Self-encrypting drive sales on the up, claims Seagate

But total sales still modest

Disk maker Seagate claims it is finally making some headway in its attempts to get businesses to start buying its self-encrypting drive (SED) products, with a tripling in sales in the last two quarters.

The company is now quoting total sales figures of more than 1 million, which is not much of advance of a similar figure offered informally in May last year, but Seagate can still point to numbers heading in an upward direction. Laptop shipments have, Seagate said, doubled in each of the last three years.

Factors helping SED shipments in laptops and enterprise sectors will have included that the critical Momentus drive range first launched as far back as 2006 is now being qualified by partners as compliant with the Trusted Computing Groups Opal specification. This offers a standard way for software to manage the drives compared to the previous proprietary approach.

Partners include Dell, Lenovo and Panasonic in hardware and Credant, McAfee, Mobile Armor, Secude, Softex, Symantec, Wave Systems and WinMagic in software, which integrate with 24 separate Seagate SED products in the Savvio, Cheetah, and Constellation, and Momentus families.

As impressive as the growth sounds, the figures are still miniscule when set against the 150 million drives the company might ship in a single quarter, which is where the challenge comes. SEDs are still a long way from being a mainstream sector, even in business despite attempts to push the technology since at least 2008.

Last September, Seagate announced that its Momentus SED had become the first drive in the laptop encryption drive market to get the important FIPS 140-2 certification that matters so much to public sector organisations.

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John E Dunn

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