Storage supremo Seagate has joyfully announced that it has become the first company to officially ship over a billion hard drives – a total storage space of around 79 exabytes, or 79 million terabytes.
The drives have been sold over a period of twenty-nine years since the first unit was carefully lifted from the production line in 1979. Due to the rather ridiculous growth in both storage capacities of individual devices and technologies that demand places to put ever more digital data, the company estimates that it will take less than five years to double that figure.
To give you an idea of just how darned big
hard drives have become, Seagate's first commercial drive was the ST506 which could store a whopping 5MB and cost around £750 – that's around £150 per megabyte. Compare that to their current ST3100340AS model, which stores 1TB and costs around £145 – a minuscule £0.000145 per megabyte.
The company is so proud of beating their rivals to the magical billion that it's launched a website
for the specific purpose of crowing. Seagate couldn't resist using the news as a platform to have a quick dig at its competitors relatively slow progress, claiming in a press statement that “by the time [our] nearest competitor reaches 1 billion drives shipped, [we] will already be close to shipping [our] second billion
Seagate CEO Bill Watkins – yes, that Bill Watkins
– described the sale of his company's billionth drive as “a great opportunity for us to reflect on our accomplishments and those of our predecessors, and to also look forward to the great things we can still achieve as a company.
Although it's clearly a great achievement, the sale of a billion drives by a single company was probably helped by Seagate's purchase
of rival drive manufacturer Maxtor, which will have nearly doubled recorded sales as the companies merged their records. Still, we wouldn't want to rain on their parade.
Are you joining in the congratulations to Seagate, or is it a meaningless milestone in a competitive environment? Share your thoughts over in the forums