back to article Seagate in 10TB drive brand brainstorm

Seagate has added three new 10TB helium drives, simultaneously re-branding its desktop/laptop disk and SSHDs, NAS and surveillance drive products in a complicated scheme involving disparate drive technologies. It introduced its first helium drive, the 7-platter 10TB Enterprise Capacity disk drive, in January. Now there are …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I guess marketing has to do *something* to justify their salary. Juat a shame it involves counter-productive nonsense like this that does more to confuse and obfuscate than anything else. (Though this may well be Seagate's intent, as it's not always in companies' interests to make things as clear and simple as they could be).

    Reminds me of WD's recent revision of their product line marketing. They had what was a fairly clear scheme; blue for mainstream drives, green for power-saving/eco models, black for performance and (later on IIRC) red for NAS.

    Now they've ditched the green line, and introduced gold for drives sold for data centre use and purple for drives intended for surveillance purposes (i.e. CCTV systems).

    How different are the red, purple and gold models *really*, and how different do they actually *need* to be? Are they just firmware tweaks designed to justify artificially-created market segmentation? All this marketing-driven confusion must be counter-productive at some point.

    Edit; BTW, why is "BarraCuda" in the photo of the drive capitalised like that (other than contrived consistency with the other names which are made up of separate words)?

    1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      It's worth reading the "Applications in marketing" section on rational ignorance in Wikipedia. My take is that by confusing matters, the marketroids intend us to buy the most expensive drives on the grounds we can't tell the choices apart but our data is precious so "more expensive must be better".

      To modify Shakespeare for current times, first lets kill all the marketing men.

    2. frank ly

      I have a 2TB WD 'green' drive sitting in an adaptor and connected to my small NAS interface. It spins down if you don't access it for about ten minutes. If you do access it then you only have about a six second wait until it spins up and delivers. This is great for my use for it which is as a media library drive.

      Does anyone know if WD or anyone else have an equivalent for it?

      1. Mark 65 Silver badge

        I used to have a WD green drive. The 'green' controller part shat itself just after 12 months or so of ownership. When you tried accessing the data it used to spin up, and then down, then up, and then down. Took several days to get data off that hadn't been duplicated - online isn't a backup after all. I have never bought one of their 3.5s ever again. HGST only thanks. Never had a problem with their portable 1TB or 2TB external units on the other hand.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          (NB; I'm the same AC who posted the original comment above).

          In WD's defence, I've been using one of their "green" drives in my current computer for almost seven years and never had any problems with it.

          Problem with hard drives is that there are always people who have had a bad experience with a given brand and others who'll swear by them. That's not to say that some aren't- or weren't- better than others (#), but as the cliche goes, (individual) anecdotes aren't data.

          BTW, bad news w.r.t. HGST from your point of view- they're owned by WD, and while WD had kept them as a distinct, separately-run entity for several years (for legal and regulatory reasons), since late last year that's no longer the case, and they've been merged into WD itself.

          (#) For example, Seagate seemed to be quite good 10+ years ago. When they took over Maxtor- who *didn't* have a good repuation- my instinct was "uh, oh", because I knew that it was now possible that drives from the Maxtor facilities would end up sold as Seagates. Perhaps not coincidentally, their reliability seemed to go down significanty after that; my Dad had problems with several Seagate drives around six years back, whereas the WD models bought to replace them are still going.

          Of course, any meaningful distinction between Maxtor and Seagate-proper will be long gone by this point in time, and as far as I'm aware, the only manufacturers still in the game are Seagate, WD and Toshiba.

          1. Mark 65 Silver badge

            There's no bad news for me about HGST until the Backblaze figures start changing. At this point they are head and shoulders above.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        "Does anyone know if WD or anyone else have an equivalent for it?"

        Have you tried googling for a firmware/settings change to override the timeouts? I have four in my HP Microserver and they never spin down. Sorry, it was a few years ago, so no idea what links to provide now or if it's even still an option

    3. J. Cook Silver badge

      WD red drives have different firmware on it that's specifically built for use in a NAS appliance; it adjusts some timeout values and a couple other controller parameters to make the drive play better in that arena. (the idea is that a marginal sector won't hang the NAS appliance for a long enough time that the appliance marks the drive as failed when it is only dealing with a marginal block.)

      I have no experience or knowledge of the purple or gold lines; the blue was their standard desktop class drive, black was a higher spindle speed and larger cache for performance, and green was slower spindle and much more aggressive power management settings.

    4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "Edit; BTW, why is "BarraCuda" in the photo of the drive capitalised like that (other than contrived consistency with the other names which are made up of separate words)?"

      Reminds me of something


  2. DNTP

    Trademark infringement impending?

