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Seagate Debuts A Dozen New Disc Drives

Behind Seagate Technology's announcement Monday of 12 new disc drives is a strategy to address an assortment of applications ranging from the portable consumer market to enterprise servers and corporate data centers.

"We're the only company that has the breath of coverage in all these markets," said Jennifer Bradfield, Seagate's director of product marketing for personal and notebook storage. She sees different drives being used in different new applications and in the process enabling Seagate to address 97 percent of a total available disc drive market.

Before the announcement, the marketing exec said, the firm addressed just 70 percent of the available disc drive market representing some $16 billion. At 97 percent, the market represents $21 billion.

At the top of the new applications is a one-half terabyte drive -- the NL35 Series 500GB Fibre Channel -- that delivers near-line storage on existing Fibre Channel SANS. Bradfield noted the increase in demand for near-line storage -- users need access to vast amounts of data. "But they only need it occasionally and when they do they need it fast," she said. "Medical records are a perfect example here."

Near-line storage needs are increasing due to a broad array of new demands -- regulatory compliance requirements are growing because of new laws like the Sarbanes-Oxley requirements that require improved record keeping. New versions of the firm's established Cheetah family also address enterprise backup and recovery applications. The Cheetah 15K.4 disc drive has a Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) interface and with capacities of 36, 73, and 147 GBs also features what Seagate calls the industry's first 15K-rpm drive with a Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) rating of 1.4 million hours.

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