Seagate is a leading provider of data storage solutions. The company develops, manufactures and markets hard disk drives (HDDs), solid state drives (SSDs) and storage systems for consumers, businesses, cloud, data centers and edge computing environments. Seagate offers a broad portfolio of storage products and has shipped over 3 billion terabytes of storage capacity to date.
What are Seagate’s main product lines?
Seagate has three core product lines:
- Hard disk drives (HDDs) – Seagate is one of the largest manufacturers of HDDs in the world. HDDs store data on spinning magnetic disks and are a longstanding, cost-effective way to store large volumes of data.
- Solid state drives (SSDs) – SSDs have no moving parts and store data on flash memory chips. They are faster and more reliable than HDDs but tend to be more expensive per gigabyte. Seagate offers SSDs for consumer and enterprise use cases.
- Storage systems – Seagate designs and produces storage systems such as network attached storage (NAS) and storage area network (SAN) systems. These provide shared pools of storage capacity and are commonly used in data centers and servers.
What technologies does Seagate focus on?
In addition to its core HDD and SSD products, Seagate invests significantly in developing cutting-edge storage technologies including:
- Heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) – A next-generation HDD technology that uses lasers to enable higher storage density and capacity HDDs.
- Multi-actuator technology – Allows multiple actuators (arms) to access data on a single HDD platter concurrently to improve performance.
- Helium-sealed HDDs – Filling HDD enclosures with helium reduces friction and power use compared to air-filled drives.
- NVMe SSDs – SSDs optimized for PCI Express and high-performance applications like AI, big data and cloud computing.
- Computational storage drives (CSDs) – HDDs and SSDs with built-in processing capabilities to run algorithms at the storage device level.
By developing these and other innovations in-house, Seagate aims to push the cutting edge of data storage technology forward.
What are Seagate’s major business segments?
Seagate reports business results across two segments:
- Mass Capacity Storage – Includes Seagate’s nearline HDD storage products for cloud and hyperscale customers as well as network-attached storage (NAS) and surveillance HDDs.
- Mass Capacity Storage – Includes Seagate’s enterprise HDDs and mission-critical SSDs designed for servers, storage arrays, data centers and high-performance computing.
The Mass Capacity segment accounted for 65% of Seagate’s revenue in fiscal year 2022, while Mass Capacity represented 35%. Both segments saw strong double-digit year-over-year revenue growth driven by high demand for secure, reliable data storage.
Mass Capacity Storage
Seagate’s nearline HDDs, optimized for 24/7 operation, are widely used by major cloud providers like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud and Alibaba Cloud. The company shipped its 3 millionth helium-sealed HDD for hyperscale data centers in 2021.
For small businesses and home users, Seagate offers NAS HDDs purpose-built for multi-drive NAS enclosures as well as surveillance HDDs designed for security camera systems.
Mass Capacity Storage
Seagate’s enterprise HDD portfolio includes performance-focused drives for mission-critical servers, entry-level drives for small business servers and nearline drives for bulk data storage. Its Enterprise SSD family includes drives boasting industry-leading performance, reliability and security features.
Major server and storage vendors like Dell, HPE, NetApp and Pure Storage utilize Seagate enterprise drives. Seagate also partners directly with large enterprise customers to deliver customized storage solutions.
Who are Seagate’s major customers?
Seagate sells to a diverse range of customers including:
- Hyperscale data centers like AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud
- PC and laptop OEMs like HP, Dell, Lenovo
- Enterprise OEMs like HPE, NetApp, Pure Storage
- Storage and server manufacturers
- Distributors who sell to small and medium businesses
- Retailers like Best Buy, Amazon, Walmart (consumer sales)
- Surveillance storage vendors
- Automotive manufacturers
No single customer accounts for more than 10% of Seagate’s revenue. The company’s broad customer base across consumer, business and enterprise segments helps make its revenue stream more resilient to fluctuations in any individual market.
What is Seagate’s financial performance?
Here are some key facts about Seagate’s recent financial performance:
- Seagate generated $11.7 billion in revenue in fiscal year 2022, up 18% year-over-year.
- Hard disk drives account for 88% of revenue with SSDs representing 12%.
- 65% of revenue comes from mass capacity storage, 35% from mass capacity storage.
- Seagate shipped 334 exabytes of hard drive storage and 10 exabytes of flash storage in FY2022.
- Seagate has an operating margin of 15.5% and net income was $1.5 billion in FY2022.
- At the end of FY2022, Seagate had $1.95 billion in cash and cash equivalents.
Seagate has demonstrated resilient financial performance thanks to strong cloud, hyperscale and enterprise data growth driving demand for hard drives and SSDs. It generates strong operating cash flows and continues investing in technology development.
Where does Seagate manufacture its products?
Seagate operates an integrated manufacturing system with major facilities in:
- California, USA
- Colorado, USA
- Minnesota, USA
- Oklahoma, USA
- Penang, Malaysia
- Wuxi, China
Many facilities handle multiple steps in the drive production process including wafer fabrication, media manufacturing, head stack assembly, drive assembly and extensive product testing.
Keeping manufacturing in-house allows Seagate to better control product quality, security features and intellectual property. The vertically integrated model also enables agile responses to changing market demand.
How many people work at Seagate?
