back to article Seagate to buy Samsung's disk drive biz?

Seagate may buy Samsung's hard disk drive business, according to the Wall Street Journal. Samsung wants as much as $1.5bn for the loss-making unit but may take less than $1bn. We understand Seagate chairman and CEO Stephen Luczo is spending up to three months in the Far East, convenient for talking to Korea-based Samsung. …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Long term position

    Perhaps after 5 years:

    - SSD for consumers (i.e, where 2TB per unit may be regarded as a upper limit for consumer needs)

    - Platters for business - where Petaabytes of data will be needed... perhaps we'll be storing more and more in the various "clouds" offered by commercial companies.

    i.e. perhaps it's a good time for Samsung to exit.

    1. Bram


      I reckon SSDs wont increase in size that much but they will become consumers first choice and most data will go to the cloud

  2. ad47uk
    Thumb Down

    lack of choice again

    Here we go again, lack of choice, I not that fond of seagate and Weston digital is not that great,. also with less competition prices will rise. so we are going to be in the same boat as we are with graphic chips, only two Nvidia and AMD/ATI.

    Never rely on the cloud, it is fine for small amount of data, but without super fast internet connections, it is useless for larger amounts and then what about security?

  3. Anonymous Coward

    What about the consumers?

    So we go from a thriving, competitive HDD market where there were 5 different suppliers to choose from, to a Segate/WD duopoly.

    I'm sure the duopolist's profits will increase. But I don't think that has anything to do with economies of scale; it'll be because they can.

  4. Graham Triggs

    Slightly worried about lack of competition

    I would tend to agree with the other comments about a lack of competition. As consumers, we definitely do want prices to be kept low. But maybe increased adoption of SSD will do that.

    Of course, I also want reliability from my drives - and in that regard, I'm really not disappointed to see Samsung leaving the business. Worst reliability I've ever encountered - I've never seen a Samsung drive last for more that 12 months (and I've unfortunately been saddled with a few).

    1. paulf

      Samsung are probably thinking SSD

      Samsung are a massive manufacturer of Flash memory and I expect they are thinking that the future is in computers with SSD storage rather than spinning discs of glass - which suits them as they're better placed to sell Flash than HDDs. So hopefully the threat of Consumer SSD will keep the magnetic HDD market at least partly competitive (although not in the near term where HDDs are still way cheaper than SSD on £/Gb).

      Completely agree with you wishing good riddance to Samsung HDDs and their reliability. I had two LaCie Starck portable drives with Samsung 640 Gb mechs in them and they both failed completely after ~7 months. They were used on totally separate computers as one was NTFS and one was HFS+so can't really put it down to a computer problem or the OS.

      I was so relieved that the replacements from Lacie were 1 Tb 2.5" Toshiba drives. I don't know what Toshiba drives are like but I was just glad they didn't have Samsung mechanisms in there.

      My 3.5" mechs are all WD of varying ages (a few months to a few years). I know some people have had problems with WD but I've got 8 mechanisms now and they've all been fine.

      Seagate are welcome to Samsung's HDD business.

      1. Alain

        My mileage does vary

        I have ~40 disks of various brands, sizes and capacities in USB enclosures at home, and the only ones that have failed on me are a few Seagates and one Toshiba.

        On the other hand, the WDs and Samsung have never developed a single visible bad block.

        At work, I manage a large farm of HP servers (mostly blades) and I consider the failure rate of their HP-branded Seagate disks above normal.

        At this time I can not be convinced to buy another Seagate disk, even if it's cheaper than a WD or Samsung.

        In which pocket did I put that bloody 2.5" disk?

    2. Vic


      > I've never seen a Samsung drive last for more that 12 months

      I've had quite a few, and I've not had one fail yet.

      Seagate drives, on the other hand, seem to be supremely unreliable. They have been ever since they bought Maxtor...


