All posts by admin

USA Today Best Gift Ideas — Seagate Game Drive for Xbox

USA Today Gift Picks: Seagate Game Drives for Xbox and Playstation

USA Today Best Gift Ideas Seagate Game Drive for XboxThe gift for the gamer who has every title

What do you buy a console gamer this holiday season?

That’s easy, says USA Today: more storage, designed for their favorite console!

USA Today has included both our Game Drive for Xbox (a 2TB external hard drive) and our Game Drive for PlayStation (a 1TB solid-state hybrid drive) on its new “Gadget Gifts for Shoppers on a Budget” list. Watch the video below to learn more!

The many reasons to give Seagate Game Drive

USA Today Best Gift Ideas Seagate Game Drive for PlaystationMarc Saltzman says he was looking for great gadgets for cost-conscious shoppers. As Marc says, regardless of the genre your gamer loves, it’s a good bet they’ll welcome more storage. “Considering today’s games average 35 to 50GB a piece, it’s no surprise many gamers run out of storage on their modest hard drive, the one that ships with the Xbox One and Playstation 4.”

Some of Marc’s favorite advantages of Seagate Game Drives:

  • Only 99 bucks
  • Game Drive for Xbox adds 2TB to both Xbox One and Xbox 360
  • It’s “truly plug-and-play”
  • Small and portable, and doesn’t need to plug into wall
  • Easy to bring to a friend’s place and play on another console
  • Game Drive for Playstation is an internal SSHD upgrade that doubles Playstation’s existing storage

Enjoy the video!


Who is John PaulsenA creator, family man and former small-business leader myself, I feel your pain (and joy) and hope you’ll enjoy the blog. I launched and ran a well-regarded production company in San Francisco with a team of 9 brilliant, hard working people. I learned to manage a wide array of tasks a small business must handle — business strategy, facilities design, HR, payroll, taxes, marketing, all the way down to choosing telecom equipment and spec’ing a server system to help my team collaborate in real-time on dense media projects from multiple production rooms. I’ve partnered with and learned from dozens of small business owners.

what_are_you_looking_at Used by permission of Government News Australia reprinted from July 16 2015 surveillance-nation-whos-watching-cctv

Who’s Watching the Surveillance Video?

what_are_you_looking_at Used by permission of Government News Australia reprinted from  July 16 2015 surveillance-nation-whos-watching-cctv

A compelling article from Government News, written by Julian Bajkowski, asks the question “Who’s watching CCTV?” It explores a number of key questions about whether CCTV (closed-circuit television) or surveillance systems are serving the purposes we want them to. Do the organizations deploying them know how best to use the data they provide? Can we do more to ensure this data is captured and retained reliably, for example when we’re hoping to learn from past or prevent future terrorist attacks?

GovernmentNews is Australia’s independent bi-monthly magazine circulated to all levels of government, combining news, interviews, analysis and case studies to government decision makers and those in public office.

An abridged version of the article follows:

Who’s Watching CCTV?

Silent and ever vigilant, electronic surveillance systems are largely taken for granted as a vital tool to combat violence and property crime, and authorities are looking to ever more sophisticated cameras to identify and prosecute offenders.

But try getting a clear picture of just how many systems are now in operation in Australia, or who is using them, and that vision quickly blurs out of focus.

Despite more than a decade of taxpayer-funded deployments via federal schemes like the National Community Crime Prevention Programme (NCCP), Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA), Safer Suburbs, Secure Schools and Safer Streets even the nation’s peak law enforcement research body – the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) – frankly admits exact numbers are hard to calculate, not least because of the wide prevalence of the systems and the number of varied stakeholders using them.

In May 2015 the AIC released what to date is the most comprehensive and illuminating study into CCTV in an attempt to “develop a national picture of the prevalence and characteristics of open street CCTV systems in Australia managed by local councils.”

The report, CCTV use by local government: Findings from a national survey polled all 561 of Australia’s councils in an effort to obtain a clearer picture of the characteristics of their use of the technology which has by all counts proliferated.

Some 221 councils responded.

At the top level the AIC found the “a high proportion” of responding councils (57 per cent) operated at least one CCTV system, while another 12 per cent planned to install one.

