagate might change that for the worse.
Big capacity SSDs are still nowhere to be seen.


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 Post subject: Re: More HDD Consolidations
PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 10:54 am 
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ermi wrote:
Manabu wrote:
I don't see any immediate competition for HDD as storage medium. A duopoly maybe good for their profits, but I'm doubtful that it will be good for costumers...

Yeah. Samsung has some of the best bang for buck HDDs. Something tells me Seagate might change that for the worse.
Big capacity SSDs are still nowhere to be seen.


Depends on what you call big capacity (how big) or what you mean by nowhere to be seen (is available good enough or does it also have to compete on $/GB?).

600GB is easy to find if you have $1000 to spare (Intel 320 Series). If you need more than 1TB just do a RAID array and tell any one that asks that the I stands for independent instead of inexpensive (oh yeah they did change the acronym).

There are 2TB SSDs now (just not at any reasonable price compared to the $/GB on an Intel SSD) but if you want consumer grade 2TB SSDs that'll probably be 2012 and still will be a 4 figure price tag (way out of my price range).

Oh and if you don't like Intel you can always pick a 250/256GB drive of your choice and get enough to RAID to the capacity you need.

Code:
Crucial C300 256GB              ~$440   ~$1.72/GB
Samsung 470 256GB               ~$448   ~$1.75/GB
Crucial M4/C400 256GB           ~$460   ~$1.80/GB

Intel 320 Series 300GB          ~$565   ~$1.88/GB

Crucial M4/C400 512GB           ~$930   ~$1.82/GB

Intel 320 Series 600GB         ~$1041   ~$1.74/GB


As time goes by I'm sure we'll see more high capacity SSDs and I'm sure the price/GB will continue to drop (just not as fast as you or I would want it to).

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 Post subject: Re: More HDD Consolidations
PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 11:31 am 
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Manabu wrote:
I don't see any imediate competition for HDD as storage medium.
That's what Kodak said about their film business not too many years ago.

Even if HDD's are around for awhile, it is a very low margin business. The future of the Desktop PC is already in jeopardy, and and even laptops are loosing market share to tablets. The hardware infrastructure is changing fast.


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 Post subject: Re: More HDD Consolidations
PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 1:11 pm 
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Not much that anyone can do when it comes to international acquisitions.


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 Post subject: Re: More HDD Consolidations
PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:28 pm 
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m0002a wrote:
Manabu wrote:
I don't see any imediate competition for HDD as storage medium.
That's what Kodak said about their film business not too many years ago.

Even if HDD's are around for awhile, it is a very low margin business. The future of the Desktop PC is already in jeopardy, and and even laptops are loosing market share to tablets. The hardware infrastructure is changing fast.


+1

But I'd add that Kodak stayed in business (still a multibillion dollar company looking at the 2010 earnings). Look at Polaroid if you want a company that died making film (don't be confused by the continued use of the Polaroid brand after the original company went bankrupt).

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 Post subject: Re: More HDD Consolidations
PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 7:50 pm 
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m0002a wrote:
Manabu wrote:
I don't see any imediate competition for HDD as storage medium.
That's what Kodak said about their film business not too many years ago.

Even if HDD's are around for awhile, it is a very low margin business. The future of the Desktop PC is already in jeopardy, and and even laptops are loosing market share to tablets. The hardware infrastructure is changing fast.

So, name a technology that in less than 10 years can be no more than 2 times the cost/GB of HDDs for storage, and be better than it. Don't forget to put in your calculations that the price/GB for HDDs is falling.


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 Post subject: Re: More HDD Consolidations
PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 7:58 pm 
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Manabu wrote:
So, name a technology that in less than 10 years can be no more than 2 times the cost/GB of HDDs for storage, and be better than it. Don't forget to put in your calculations that the price/GB for HDDs is falling.
It seems like the SSDs are overtaking electromechanical.

