Tag: Seagate

Seagate makes killing and then decimates staff

decimationSeagate has announced that its Q4 revenue would be $2.65 billion, beating expectations of $2.34 billion, and up from the $2.3 billion guidance. But that has not stopped the outfit decimating its staff by more than 14 percent. That’s more than decimation.

On the face of it, everything is brilliant for Seagate. The company also reported gross margin of 25 percent and non-GAAP gross margin of approximately 25.8 percent for the fiscal fourth quarter 2016, up from the previous 23 percent forecast.

But this news was so brilliant the outfit was forced to lay off 14 percent of it workforce, or some 6,500 people. This is odd really because the Romans used to decimate its army ranks when they performed poorly in battle as an incentive to those left.  It looks like Seagate’s staff, having won the battle, were decimated any way. We guess that the remaining staff will probably lack the motivation to go the extra mile ever again, knowing that they will be fired whatever they do.

The company said that it had another restructuring plan for “continued consolidation” of its global footprint across Asia, EMEA and the Americas. The plan includes reducing the Company’s global headcount by approximately 6,500 employees, or 14 percent of its global headcount by the end of fiscal year 2017.

The total pretax charges for the plan – that’s redundancy money – will be approximately $164 million in fiscal year 2017. The restructuring activities and global footprint consolidation underway should let the outfit to be operating within its targeted Non-GAAP product gross margin range of 27-32 percent by the December 2016 quarter.

Whatever that means in Seagate lingo.

 

Axeman arrives at Seagate

Seagate logoHard-disk drive maker Seagate Technology is cutting more than 1,600 jobs, or three percent of its workforce, as the company looks to rein in costs amid waning demand.

The Cupertino outfit is a top producer of drives that store data in personal computers, a market that has declined. It has developed products in newer sectors such as cloud storage, and bought Dot Hill Systems in October for about $696 million to enhance its cloud offerings. However that does not appear to have been enough.

Seagate said the restructuring is expected to result in total pre-tax charges of $62 million and is likely to be completed by the end of the September quarter.

The restructuring would result in about $100 million in savings on an annual run rate basis, the company said.

The company, which has about 52,000 employees worldwide, had said in September it would cut 1,050 jobs.

Seagate’s revenue declined in the past five quarters due to weak demand from original equipment manufacturers, including personal computers makers. In the third quarter, Seagate swung to a loss as revenue fell 22 per cent, to $2.6 billion, amid “several near-term demand factors.” It is not all its own fault. Fellow disk-drive maker Western Digital, which bought SanDisk in May, reported a revenue decline of 21%, to $2.82 billion, for its April 1 quarter.

The restructuring appears to have come after a bit of a management reshuffle. The company  named a new chief financial officer, David Morton  in October, and said Monday that William Mosley would become its president and chief operating officer.

 

Seagate shows off “the world’s fastest SSD”

Seagate logoSeagate has just unveiled what it is calling “the world’s fastest SSD” and claims that it is production ready.

The SSD is fully compliant with the Open Compute Project (OCP) specification employed by hyperscale data centres and employs the NVMe protocol.

Seagate says that the new SSD is capable of 10GB/sec of throughput when used in 16-lane PCIe slots. Seagate says that this is 4GB/sec faster than the next fast competing SSD solution.

Apparently the outfit is working on a second, lower-performing variant that works in 8-lane PCIe slots and has a throughput of 6.7GB/sec. Seagate wants to use the second model as a more cost-effect SSD for businesses.

Seagate thinks the SSDs will be used modelling or statistical analysis on their own or in conjunction with HDDs for a cost-effective hybrid storage array.  Of course there is no word on price or even a launch date.

Entry level storage continues to fall

EMC storagePersonal and entry level storage shipments fell 13.4 percent in the third quarter, according to a survey by IDC.

And shipment values fell by 19.8 percent in the quarter, compared to the same quarter in 2014, amounting to $1.3 billion.

IDC differentiates between personal storage and entry level storage, and said personal storage accounts for over 98 ercent of the market.

Most shipments had 1TB and 2TB capacity, accounting for 75 percent of the personal storage market.

USB is still the most popular choice in the market while ethernet products showed a large decline in the last four quarters.

Top dog in the market is Western Digital with 31.2 percent of the market, followed by Seagate (25.9 percent) and Toshiba (18.2) percent.

Seagate to cut 1,050 jobs

Seagate logoHard drive manufacturer Seagate issued a report to the Securities and Exchange Commission saying that it has introduced a restructure that will affect peoples’ jobs.

The company will axe 1,050 peoples’ jobs worldwide, representing two percent of its headcount.

The restructuring will occur in a pre-tax charge of $53 million and these are mainly employee termination costs. It will save $113 million from the restructuring.

Seagate, like other component suppliers, have suffered from the drop in PC shipments this year, which has prompted PC manufacturers to cut their stocks of hard drive. Over the last two financial quarters Seagate has reported a drop in sales.

At the same time, there’s a lot of notebook inventory sloshing around in the channel worldwide while the effects of the strong US dollar have reduced sales and demand too.

Seagate NAS drives are wide open

Seagate logoSecurity experts say that firmware for Seagate’s wireless NAS drive is hopeless and that a number of devices allow unauthorised access to files and settings.

Researchers at Tangible Security have discovered a series of vulnerabilities in Seagate gear which leave them wide open to hackers.