Remarkably, 30 per cent didn’t have CCTV nor planned to install it. The holdouts quizzed by the AIC cited that they were not a “strategic priority” and a lack of available funding.

It begs the question of who’s watching the output of the thousands of electronic eyes now installed.


Used by permission of Government News Australia reprinted from  July 16 2015 surveillance-nation-whos-watching-cctvOne of the key issues identified by the AIC is, despite an average spend of more than $80,000 by councils on CCTV over the last 5 years, “most of this funding was provided for capital infrastructure and installation costs, rather than for the ongoing maintenance of CCTV systems.”

An often overlooked aspect of camera systems is that while the electronic hardware is more affordable than ever, the humans that sit in a control room and monitor them remain a significant cost overhead.

The camera might be watching but council probably isn’t.

The AIC report found that “the majority of main systems operated by councils are not monitored (61 per cent), while a further 15 per cent were occasionally monitored by an operator during business hours.”

“Only ten per cent of systems were actively monitored, either during business hours or 24 hours a day,” the AIC reckons.

The big trend the AIC identified is that despite a jump in installations of CCTV by councils, the growth isn’t being matched by an increase in monitoring. In fact, the number of humans tuning-in via the control room is trending down, with the number of councils whose main systems are not monitored jumping from 31 per cent to 61 per cent according to the AIC’s research.

The implications of that fall are important. Firstly, what’s becoming clear is that even when capital funding for installation is available, additional money for people usually isn’t, creating clear questions about value for money and effectiveness – especially when it comes to nabbing offenders in or soon after the act.

“Monitoring offers the greatest benefit where it is used to support the rapid deployment of police or security personnel (or both).

While this requires the resources to support monitoring activity, it also requires an effective working relationship between camera operators and local police or security providers,” the AIC said.


While CCTV cameras may not always be able to deter crime, there’s less debate that if used effectively, they help identify offenders and assist prosecutions, especially when the footage is good enough for courtroom evidence.

Although the AIC again notes that “there has been little Australian research that has examined the extent to which CCTV is used by police in criminal investigations” the logic of matching recorded footage of crimes to their offenders is fairly straightforward.

Another benefit yet to be quantified is to what degree there is an increased willingness by police to mount investigations based on crime reports which in turn harness CCTV to come to a conclusion. But it would be hard to argue that if the evidence is there and readily accessible, it shouldn’t be used.

“There appears to have been a recent shift towards placing greater resources on the value of CCTV footage in criminal investigations, rather than focusing on the crime prevention benefits of camera systems,” the AIC says.

But something is clearly moving, given the research found that 81 per cent of councils had received at least one request from police for camera footage in 2012 – 2013; 20 per cent had at least one request a month; and 19 per cent at least one request a week.

More than half (55 per cent) of councils said their CCTV footage had “often” or “sometimes” been used to prosecute offenders.


The fact that local governments, police and security agencies are increasingly looking to pre-recorded footage to capture incidents and track down offenders presents big new challenges. While digital cameras allow greater resolution and clarity, they also create a pressing need for more digital storage capacity where maintaining the integrity and quality of the vision becomes imperative if it is remain useful for the future.

While analogue and early digital CCTV systems once used tapes, the heart of modern digital systems is the hard disk drive (HDD) which has more typically been used for storing corporate and enterprise data from computers rather than as a dedicated video storage medium.

An all too common pitfall for CCTV system buyers is overlooking the central role that HHDs play in preserving and retrieving vision. One consideration is that as camera resolutions get higher and video retention periods get longer, the demand for HDDs that are larger in volume and designed specifically for read/writing is naturally increasing.

Moreover, just as different CCTV cameras and housings are built to standards to withstand their environment, buyers also need to carefully consider whether the disks they select will be able to withstand factors like wide variance in temperatures, vibration and external elements.

Fortunately, parts of the technology industry are quickly stepping up to the challenge as digital video and internet protocol systems come to the fore.

A clear market leader to emerge in the Security Systems Storage sector is Seagate which produced the first purpose-built HDD for surveillance systems in 2006 and has led the industry since. One of its major points of difference in product is that it has been carefully fine tuning the performance of Surveillance Drives for

Digital Video Recorders (DVRs) where more than 90 per cent the operation is dedicated to the ‘write’ function – or recording.