Seems like it will require a new solid state memory technology than the ones the SSDs are using now (something that is not to big a jump away from current techniques). But don't you expect that over the next 10 years? I think over 5 years you are probably right. I think over 10 years you are probably wrong. Sorry... no calculations to back this up. :)

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 Post subject: Re: More HDD Consolidations
PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 9:04 pm 
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dhanson865 wrote:
But I'd add that Kodak stayed in business (still a multibillion dollar company looking at the 2010 earnings). Look at Polaroid if you want a company that died making film (don't be confused by the continued use of the Polaroid brand after the original company went bankrupt).
Yes Kodak is still in business, but it had 86,000 employees in 1998, and only 18,800 employees in 2010 (that includes employees of some companies it recently acquired). It is nowhere near the giant it once was.


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 Post subject: Re: More HDD Consolidations
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 12:23 am 
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The cost per bit advantage of hard drives over flash has narrowed some in recent years, but it's still enormous. And that trend is not guaranteed to continue. Hard drives makers are working on new technologies, and flash could hit a wall.


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 Post subject: Re: More HDD Consolidations
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 2:09 am 
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BillyBuerger wrote:
That sucks. But I guess it's expected as the HDD market begins to dwindle. Hopefully if Seagate does buy them, they use them to make a better line of drives. Maybe continue the series for a while at least.


Dwindle? your serious? hardly SSDs are still far to expensive and small to even become close to replacing the HD. I refuse pay out double, tripple the price for SSD with half the capacity of HD. The HD will be around for years until SSD is refind to better price/preformance ratio until then it will only be used by the well off gaming enthusiast.


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 Post subject: Re: More HDD Consolidations
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 2:51 am 
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I think another factor is the tightening market of rare earth magnetic materials? Production in China is more restricted, and with more electric cars coming into production, (though some are "pure" AC motors with no permanent magnets), are all going to make it harder / more expensive to make hard drives. Maybe there will be a push to recycle the magnets from old hard drives?

http://www.technologyreview.com/energy/37344/

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 Post subject: Re: More HDD Consolidations
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 5:35 am 
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ces wrote:
Seems like it will require a new solid state memory technology than the ones the SSDs are using now (something that is not to big a jump away from current techniques).

Memristors, perhaps?


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 Post subject: Re: More HDD Consolidations
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 12:12 pm 
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NeilBlanchard wrote:
I think another factor is the tightening market of rare earth magnetic materials? Production in China is more restricted, and with more electric cars coming into production, (though some are "pure" AC motors with no permanent magnets), are all going to make it harder / more expensive to make hard drives.
I find it hard to believe that it is getting more expensive to manufacture hard drives, since I just purchased a 1.5T drive for about $65. I remember purchasing a Seagate 1 GB drive for my home PC in 1995 at a cost of $600 (that was the 1995 price, which would probably be at least $1000 today).

HDD is longer a technology, it is a more of a commodity, which is why a lot of companies are leaving the business.


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 Post subject: Re: More HDD Consolidations
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 12:27 pm 
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Brian at Storagereview
Seagate Acquires Samsung Hard Drive Storage Operations
Quote:
Seagate and Samsung are calling it a "Broad Strategic Alignment" but it more common terms, Samsung has more or less sold off their hard drive storage division to Seagate. The deal was rumored over the weekend by the Wall Street Journal, now it's official. As part of the deal Samsung will combine its hard drive operations with Seagate and will supply Seagate with NAND for Seagate's enterprise SSDs and hybrid hard drives and other products. Interestingly, the deal comes barely a month after Western Digital agreed to purchase Hitachi.

It's not all one way - the deal also includes a provision for Seagate to provide drives for Samsung PCs, notebooks and consumer electronics. There are also several other smaller cross-license agreements as part of the deal.

The combined value of these transactions and agreements is approximately $1.375 billion, which will be paid by Seagate to Samsung in the form of 50% stock (45.2 million shares, 9.6% ownership of Seagate) and 50% cash.


