Taking its time
Having already been beaten to the punch by most of its competitors, hard drive giant Seagate apparently chose to take its time before entering the solid state drive (SSD) market. Now, six months after rival Western Digital launched an enterprise SSD, Seagate has one of its own - the Pulsar.
While the cost per gigabyte of hard disk drives (HDD) is still significantly less than in SSDs, the superior performance and reliability of SSDs - which don't have moving mechanical parts - combined with their lower power requirements, make them an attractive proposition for more demanding users.
Seagate and WD will have been watching the ascendance of the SSD, and its quick adoption by other PC component makers, with horror, having gone to all the trouble of dominating the HDD market. However, they haven't rushed to launch consumer SSDs, instead taking their time to focus on the enterprise market where their advantages offer the clearest return on higher investment.
The Seagate Pulsar drive is designed for enterprise blade and general server applications, uses single-level cell (SLC) technology, delivers up to 200GB capacity, is a 2.5-inch small form factor and has a SATA interface.
A key performance indicator is IOPS (input/output operation per second). The Pulsar claims a peak performance of up to 30,000 read IOPS and 25,000 write IOPS - 240MB/s sequential read and 200 MB/s sequential write. Intel's X25-E Extreme claims 35,000/3,300 IOPS.
"Our strategy is to provide our customers with the exact storage device they need for any application, regardless of the component technology used. We are delivering on that strategy with the Pulsar drive, and you can expect additional products in the future from Seagate using a variety of solid state and rotating media components," said Dave Mosley, Seagate EVP of sales, marketing, and product line management.