The integrity and stability of recording is critical because problems can directly affect the vision captured with no means of restoration – easily as bad as a defective camera. Another benefit of using surveillance grade HDDs is that user can also achieve better performance in terms of the number of cameras a drive can support simultaneously, an important consideration when running a network of cameras.

“There is a growing need to analyze and make use of video data, with a wide range of applications that include monitoring security for home and small business security, capturing data that allows cities to predict and improve traffic flows, reducing airport wait times,” says Rex Dong, Seagate’s managing director of sales and marketing for Asia.

Seagate’s advice to CCTV customers is to ensure that systems integrators have a sound understanding of a system’s environment and working profile to ensure the appropriate choice of drives for their customers’ applications.

For example, in a system supporting multiple drives, Rotational Vibration (RV) becomes critical, a key factor that Seagate cites as the reason its latest generation of Surveillance HDD comes equipped with an RV sensor to address the operating needs created by multiple bay chassis.

Another factor is power management, with Seagate citing choice of power supply, System On Chip (SOC) performance, Ethernet bandwidth, camera performance and connectivity issues as common reasons cited for problems with data integrity.


Read/Write speed:This is dependent upon your system. If you’re streaming from a higher camera count and in higher resolution formats you will need a drive that can support a higher throughput. Seagate Surveillance HDD supports a maximum sustained data rate of 180MB/second, which supports up to 32 simultaneous recording from HD cameras but it excels at recording from multiple channels and playing back content as needed.Surveillance systems doing high levels of data analytics will need different strengths to perform. In these applications, data is processed in a less predictable or random manner. For these applications we suggest enterprise class drives which are built to support a more random workload while also supporting recording from multiple cameras. These drives can support a maximum sustained data rate of 216MB/second in this kind of environment.

Error detection/data recovery:Error Recovery Controls (ERC) are available on Surveillance HDD and Enterprise class drives which tell the drive to stop attempts at data recovery prior to an assumed RAID timeout. By using this feature we prevent the RAID timeout, which would result in taking a system offline and rebuilding the missing data on a drive. We also integrate command completion times (CCT), which enable smooth video streaming which is critical to a surveillance environment.

Power management:Because surveillance drives run 24×7, power consumption is a big deal. The less power required by the drive the lower overall cost of ownership for the end user – especially as you scale into larger surveillance data centers. Surveillance and video class drives, (like our Video HDDs and Surveillance HDDs) consumes little power and therefore emit lower amounts of heat which allows the drive to operate more reliably.

Seagate creates space for the human experience by innovating how data is stored, shared and used. Learn more at

Microsoft straightjacket stunt performer at Microsoft SQL Server PASS Summit 2015

Could Analytics Save Your Life? 7 big bets for Microsoft SQL Server 2016

Can Analytics save your life?

The most recent advances in analytics technologies just might be able to prolong your life. At least that was one of the messages from Joseph Sirosh, the keynote speaker of the Microsoft SQL Server PASS Summit 2015. Sirosh, vice president of Microsoft’s Data Group, kicked off this year’s PASS (Professional Association of SQL Server) Summit in Seattle with a presentation that dealt extensively with business intelligence and the profound possibilities for predictive analytics to improve healthcare.

The human genome contains approximately 2GB data, he said. If a person’s genome is properly sequenced and stored digitally, for example, healthcare providers using Microsoft’s advanced data analytics technology may be able to improve healthcare by more accurately assessing a person’s risk for developing cancer, diabetes and other diseases. This information, if properly discovered and shared early enough, can influence people to change their lifestyles in order to decrease their chances of coming down with debilitating diseases.

The latest product features and third-party tools for SQL Server

Microsoft straightjacket stunt performer at Microsoft SQL Server PASS Summit 2015 Healthcare and predictive analytics, however, were just a few of the interesting topics covered at this year’s PASS Summit. The event is billed as the largest conference for Microsoft SQL Server users to connect with one another and learn about the latest product features and third-party tools for SQL Server. It is an important resource for technical database professionals looking to enhance their skills from technical sessions and industry direction as well as to get up to speed with the latest developments in areas such as programing languages, improvements in disaster recovery, mobile business intelligence and more.