    I wonder if Barracuda Networks is going to have a word to say about Seagate marketing a line of storage products named "BarraCuda".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Trademark infringement impending?

      Unlikely as Seagate has been selling Barracuda hard drives since 1991..... and Barracuda Networks isn't Apple.

    2. Bob Vistakin

      Re: Trademark infringement impending?

      I fucking do. The only drives over the last 10 years to consistently go fubar on me were *all* barracuda. Its at the point now if I even see one in a server I advise it get swapped. OK, OK, I know the tech today *must* be better - right? But even seeing the name makes me shudder.

  3. Natalie Gritpants Silver badge


    Should have gone with Baccaruda

  4. Joerg

    Inflated prices...

    Consumer hard disk drives have rarely been so expensive and surely not in the last 15 years or so.

    Selling at sky high prices products like hard disks even the consumer models that rarely last more years than their warranty is a huge mistake business wise.

    Hard Disk drives should be cheap and manufacturers should earn from huge quantities sold first.

    Enterprise models being expensive is a minor issue for most large businesses that can afford buying thousands if not millions each year anyway.

    With prices so high Seagate is losing millions of customers.

    1. the spectacularly refined chap

      Re: Inflated prices...

      "Consumer" is the operative word though and that market has changed over time. 15 years ago a typical business workstation would have and realistically need perhaps a 20GB drive. A home system would be about the same. Now that typical workstation probably needs no more than 200GB, certainly a cheap as chips 500GB drive will be ample, but it seems 4TB is pretty much the default option for a home user HDD. You see it across the machines - home users have gone from behind the curve in the 80s, to broadly comparable with business systems around the millennium, and well ahead of them now. They're now driving the market forward and paying the bleeding edge premium for that.

      1. Shades

        Re: Inflated prices...

        "but it seems 4TB is pretty much the default option for a home user HDD"

        What home users would that be? I can't remember the last time I saw a working desktop in the home and, apart from one guy I know who has 16Tbs worth of drives in a USB/NAS enclosure, pretty much everyone else I know uses cheap laptops (when they're not using tablets or their phones) which are only just starting to get 1tb drives.

        1. JEDIDIAH

          Re: Inflated prices...

          Cheap 2TB (laptop) drives have been commonplace for awhile now. There's no reason to bother with something as small as 1TB unless it's an SSD.

      2. richardcox13

        Re: Inflated prices...

        > 15 years ago a typical business workstation would have and realistically need perhaps a 20GB drive

        I think you mean 25 years age: start of the 90s, 40MB was large buyt increasingly common.. A decade later – after the millennium – hundreds of megs if not a gig was normal.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Inflated prices...

          He said 20 GB, not MB, for his fifteen-year-old figure.

          FWIW, your early 90s figures sound in the right ballpark, but the first PC I bought in 1998 came with a 3.2 GB drive- well above "hundreds of megabytes"- and even *that* was considered slightly on the small side by buying guides that advised circa 4.5 GB. I added an 8 GB drive a year later.

          The PC I built myself in 2002 had an 80 (eighty!) GB drive which (IIRC) was respectably large but not huge by the standards of *that* time. (Thus the 20 GB figure sounds plausible for a run-of-the-mill 2001 system).

          The one I got in 2009 had a 1000 GB (i.e. 1 TB) drive.

          It's noticeable that the growth in hard drive sizes during the 90s and early-to-mid 00s was incredibly fast, but it seems to have slowed down significantly in the past decade.

    2. Blane Bramble

      Re: Inflated prices...

      Consumer hard disk drives have rarely been so expensive and surely not in the last 15 years or so.

      I guess you're new to this IT thing aren't you? Speak to those of us who remember 10 and 20MB disks. I remember my first 32MB RLL drive. I also remember spending £500 on a second hand 500MB SCSI disk (yes, these are all MB not GB).

      Disks now expensive? Get off my lawn!

  5. Horridbloke

    Slow handclap...

    "Skyhawk" - in contrast to normal hawks that burrow their way through the earth's core...

    1. Magani
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Slow handclap...

      I wonder if Cessna will take offence? They've been using 'Skyhawk' for their C172 line since 1955, HowEver they didn't see the need to CapitaLise the 2nd half of the name.

      Heli icon as El Reg is ShameFully missing an icon for a 4 place, high-wing, single-engine trainer and general RunAbout.

      1. Roj Blake

        Re: Slow handclap...

        I can see the RegiSter taking up this SeaGate CapitaLisation meme and RunNing with it. ImaGine the PossiBilities

      2. WolfFan Silver badge

        Re: Slow handclap...

        I wonder if Cessna will take offence? They've been using 'Skyhawk' for their C172 line since 1955

        I wouldn't worry too much about Cessna. Now, 101st Airborne Division, them I'd worry about.