In one case, an undocumented Telnet feature could be used to gain control of the device by using the username ‘root’ and the hardcoded default password. Also other vulnerabilities allow for unauthorised browsing and downloading of files, as well as permitting malicious files to be uploaded.

Tangible Security says that Seagate Wireless Plus Mobile Storage, Seagate Wireless Mobile Storage, and LaCie FUEL drives are all dodgy but there may also be others.

The security issues are confirmed to exist with firmware versions 2.2.0.005 to 2.3.0.014. The problems were discovered in March, but a patch was only recently been published, along with an advisory notice from US CERT. Tangible Security issued a warning of its own:

Apparently, the problem is that Seagate has numerous product names for basically the same product under the same vendor’s name or another vendor. Other named products may be affected. The vulnerabilities allow Forced Browsing where the affected device firmware provides unrestricted file download capability and unrestricted uploads of dangerous files, thanks to the fact that the affected device firmware provides a file upload capability to the device’s /media/sda2 file system, which is reserved for the file sharing.

Seagate shrinks the hard drive

Seagate logoAlthough solid state drives (SSDs) are now ubiquitous it seems that there’s still life in the traditional spinning hard disk drive (HDD).

Seagate said it is offering a hard drive that can hold two terabytes (TB) of capacity in an ultra slim seven millimetre package.

Seagate chief technology officer Mark Re said that its invention will give four times more capacity than a .25TB SSD at a much lower price. He said the company’s engineers have boosted density to 1TB per platter in a 2.5-inch size, aimed at the notebook market.

The drive weighs 3.16 ounces and is a quarter of the weight than the existing generation of Seagate drives.

But Seagate is also working on a hybrid NAND drive using HDD technology to cut prices on comparable solid state drives.

Hardware encryption revenues climb

Achilles - Wikimedia CommonsAs our story today about a critical bug in Windows software demonstrates, it’s software that is really the Achilles’ Heel, or Hell for a computer system.

And people are beginning to realise that’s the case, because according to a report by US based market research company ABI Research, enterprises are moving to hardware as a much safer way of preserving their systems’ integrity.

ABI said that hardware based encryption bypasses many of the problems associated with software and doesn’t depend on any software or operating systems that enterprises use.

It estimates that in 2015 revenues from sales of hardware based encryption devices will reach $36.4 billion worldwide.

The major players in the game are Imation, WinMagic, Vormetric, SanDisk, Seagate, Rambus and Safenet.

Analyst at ABI believe that one of the more lucrative areas will be healthcare, but government, defence and other authorities are also considering adopting such devices, largely because of legislative requirements and protocols.

And other target customers for the vendors include comms, automotive, and transport.

Seagate signs deal with IBM

IBM logoStorage company Seagate said it will integrate IBM’s Spectrum Scale software with its own ClusterStor high performance computing storage.

According to Seagate, that will make it easier to manage research, computer aided design (CAD), data analytics, financial modelling and other data intensive workloads.

Seagate claims over 17,000 petabytes of ClusterSor have already shipped and that it’s made two million enclosures for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) that use it.

But IBM’s Spectrum Scale software lets enterprises manage their storage using software definitions using a single dashboard.

IBM’s Bernie Spang, VP of IBM’s software infrastructure division, said organisations are looking for faster and more cost efficient ways to store, manage and access their data and to provide analytics.

No financial details of the agreement were supplied by either party.

SSD blokes eat their words

alice_in_wonderland___eat_me__by_ariru_lunaticoo-d68i2fxYour SSD will not lose data if you forget to turn on the juice claims the guy who wrote a report saying that your SDD data will die if you forget to plug it in for three days.

In a conversation with PCWorld, Kent Smith of Seagate and Alvin Cox, the Seagate engineer who wrote the report claimed we had read it wrong.

“People have misunderstood the data that they’re looking at,” Smith said.

Cox said he wouldn’t worry about losing data and the report pertains to end of life.

“As a consumer, an SSD product or even a flash product is never going to get to the point where it’s temperature-dependent on retaining the data.”

The original presentation dates back to when Cox was a chairman on a JEDEC committee It was supposed to help data centre and enterprise customers understand what could happen to an SSD.

However it was only supposed to show what happened after it had reached the end of its useful life span and then stored at abnormal temperatures. It’s not intended to be applied to an SSD in the prime of its life in either an enterprise or a consumer product.

However the five year old presentation resurfaced in a forensic computing blog as to why an SSD could start to lose data in a short amount of time at high temperatures.

The story was picked up by the International Business Times and got a little out of control they said.

From there, the internet seemed to amplify as fact that an SSD left unplugged would lose data—all citing Cox’s JEDEC presentation.

But Cox and Smith said that’s rubbish as an SSD that isn’t worn out rarely experiences data errors. Data centre use also subjects SSDs to far more “program/erase” cycles than a typical person could under any normal circumstances.

Personal drives such as this Corsair Neutron GTX have been pushed beyond 1.1 petabytes of writes before wearing out. That’s one of the criteria you’d need to lose data.

Torture tested SSDs well beyond their rated life spans using 24/7 work loads and found that they survived.

Enterprise customers also are largely immune to heat-related dead drive issues. That’s because, again, it’s a scenario for only after the SSD has been worn out. And since enterprise customers would prefer tape or other cheaper methods to backup data over an SSD, it’s an unrealistic scenario where data loss would happen to enterprise customers, Smith said.