PASS Summit provided me a host of new market insights. The conference showcased a wide list of improvements and advances to the SQL Server platform, offering organizations a large array of options when implementing their SQL database strategies. Regardless of the path that these organizations take when adopting the latest innovations and approaches in the field — whether it is SQL Server on-premises or in the Azure cloud — they will continue to require high-performing reliable storage infrastructures. As a long-time partner with Microsoft, Seagate maintains a broad storage portfolio, comprising Nytro flash accelerator cards, SSDs, enclosures and HDDs, to meet these constantly changing infrastructure needs.

The primary language of data scientists

One innovation for SQL Server 2016 includes having the R programing language feature built into it. R is the primary language that statisticians and data scientists use, and having this feature built into SQL Server will allow users to run SQL and R code side-by-side. Eric Fleischman, chief architect and vice president of engineering at DocuSign, during his keynote on R programming also explained how his company uses SQL Server and flash storage to handle its high transactional workload environment.

In terms of overall strategy, Microsoft said its focus for SQL Server 2016 is on high-performance data warehouses, mobile insights and advanced analytics. Its goal is to provide all of the engines of data needed in today’s businesses and to have fast data storage/retrieval from anywhere, anytime. SQL Server 2016 should provide a consistent experience from both on-premises and in-the-cloud data platforms.

As such, Microsoft has adopted a top-down strategy, innovating in the Azure cloud and then building those innovations into the stand-alone SQL Server on-premises product offering…in other words, a platform with its “feet on the ground and head in the cloud.”

Seven big bets for Microsoft SQL Server 2016

Shawn Bice, the general manager of the Database Systems Group at Microsoft, anchored a keynote address by presenting seven big bets for Microsoft SQL Server 2016, which he described as follows:

  • The latest platform will have a host of high-availability, disaster-recovery performance improvements by implementing features such as mirroring databases and reducing overhead.
  • Querying of unstructured data from a structured relational database engine will be much simpler. The PolyBase feature will allow users to run standard SQL queries against unstructured data stores in Hadoop.
  • Real-time operational analytics (learn and adjust): SQL Server 2016 will have the ability to use In-memory Column-Store and Row-Store together on the same OLTP data, eliminating the need to move data out of the OLTP engine for analytics and back into the OLTP engine for use.
  • R programming language libraries will be usable inside SQL Server 2016 for analytical processing with no data movement needed for the OLTP database engine.
  • SQL Server currently has Transparent Data Encryption, Auditing, Data masking etc. SQL Server 2016 will include the Always Encrypted Data feature with keys on the client side. Data is encrypted in the buffer pool which is DRAM-backed, eliminating buffer pool intrusion attacks.
  • The Stretch Database feature will allow users to store hot data in SQL Server on-premises and cold data in the Azure Cloud.
  • Mobile Business Intelligence: This technology provides users the ability to retrieve business intelligence data from any device Apple, Android, and Windows phones.

With these new market insights from my three days at the PASS Summit, I am looking forward to being a part of the innovation that lies before us and how Seagate can contribute to the transformation of SQL Server and its new features.

Seagate creates space for the human experience by innovating how data is stored, shared and used. Learn more at

Five Data Technology Trends for Small Businesses in 2016

Five Business Data Technology Trends to Watch in 2016

Five Data Technology Trends for Small Businesses in 2016

We all know smartphones have taken over as the device of choice for accessing the Internet — and this shift should play a big role in how businesses use data, and make data useful, in 2016. Data-intensive interrelationships between businesses, their partners, their employees and their customers will drive the changing face of businesses technology in 2016.

Roughly 51 percent of digital media is now consumed via smartphone, according to the consultancy KPCB, compared with only 42 percent via desktops and laptops.

This shift is having wide-ranging effects, shaping all five of the biggest technology trends businesses will face in the coming year. Here’s how:

1. Frictionless Purchasing

Consumers all carry Internet browsers in their pockets thanks to the prevalence of smartphones, and ComScore found that 11.3 percent of all web viewers now rely solely on their mobile devices for getting online. Ubiquitous Internet access has made online shopping easier than ever—but not the payment side of things.

