Seagate promotes storage as a service as subscription market heats up

Aaron Lee, Interview; Jack Wu, DIGITIMES Asia 0

Credit: Digitimes

With IT subscription services growing fast, hard drive manufacturer Seagate has also launched the Lyve Cloud, a Storage as a Service (STaaS) platform to compete in the market. Jeffrey Nygaard, Seagate's EVP of operations and technology, pointed out that despite the current macro headwinds, the amount of data corporations store and process is still growing. Combined with smart manufacturing, corporations are seeking more efficient operating models.

Subscription services are on the rise, with brands like HPE, Dell, and Lenovo embracing the "as-a-service" business opportunities. Through the subscription model, brands build long-term trust relationships with clients and create a continuing cash flow, a different approach to the previous one-time sale of hardware. Seeing the increased market acceptance of this model, storage brands like PureStorage, NetApp, and Seagate are also actively joining the fray.

Sources from the IT service sector pointed out that during a recession, corporations will be more careful with their IT expenditures. Previously, IT installments are mostly a single, larger-scale purchase. However, the unstable market has created more variables in the timeline of when this expenditure can be recovered. This caused more and more corporations to consider subscription services, as they charge based on how much is used and provide more flexibility.

On top of that, the rise of public cloud services has also increased corporations' acceptance of the subscription model. Industry sources observed that more and more clients are adopting a hybrid infrastructure. Secret/sensitive data is still stored locally, while general operations are placed on the cloud to reduce IT installation and maintenance costs.

The same situation has occurred in the manufacturing sector. With more and more corporations adopting smart manufacturing, many have begun to consider STaaS as a viable method to handle data.

Nygaard stated that compared to other suppliers, Seagate's experience in smart manufacturing helps persuade customers to adopt its services. Seagate has been doing manufacturing for almost 45 years, with experiences from upstream chip manufacturing to downstream components and assembly.

Secondly, the cost efficiency and reliability of smart manufacturing and cloud infrastructure is a focus of Seagate. Nygaard emphasized that in smart manufacturing, data is the gold mine. Seagate's Lyve Cloud provides data analysis capability to clients. In addition to being a vendor-agnostic plug-and-play solution, Seagate has also partnered with Equinix to serve more corporate clients.

Nygaard pointed out that factories create a lot of data. For instance, Seagate has seven factories that have implemented smart manufacturing, and they produce 50TB of images and data. In response, Seagate has built a data lake analysis platform internally. This platform is now available to clients via Lyve Cloud Analytics, providing storage and analysis while also lowering the clients' AI costs.

Will the recent macro headwinds affect corporations' IT spending in storage? Nygaard pointed out that data will continue to grow. Even in a recession, factories will still produce more and more data, thus making both storage and transmission crucial. Managing and extracting value from data is a long-term direction for corporations, which is a positive for the storage sector.

The other gray rhino is the intensifying of geopolitics. Nygaard believed that localized data centers will become a clear trend, due to the expansion of edge devices and government regulations. With this trend, storage management and application methods will change along with it as well, which would benefit the storage industry.