        "Airborne! is our cry!

        Skyhawks! is our name!"

        -from the Boonie Rat Song, sung by 101 troopers in Vietnam, late 1960s/early 1970s.

        Airborne boys tend to be possessive about their names.

      3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Slow handclap...

        "HowEver they didn't see the need to CapitaLise the 2nd half of the name."

        MayBe! SeaGate! Can! Join! the! YaHoo! MeMe!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Last Time My Company Used Seagate.....

    We had ten drives (new) fail in six months.

    We switched to Western Digital and never had to replace one again.

    1. J. R. Hartley

      Re: Last Time My Company Used Seagate.....


      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Last Time My Company Used Seagate.....

        Once bitten........

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    180TBytes/year workload for a NAS drive

    180TBytes/year workload is only 6Mbytes/second sustained. My home NAS might be below this limit (although periodic RAID consistency checks already would already eat up nearly half of this quota). For an even mildly busy office NAS, this is not even funny.

    I guess I'll keep these drives off my wish list.

    1. Electron Shepherd

      Re: 180TBytes/year workload for a NAS drive

      180TBytes/year workload is only 6Mbytes/second sustained.

      I don't think I want to work at your company! Are you assuming 24x7 operations? Most offices are 8x5, so effectively only operate for 23% of the time.

      Assuming a fully saturated 1Gbit connection to a NAS containing these drives, the most you can get out in a year's worth of 40 hour weeks is 850TB, so 180TB per year doesn't sound unreasonable.

      Looking at it another way, even assuming a 24x7 operation, 180TB per year is 500GB per day. If we staff our mythical office with 500 people (which is a fairly big office), how many typical office workers reference 1G of Word / Excel etc. files per day?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 180TBytes/year workload for a NAS drive

        Wouldn't your usage depend upon how backups were done? Is this stated usage write/rewrite workload or is it any transfer? If it is any transfer then a daily date/size backup with a weekend backup that used rsync with checksum would push you over that limit on one of the larger capacities would it not? Either way I wouldn't trust them and the Backblaze stats seem to back that distrust up.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: 180TBytes/year workload for a NAS drive

        "how many typical office workers reference 1G of Word / Excel etc. files per day?"

        Probably most of them, and then some. Roaming desktop profiles, nothing stored locally, lots of intranet-based apps and so on. Not forgetting the PDF email attachments.

  8. Efros

    And what's wrong with

    Disky McDiskFace?

    the people need to know!

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In Britain they would be called...




  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tenacious Gull

    TenaciousGull sounds about right, you're bound to get shit on at some pojnt, using a Seagate.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm surprised no one has pointed out that Helium is a finite resource and as such these drives should be sold in helium balloons.

    1. eJ2095

      So when the drive goes tits up Seagate support can advise your data floated away.....

      Or is the Helium the next step to help you to the cloud...... ;-0

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    BarraCuda with IronWolf and SkyHawk

    and ScareCuda, or something along the lines. Jesus-cuda-Christ, this makes me soooo want to buy them! :/

  13. J. R. Hartley


    1. Mark 65 Silver badge


  14. Tom 64
    IT Angle

    doing an Nvidia...

    Looks like they are pulling leaves from the trees over in graphics land and re-branding some old kit (with a shit rep), to flesh out their 'all new' product line.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So do these new drives still have a 1 year warranty... do they still use shingling tech that causes much greater mechanical load every time you write as it has to rewrite the entire shingle block and as a result doesn't (in my own experience) last very well before failing... It does.. sticking with WD Black and its 5 year warranty then thanks. Cool names wont lure me from my position and any deciding which product to buy goes for x brand because it has a supposedly cooler name deserves what they get.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Black drives matter

  16. Ilsa Loving

    Why fix when you can rebrand?

    Over the years I have had dozens of different (consumer-level) seagate hard drives, including external, internal, and their hybrid drives.

    All have failed well before their warranty expired. In the case of the Hybrid drive, it went through *three* RMAs, only to have the drive start malfunctioning, sometimes as soon as a month after installation.

    Meanwhile, the WD drives I have purchased have performed admirably. I think I had maybe one failure, I can't remember now. But since switching to WD I sleep much better at night.

    I remember way back when, when Seagate was the best and WD was crap. Interesting how the tables have turned.

  17. foxyshadis

    What's the point of FireCuda?

    I don't understand the Firecuda line. 1-2TB SSHD? You can fairly cheaply buy a real SSD to fill that gap, or an SSD+HDD combo to maximize your capacity and performance, instead of a premium-priced half-assed compromise. (Even most laptops have M.2+HDD combos now.) The market Firecuda is trying to serve is shrinking every month, and I wouldn't be surprised if the brand is retired after disappointing sales in the first generation.

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