This thankfully is starting to change, however. Companies like Apple and Google, as well as Paypal and a raft of upstarts such as Square, are now tackling the problem of mobile payment head on, and 2016 will be a big year for frictionless payment solutions.

The goal is a digital wallet scheme where consumers no longer need to pull out their credit cards for purchases, be it online or at a physical retail outlet. Technologies like Apple Pay are attacking the physical store side of frictionless payments, and there’s a big push from Apple and others to make online purchasing from a mobile device as easy as clicking “Buy Now” and accessing a stored credit card account.

2. Cloud Services for Everything

If mobile devices are becoming the primary computing device for many and an adjunct to those of us who still prefer laptops, then ever more storage, computing power, and business systems must reside in the cloud for access anywhere.

This comes as no surprise; in fact, 93 percent of all businesses already use the cloud, according to a recent State of the Cloud report by RightScale. There’s still much more room for growth, however, since the same study found that 68 percent of businesses run less than a fifth of their applications in the cloud.

Given the increasing penetration of mobile usage, this year should see even more adoption of cloud services as both businesses and consumers complete the migration to the cloud. Research firm IDC predicts that global software-as-a-service revenue will reach $106 billion in 2016 as adoption continues to expand, a 21 percent increase over 2015 levels.

3. Embedded Communications

Nobody wants to switch apps in the middle of a purchase or hunt for a way to contact customer service when a problem arises. This might not be a big deal for consumers who buy things online and visit web sites from a laptop, but it becomes a huge issue for mobile users.

This need for seamless communication from mobile devices is leading to the rise of embedded rich communications within apps and directly from web pages, and 2016 will be the year when it becomes easy to contact customer support in a rich communications environment.

Technologies like WebRTC are making it possible for businesses to include rich communications services directly into apps and corporate web sites with the addition of only a few lines of JavaScript. Companies such as are also taking the open-source WebRTC standard and making it business friendly with the addition of end-to-end quality of service monitoring and the inclusion of APIs that enable developers to easily deliver contextual video chats, screen sharing, chat, and calling for better sales and customer service.

4. Improved Security

With employees carrying data out of the office on mobile devices, customer information housed in the public cloud, and an increase in communications on smartphones via unified communications and over-the-top solutions such as Skype, security is a bigger issue than ever.

Firms are not doing so well on the security front, either; there were 783 reported data breaches in the U.S. last year, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center, and stats for 2015 probably will not be any better.

Security has become one of the biggest issues in business technology, and 2016 should be the year that businesses start to take better precautions.

Putting security at the forefront will mean encryption during transport and at rest, improved bring-your-own-device management and security, adoption of cloud solutions that take security as a fundamental priority, and better security awareness, among other things.

5. Wearables in the Workplace

Smartphones have made workers more mobile and responsive to real-time data during the course of the workday. Businesses are embracing the opportunity this brings by incorporating smartphones and connected tablets into a range of business processes.

Carrying around a tablet or pulling out a smartphone every few minutes is cumbersome and often time consuming—a problem the burgeoning wearables trend looks to address.

While businesses are still figuring out the exact ways that wearables, such as the Apple Watch, can be put to good use for business, developers are already hard at work on apps that deliver timely business notifications and reduce the need for employees to constantly check their smartphones or tablets. The wearables trend in business should start to pick up late in 2016 and continue well into 2017 and beyond.

The past few years have seen mobile dominating tech trends. This will continue in 2016, with businesses building off of mobility, seizing the natural advantages of the platform, and ironing out some of the kinks that mobile devices bring to the table.

Peter Scott is a journalist and editor who has been covering business, technology and lifestyle trends for more than 20 years. You can contact him at And JT Ripton is a business consultant and blogger who enjoys writing about many things, business and technology among them. Ripton’s advice has appeared in numerous places like BusinessInsider,, The Guardian, and The Street. Follow him @JTRipton

IFTTT empowers you

If This Then That — Personal Cloud Now Uses IFTTT to Activate Your Data, Home, and Life

IFTTT now works with Seagate Personal Cloud

Personal Cloud gets a whole new set of powers

You already love your Seagate Personal Cloud, right? It’s a smart storage device for backing up, sharing, and streaming all your content to any screen. Unlike traditional clouds, you get massive storage, no recurring fees, and your files are stored in the privacy of your home.