      1. Ammaross Danan


        I've been running F2, F3, and F4 drives for quite a while now. I also have an assortment of Seagate and WD, and a solitary Hitachi drive. Care to know which ones have failed? Two Seagate 320GB drives. That's all. Granted, they lasted nearly two years and their replacements have lasted another two years now. However, I do back them up quite regularly to my F4 drive....

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Looks like...

    ...I'll need to find another decent HDD manufacturer. After having 6 Seagate failures in 3 months I vowed never to use Seagate ever again and stuck with the very reliable Samsung F series drives. Not a single failure on any of the 6 drives I have so far.

    If Seagate buy them out I can see me having to find another decent manufacturer because the quality will drop I can assure you...

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Christ Seagate, don't buy a Samsung drive.

  7. LINCARD1000

    A mixed bag

    Had serious issues with both WD & Seagate, but zero problems with the various Samsung Spinpoint drives I've bought. That's not to say that others who have are exaggerating, more just a comment that no one brand seems to be "king of the hill" in terms of reliability - there will always be horror stories no matter what brand you talk about.

    Online storage of files is all well and good but requires internet access wherever you go. And you are then totally reliant on another organisation for backup and access of important files. Not to mention a matter of trust...

    Local storage and local backups for me, with online ("cloud") services being a handy tool to move files between different machines without requiring physical media to do so.

    1. Nigel 11

      All drives are prototypes!

      Every drive you buy today is a prototype, in that it has not been tested for as long as you hope it will last. They do accelerated ageing tests (run them hot, or alternately too hot and too cold, shake them, power them up and down every ten minutes ...), but that cannot fully substitute for the passage of several real years. By the time you and the manufacturer know it's reliable, it's also obsolete.

      I had a batch of PCs with same-batch Samsung Spinpoint drives. After three of those drives turned into bricks at power-up, with no prior warning signs from SMART, I replaced the other four pre-emptively. I don't hold this against Samsung, because I have experienced or heard of bad-batch problems with every other make of hard drives. However, it was my first brush with sudden-brick failure. All my previous failures in the SMART era either gave advance warning through SMART, or were recoverable using ddrescue.

  8. Nigel 11

    That's the end of RAID-5 then

    No, seriously.

    RAID-5 data security assumes that if one drive fails it has no implications for the others. But if you construct a RAID-5 array out of identical drives (usually from the same production batch!) the fact that one drive has died makes is far more likely that the other N-1 are about to, because you may be looking at the first of a batch of common-mode failures.

    And you have a RAID reconstruct operation ahead, which may put a rather greater load on the survivors.

    If you bought four drives from four different manufacturers, common-mode failures were rendered far less likely. But now there will be only two manufacturers.

    So time to drop RAID-5? Use RAID-1 / RAID-10 (mirroring) with 2-drive sets, one WD and one Seagate, or RAID-6 with all extremities crossed.

    1. Vic

      That's the end of most RAID...

      > So time to drop RAID-5? Use RAID-1 / RAID-10

      RAID-5 is (temporarily) tolerant of one failure. RAID-1 is also tolerant of one failure.

      If you're expecting multiple simultaneous failures, RAID-1 will give you no better resilience than RAID-5, as two disks out leaves you with none left.

      RAID-10 really isn't much better - if you lose two drives of the same stripe, you've lost the lot.

      Mixing manufacturers removes the common-mode issue, but it will take some serious statistical crunching to find out whether or not you're actually any less likely to lose your data...


    2. Neil 7

      Try ZFS

      And RAIDZ2, dual-parity protection - survive failure of two disks in a single pool. Create pools using multiple vdevs with different levels of protection.

      Or buy disks from the same manufacturer, but from different retailers (ie. different batches) at different times to mix up your chances of a common mode failure. Buying identical disks from the same retailer at the same increases your chances of buying disks from the same batch which may all have an identical manufacturing flaw.

  9. Alan Denman

    A shame it is not Toshiba.

    Come on guys, tablets and small laptops need someone to release the 1.8" Hybrid drive.

    Its the way to go. Toshiba, are you listening?

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