Mark at PCMag
Seagate Buys Samsung's Hard-Drive Biz for $1.375B
Quote:
...Samsung will also add a director to Seagate's board. ...

... Toshiba will remain as the third-largest disk drive vendor in what suddenly might be seen as an imperiled market, one which faces significant pressure from SSDs in portable devices, tablets, and even some notebooks. That company remains the only major vendor of the 1.8-inch form factor drive, the main target of SSDs.

The Seagate-Samsung arrangement benefits Seagate, however, in that it assures Seagate a steady supply of flash memory for use as the company expands its SSD and hybrid drives ...

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 Post subject: Re: More HDD Consolidations
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 2:06 pm 
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Quote:
The Seagate-Samsung arrangement benefits Seagate, however, in that it assures Seagate a steady supply of flash memory for use as the company expands its SSD and hybrid drives ...
Hopefully they will get on the stick and move into the future instead of hanging on to their past.

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 Post subject: Re: More HDD Consolidations
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 2:15 pm 
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ces wrote:
Quote:
The Seagate-Samsung arrangement benefits Seagate, however, in that it assures Seagate a steady supply of flash memory for use as the company expands its SSD and hybrid drives ...
Hopefully they will get on the stick and move into the future instead of hanging on to their past.

I'd rather they backtrack to before the 7200.11 series.


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 Post subject: Re: More HDD Consolidations
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 4:37 am 
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Some amusing quotes from /.


How much did Seagate actually pay (Score:5, Funny)
by Fireshadow (632041) on Tuesday April 19, @10:18AM (#35867658)
after the mail in rebate ?


by BSalita (1000791) on Tuesday April 19, @10:33AM (#35867810)
$1.375 billion or $990 million formatted.


and for the Monty Python fans

Aha! (Score:4, Funny)
by dimethylxanthine (946092) on Tuesday April 19, @09:45AM (#35867272)
Nobody expects a Seagate acquisition!

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 Post subject: Re: More HDD Consolidations
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 12:00 pm 
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BillyBuerger wrote:
That sucks. But I guess it's expected as the HDD market begins to dwindle. Hopefully if Seagate does buy them, they use them to make a better line of drives. Maybe continue the series for a while at least.


Is the HDD-market dwindeling though? i thought need for storage (perhaps somewhat surprisingly), is increasing at a steady rate, and that HDDs are selling more and more?

And this is bad news, not as bad as the best supplier in the business being bought by WD, but not good nevertheless.

AtW


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 Post subject: Re: More HDD Consolidations
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 12:14 pm 
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ATWindsor wrote:
Is the HDD-market dwindeling though? i thought need for storage (perhaps somewhat surprisingly), is increasing at a steady rate, and that HDDs are selling more and more?

And this is bad news, not as bad as the best supplier in the business being bought by WD, but not good nevertheless.
The need for server storage is increasing, but probably not the need for personal computing storage. This is partly due to tablets and laptops taking over from desktops. For tablets and laptops, the move to SSD will be picking up steam very fast. I heard that desktop machine sales are down 20% this year, and even laptop sales are slow, due mainly to tablet sales (mostly iPad).

But even if the need for HDD storage is increasing for things like multimedia, that doesn't make it any easier to make a profit in a market where prices are falling precipitously even as HDD sizes increase.


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 Post subject: Re: More HDD Consolidations
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 4:51 pm 
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ATWindsor wrote:
Is the HDD-market dwindeling though? i thought need for storage (perhaps somewhat surprisingly), is increasing at a steady rate, and that HDDs are selling more and more?


Really small devices like phones, media players, hand held game machines, cameras use embedded flash and/or slot based removable storage (think SD cards and such). Remember when the Ipod had a hard drive in it? (IPod Classic was a 1.8" Toshiba HD, Ipod Mini was a 1" HD made by Hitachi or Seagate)

Slightly larger devices will still have the slot but they may also have an internal PCIe (or other internal connector) populated with storage. In the past that was micro hard drives but now that is embedded flash or a SSD.

