While short on specific details, CEO Stephen Luczo said the company believes it has a competitive advantage with the issue. “There are architectural items that we're working on there,” Luczo said.
Luczo also said he believed the storage market will come back from the current difficult economy earlier than other sectors because of the continued growing need for storage at both the business and consumer levels. In the meantime, people will adjust their usage in areas like storage until they feel safer economically, he said. “I think at the enterprise, certainly, IT departments have probably figured out lots of ways to get better and higher utilization out their storage infrastructure, and they've probably undertaken a lot of tasks to say [for example], if this e-mail hasn't been read in the last five years it's probably okay to move it to tape. But at some point, they run out of that, and maybe they run out of that in the next two to three quarters — who knows?” Luczo said.
Luczo panned the notion of small businesses abandoning local disks for cloud-based storage. “You just can't get that much data up and over the wires right now,” he said.
Commenting on solid state drives, Luczo said adoption has been “much slower than anyone would have expected or predicted.” The first generation of flash drives has not been offering a performance advantage and they are more expensive for less capacity, he said. “So, until some of the issues with flash are addressed, we don't see it [having] a big impact,” said Luczo. Over time, flash will be more significant in areas now the domain of rotating magnetic storage and Seagate will have product offerings for it, he added.