back to article Oh lordy, WD just SCHOOLED Seagate in running a disk drive biz

WD took advantage of stable disk drive and strong flash markets to crank revenues and profits in its third fiscal 2017 quarter, giving Seagate an object lesson in how to run a storage business. Revenues of $4.6bn were well up on the year before's $2.8bn, 64.3 per cent, bulked by revenues from acquired SanDisk and its flash …

  1. Nezumi

    I'll never buy Seagate again

    My *personal* experience with Seagate kit hasn't been good. Their HDDs have generally failed on me in spectacular fashion.

    HGST, SanDisk and WD however are brands that I trust. Sandisk flash seems to work for me and I've always had good experiences with HGST and WD HDDs.

    I was speaking to a colleague the other day that had a WD HDD that finally died after 10 years. They'd kept it for sentimental value as it just kept going. I seem to recall that it was used to hold a single game install.

    YMMV or course! I would be interested in other reader's opinions...

    1. Lee D Silver badge

      Re: I'll never buy Seagate again

      It's all anecdotal, and I've been having the same conversation for decades (remember Maxtor / IBM etc.?)

      But when I took over my latest workplace they had Seagate in all their servers and all their NAS (some of which were brand-new).

      Within a year, I'd had so many failures that I was sick of it and replaced them all with WD. I'd literally never done more rebuilding of RAID arrays in any other job until I took over those Seagate devices (and, yes, they were "enterprise" versions and not just cheap consumer junk). Even the Seagate replacements (I literally order identical model numbers when the server-drives fail, to get an exact match) died at just the same kind of rates.

      Meanwhile the clients were all WD Blue and never had a single problem.

      Since I replaced them all, I haven't had a single failure in 3 years, and I estimate there are probably 200-250 hard drives on site for various jobs (from CCTV to NAS to RAID to workstation etc.).

      I always avoided the arguments of old (back in the IDE / 20Mb drive days) of which manufacturer was better as it was mostly subjective and we only ever had a couple of hard drives anyway. But I have to say that this place has completely destroyed my trust in Seagate drives.

      I actually get better reliability out of the cheapest-of-cheapio SSDs that are used 24 hours a day than I did out of enterprise Seagate hard drives.

      And, just for reference, I have Samsung / Crucial SSDs in dozens of machines, WD Blue in hundreds of machines, WD Reds in their dozens, plus dozens of IBM-supplied (HGST really?) drives for the "serious kit" on the server / storage end.

      1. J. Cook Silver badge

        Re: I'll never buy Seagate again

        "dozens of IBM-supplied (HGST really?) drives for the "serious kit" "

        Hitachi fabbed drives for IBM back in the "deskstar/travelstar/deathstar" days, when the drives were IBM branded as well. (similar to Lenovo fabbing the Thinkpads and other x86 hardware before they got spun off or split out)

    2. paulf Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: I'll never buy Seagate again

      I think I've got about 20+ WD HDDs at home across my desktop, MythTV box, 4*NAS boxes, parents computer etc. In 7 years I've had one failure, a 2TB WD Green mechanism in the final months of its 3yr warranty. Thankfully this was in one of the NAS boxes which was set up with RAID1 - WD swapped the faulty mechanism (kindly returning a refurbished but otherwise exact identical model to ensure compatibility) and the NAS just rebuilt the RAID from the good mechanism.

      I've had two Seagate mechanisms in the last 10 years (and not by direct choice). One in my 2010 MacBook Pro, and one freebie which sits in my desktop holding backups of backups. The MBP was upgraded to a Crucial SSD 18 months ago - reading the comments on here I'm surprised it lasted so long!

      My mechanisms range from WD black (desktops) to WD Green/Red in the NAS boxes (Greens bought before the NAS specific Reds were available).

      My experience has been entirely excellent with WD but I'll agree with the OP - YMMV. I just hope I haven't just jinxed the good performance.

    3. Blank Reg

      Re: I'll never buy Seagate again

      Same here, EVERY drive failure that I've ever had since the beginning of time was a Seagate.

  2. adam payne Silver badge

    Not surprised Seagate is getting a kicking from WD.

    Seagate drives are trash and have been for several years if not more. Seagate have the only drives i've ever seen that fail after a week. Sure they'll be other manufacturers out there that have drives fail but not in the numbers i've seen for Seagate.

  3. Cuddles Silver badge

    Which numbers are we looking at?

    "revenues are up by almost $6bn"

    "Revenues of $4.6bn were well up on the year before's $2.8bn"

    Revenues appear to be up by $1.8bn, not 6.

    "WD manufactured 43.1 million disk drives, the same number as a year ago."

    From the table directly below this, WD shipped 39.1 million drives, down from 43.1 million a year ago. Which, incidentally, is a larger percentage fall than Seagate. Sure, manufactured numbers and shipped numbers aren't necessarily the same, but given that the number for last year matches it seems that's what's being compared.

    WD certainly seem to be doing well, it's just that half the statements in the article don't appear to match what WD have actually said.

    1. Blank Reg

      Re: Which numbers are we looking at?

      Read all the way to the bottom

      "This would imply full fiscal 2017 revenues of $18.98bn, which compares to last year's $13bn"

  4. Frenchie Lad

    Comparing Oranges with Apples

    If you make an acquisition then the figures need to be normalized. Perhaps they are indeed better but as an object lesson for the competition I think not.

  5. Halfmad Silver badge

    Pepperidge Farm remembers

    When Seagate drives were considered some of the quietest, reliable drives on the market.

    Them were the days, long gone now.

  6. jelabarre59 Silver badge


    Of *COURSE* WD sales are up. They fail so often people are constantly having to buy replacements. WD is on my "don't buy if I actually want something reliable" list.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Obviously

      In fairness to WD, they might fail just as much or even more than Seagate, but their facility of registering a credit card, getting a new drive sent out first, then returning the old one via the RMA, is damn more useful compared to Seagate, in terms of getting things up and running quickly, without a major outlay.

      I've had Seagate (it's UK handling agent) try and prevent a return because the serial number entered contained a zero, not an 'o', once they received it (was a Samsung model). The difference made it a 'grey import', I was told.

      Seagate Barracuda/Ironwolf are currently a lot cheaper on Amazon at the moment though, compared to WD reds, as a price indicator. I'm tempted, then I remember the above - easy returns with WD.

      Both send out refurbs though, which has to be against UK consumer laws, within the first 12 months.

  7. J. Cook Silver badge

    All storage devices suck.

    Best bet is multiple copies of data on multiple devices and media. (i.e., mirror the primary/active data set on two similar drives from different brands or different lots at least, backup copy to a third different brand)

    One is none, two is one.

    Is it beer o clock yet?

  8. dubious

    Have found WD enterprise drives to not be especially reliable (5/6 dead in 4 years), and the warrenty not worth the effort - apparently no-one buys drives in one country then moves to a different one.

    Not as bad as the Seagates before that, and 4 of them had the decency to fire of smart alerts a short while before dying.

    Really hoping they don't fuck up HGST with the 'integration'.

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