Next step up is netbooks/tablets with SATA connectors. Those are almost 100% converted from HD to SSD at this point and any that are left will go that way without a doubt.

Next step up is notebooks/luggables any portable computer larger than a netbook basically. It's a forgone conclusion that all of those will do away with the HD and go SSD as soon as price isn't an issue.

Then Desktop PCs. For people without insane collections a single SSD can replace any HD they use. For 90+% of the business desktop PCs the smallest SSD will do the job fine (Intel IT moved to 80GB drives as the only disk in laptops then later switched to 160GB drives, I think you'll see similar moves on the desktop as well due to reliability, whole disk encryption/performance, power draw). And then there are the enthusiasts. The ones without collections will just go SSD the ones with will do SSD + HDs in RAID until SSDs get cheap enough to replace the HDs.

Servers. SSDs trounce the snot out of rotating disks in IOPS, power draw, and most usage patterns. Cost and upgrade cycles are the only thing slowing the sure and steady march from turning into a run as they migrate from HDs to SSDs.

So the question isn't if, but when.

Quote:
"For all of 2010, global HDD unit shipments are expected to rise to 674.6 million units up 22.8 percent from 549.5 million in 2009. This contrasts markedly with 2009, when shipments declined by 2 percent."
That quote is from April 2010 so it's a year old. Lets see if I can find a new quote.

"Calendar 2010 was a year of tremendous opportunity for the hard drive industry with 651 million drives shipped" That is from April 19th 2011 so yesterday as I write this. Apparently they didn't hit the estimate of 674.6M instead it was 651M, still an increase over the prior year. "At 16 percent, this was the industry's strongest full year unit growth in five years." "Full-year revenue for the industry expanded by some 13 percent" so the increase in units was at a cost of slightly cheaper products but not dramatically so.

Quote:
"However, it was also a year of significant missed opportunity as the industry's supply/demand dynamic deteriorated as the year progressed, resulting in sharply declining ASPs, with the final quarter demonstrating a year-over-year decline in industry revenue of 7 percent on a unit increase of 4 percent, and an even sharper decline in profitability,"

Quote:
"Seagate also took a negative view, explaining in executive commentary that the quarter represented a "less than normal seasonal increase in demand for hard disk drives", and that margins had been hurt by intense price competition."

WD chief operating officer Timothy Leyden implied that hard-drive prices should continue to decline in the near term.

"While inventories in the HDD supply chain exiting the quarter were well controlled in each segment, we still believe that despite a reduction of approximately 2 million to 3 million HDDs in the PC supply chain, there is still an inventory excess of some 6 million to 8 million HDD units in the PC manufacturers' pipeline, and this will place additional downward pressure on the HDD TAM in the March quarter," he said.


So the full on decline of traditional hard drives hasn't started yet. But we are close enough to the peak that the companies are looking ahead and two players are bowing out. The two remaining big dogs Seagate and WD are both seriously looking at Hybrid drives with flash memory, SRAM, rotating disks, and a controller smart enough to mix and match as needed as the next step volume wise. That'll muddy the waters a bit as a quality hybrid drive will extend the life of rotating disks but price wise it isn't the same product that they've been shipping.

Just look at the price of Seagates Momentus XT vs a traditional HD vs a traditional SSD.

250GB traditional HD ~$40
250GB Momentus XT ~$100
250GB SSD ~$400

The SSD will drop in price by 20% to 30% per year (higher percentages at the lowest highest capacities but the mid range SSDs will move lower in slow methodical steps for the most part). The hybrid HD will likely milk profits and try to stay between the price per GB of hard drives and the price per GB of SSDs.

It'll be interesting to see what WD, Seagate, and Toshiba do going forward but it'll be like watching grass grow in between announcements.

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