As of July 2022, Seagate employed approximately:
- 52,000 full-time employees worldwide
- 26,000 contractors, temporary workers and interns
Seagate is a global company with major engineering centers in the U.S., China, Singapore and India. The company offers competitive pay and benefits and opportunities for international assignments and relocation for employees.
How and when was Seagate founded?
Key facts about Seagate’s history:
- Founded in 1979 in Scotts Valley, California by Alan Shugart, Finis Conner and others.
- Originally incorporated as “Shugart Technology”.
- Renamed “Seagate Technology” in 1981.
- First product launched in 1980 was the 5.25-inch ST-506 HDD, the first HDD available for microcomputers.
- Went public with its first stock offering in 1981.
- Grew rapidly in the 1980s by supplying HDDs for personal computers.
- Acquired competitor Conner Peripherals in 1996.
- Spun off Veritas Software as a separate company in 1999.
- Acquired Maxtor Corporation in 2006.
- Reports first shipment of one billion HDDs in 2008.
- Acquired Samsung’s HDD business in 2011.
Today, over 40 years since its founding, Seagate remains one of the leading data storage companies. It continues shaping new storage technologies to support our growing appetite for data.
Who are Seagate’s main competitors?
Seagate operates in a competitive data storage hardware industry alongside other major players including:
- Western Digital – Seagate’s biggest competitor in HDDs and a leader in enterprise SSDs.
- Toshiba – Major producer of HDDs for PCs and data centers.
- Micron – Leading SSD vendor focused on enterprise and client SSDs.
- Samsung – World’s largest memory chip maker and Seagate SSD partner.
- SK Hynix – Major maker of NAND flash memory and SSDs.
- Kioxia (formerly Toshiba Memory) – Major NAND flash and SSD vendor.
The storage industry is seeing consolidation with incumbents acquiring smaller players as the market matures. But new startup competitors are also emerging around technologies like computational storage.
What role does M&A play in Seagate’s strategy?
Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) have long been part of Seagate’s growth strategy. Major transactions include:
- 1996 – Acquired Conner Peripherals, consolidating Seagate as the world’s largest HDD maker.
- 2000 – Purchased Galileo Technology to expand into the network storage market.
- 2001 – Acquired CVC to grow its desktop HDD business.
- 2005 – Purchased Action Information Systems for SMB backup solutions.
- 2006 – Acquired rival HDD vendor Maxtor Corporation.
- 2011 – Purchased Samsung’s HDD division, giving Seagate IP and manufacturing capability.
More recently, Seagate has made smaller acquisitions focused on flash memory, SSD controllers and storage system software technologies.
M&A enables Seagate to quickly obtain new technology and talent. It also eliminates competitors while consolidating Seagate’s market share in core HDD markets.
How important is intellectual property to Seagate’s business?
Intellectual property (IP) is crucial to Seagate’s success and ability to deliver market-leading storage products. Key facts:
- Holds over 7,500 U.S. and foreign issued patents and 3,000 patent applications.
- Between 2,000 – 3,000 new patent applications filed each year.
- Ranks in the top 25 companies receiving U.S. patents every year.
- Patents cover areas like drive motors, heads, media, controllers, manufacturing processes and more.
- Licenses technology from other companies to complement in-house R&D.
- Generates revenue by licensing patented technology to partners.
Continuous innovation and patenting helps Seagate protect proprietary data storage technologies from competition. Licensing also provides an additional revenue stream.
What role does Seagate play in data security?
With businesses and consumers increasingly concerned about data privacy and protection, Seagate prioritizes integrating security features across its product lines including:
- Secure encrypted HDDs/SSDs – Drives with built-in encryption to secure data if devices are lost or stolen.
- Drive erasure tools – Efficiently wipe/overwrite sensitive data on retired HDDs and SSDs.
- Private/public key authentication – Protects against unauthorized drive access or data tampering.
- Tamper-proof components – Detect unauthorized physical access to the drive.
- Trusted drive technology – Cryptographic data verification to prevent malware injection.
Its experience securing high-value data for government, defense and financial organizations positions Seagate as a leader in storage security.
How does Seagate prioritize sustainability?
Seagate aims to minimize its environmental footprint with initiatives like:
- Sourcing renewable energy for manufacturing operations.
- Innovating drive technologies to use less raw materials and power.
- Limiting greenhouse gas emissions from facilities and transport.
- Responsibly disposing of manufacturing byproducts and retired drives.
- Restricting use of hazardous substances that persist in nature.
- Partnering with suppliers to ensure sustainable and ethical sourcing.
The company tracks and discloses key sustainability metrics in annual reports. Seagate also earned an “AA” rating from MSCI ESG Research in 2022, indicating strong management of sustainability risks and opportunities.
For over 40 years, Seagate has been instrumental in advancing data storage capabilities to enable our growing digital world. As a leading global provider of hard drives, solid state drives and storage systems, Seagate offers a diverse portfolio of products for consumers, businesses and large-scale enterprise customers.
The company remains focused on innovating new data storage technologies like multi-actuator drives, HAMR and computational storage. It continues growing through a vertically integrated business model, protecting core intellectual property and integrating security features into all solutions. By meeting the world’s surging data storage demands today and into the future, Seagate plays an essential role powering society’s data-driven progress.