Today Personal Cloud gets a whole new set of powers — with IFTTT! We’ve buddied up with IFTTT (If This Then That) to give you an almost magical control over logical actions — actions you can tell your Personal Cloud to execute, even when you’re not paying attention. (It’s so cool CRN magazine calls it a Hot Holiday Tech Gadget for 2015!)

According to researcher IDC, by 2020 consumers will interact with over 150 sensor-enabled devices everyday — that’s a lot of useful stuff, but how to keep track of it all? With Personal Cloud and IFTTT, now all that data has a place to land, to live, and to be useful!

What is IFTTT?

IFTTT stands for “if this then that” — a logical statement, or a “Recipe.” It’s a simple service that lets you create powerful connections (Recipes) between products and web services you use every day. You can use prewritten Recipes, or combine triggers and actions and mix them into your own individual Recipes.

IFTTT offers tons of Recipes between lots of different web applications including Facebook, Gmail, Dropbox, Evernote, and others. IFTTT also works to control physical devices — now including your Seagate Personal Cloud — and devices like the Belkin Wemo, SmartThings, Jawbone Up, and the Philips Hue light bulb.

The first storage device with IFTTT

Seagate Personal Cloud is the first storage device with IFTTT integration. Now you can make your Personal Cloud interact with lots of different apps and other devices across the internet.

IFTTT empowers you

There are so many ways to create fun Recipes and useful combinations to organize your new memories all in one place, keep your data safer, notify you of important events, save energy and lots more. We’ve launched a few key Recipes for you on our IFTTT channel (visit us here), and new Recipes can be added by Personal Cloud users just like you.

Check out Recipes you can already use starting today

If your Personal Cloud’s already connected to our IFTTT channel, you can grab these embedded Recipes right now:

IF new files appear in Dropbox, THEN add them to my Personal Cloud.

IFTTT Recipe: Add files to Seagate Personal Cloud from a Dropbox folder connects dropbox to seagate-personal-cloud

IF I “Like” a song on SoundCloud, THEN download it to my Personal Cloud. IFTTT Recipe: Download your favorite songs to Seagate Personal Cloud connects soundcloud to seagate-personal-cloud

IF I’m tagged in a photo on Facebook, THEN download it to my Personal Cloud.

IFTTT Recipe: Download new Facebook photos you're tagged in to your Seagate Personal Cloud connects facebook to seagate-personal-cloud

IF I “Like” a photo on Instagram, THEN download it to my Personal Cloud. IFTTT Recipe: Save your Instagram favorites to a Seagate Personal Cloud folder connects instagram to seagate-personal-cloud

IF I get an attachment in Gmail, THEN download it to my Personal Cloud.

IFTTT Recipe: Download Gmail attachments to your Seagate Personal Cloud connects gmail to seagate-personal-cloud

IF I add new files to my Personal Cloud, THEN back it up to my Google Drive account. IFTTT Recipe: Save your Seagate Personal Cloud files to GDrive connects seagate-personal-cloud to google-drive

IFTTT and Personal Cloud will keep getting better, doing ever more magical things for you, as new Recipes are written and more gadgets and apps get added to our mix. Over time, the possibilities will be endless.

Create and suggest your own IFTTT Recipes!

If you already have your Personal Cloud, getting started with Seagate’s IFTTT channel is easy! Go to your Personal Cloud’s App Manager to install the all-new IFTTT app. Launch the IFTTT app and then follow the easy steps to connect your Personal Cloud to your IFTTT account. For detailed instructions visit You can also invent your own Recipes for new situations we haven’t thought of. We’d love to see what you invent – so please be sure to share them with us on our IFTTT channel and on Facebook and Twitter.

Who is John PaulsenA creator, family man and former small-business leader myself, I feel your pain (and joy) and hope you’ll enjoy the blog. I launched and ran a well-regarded production company in San Francisco with a team of 9 brilliant, hard working people. I learned to manage a wide array of tasks a small business must handle — business strategy, facilities design, HR, payroll, taxes, marketing, all the way down to choosing telecom equipment and spec’ing a server system to help my team collaborate in real-time on dense media projects from multiple production rooms. I’ve partnered with and learned from dozens of small business owners.

OpenWorld 2015

A Walk Among the Clouds: My Oracle OpenWorld 2015 Experience

OpenWorld 2015

Although previous OpenWorld conferences already explored cloud topics such as the new Oracle database being built for the cloud and the rewriting of the company’s enterprise applications for the cloud, at this year’s Oracle OpenWorld 2015 conference, the cloud commanded center stage.

Oracle described its strategy as follows: First it had to build the hotel (the cloud infrastructure, applications, database, operating system, hardware, etc.), and now, that hotel is open for business.

Started in 1983 with only 50 customers, this year’s OpenWorld event attracted more than 68,000 people from 147 countries to the San Francisco venue. They all had the opportunity to explore the event’s more than 3,500 sessions and 700 demonstrations, which featured Oracle speakers discussing new features or helpful techniques for various products as well as enterprise companies relating their experiences with them. Topics included Oracle database and enterprise applications, MySQL, Linux and Java technologies. More than 2 million more people attended the conference online.

OpenWorld 2015 also afforded me the opportunity to see and talk with all the Oracle employees with whom I work throughout the year. With such a plethora of offerings, one couldn’t help but to get a clearer idea of what the future may have in store, and perhaps even have a hand in shaping it.

Meetings, Sessions and Labs

I was invited to the MySQL Customer Advisory meeting, for example, which included most of Oracle’s MySQL technical people and some of the biggest users of MySQL. The meeting’s goals were as follows: to give Oracle a platform on which to communicate what it is currently working on, to explore future work it is considering and to give an opportunity for the audience to share any issues they might be having and request new features they would like to see in upcoming releases.

I mentioned the following new features I would like to see, all of them involving utilization of SSD/flash:

  • Tiered storage (hot data on SSD/flash, cold data on HDD)
  • The ability to stripe data over multiple tablespace files
  • A built-in secondary buffer (similar to Oracle’s Database Smart Flash Cache feature)

At the MySQL performance session presented by Oracle’s Dimitri Kravtchuk, MySQL Performance Architect, Kravtchuk gave Seagate credit for the performance of the Nytro cards that he is using in his own lab testing.

I also attended many hands-on labs that dealt with topics such as MySQL clustering, Oracle multitenant database in the cloud, MySQL replication and new features of the Oracle 12c .2 release. Oracle Database 12c sports 10x performance over legacy processors. It also frees CPU cores for transactional processing and has up to three times the data capacity with in-line data compression.

Administering databases and applications in the cloud is much different than administering a private non-cloud database. MySQL is touted as the most widely used database in the cloud and web as well as for standalone database chores in enterprise applications. MySQL can be used as a standalone single server or as a database sharded over tens of thousands of servers all over the world. This year in the new version of the Oracle database, you can now shard the database over a thousand servers in a shared-nothing environment. Up until now, Oracle RAC was the only way to grow horizontally. Oracle RAC is a shared-everything environment, which means many servers access one set of database files. Now customers have options when they want to grow horizontally.

An OpenStack session I attended revealed an interesting development, as well. Oracle has been participating in the OpenStack area for the last few years and has tried to make it easier for companies to install, deploy and maintain an OpenStack environment–as almost anyone will tell you, OpenStack is very difficult to install and use, and big corporations have tackled these issues by assigning many IT personnel (I have heard that at some places the number can be as high as 50) to learn, deploy and convert or create applications to run in OpenStack. Oracle has made it easier by creating a seamless install procedure using Linux containers as well as monitoring tools for OpenStack.

At Oracle OpenWorld 2015, I created a demo for our partner Cirrus Data to display in its boothExhibitor Floor

For Oracle OpenWorld, I created a demo for our partner Cirrus Data to display in its booth. Cirrus makes a caching appliance that is deployed between the host and a SAN which contains multiple Nytro XP6302 flash accelerator cards. Cirrus uses write-through caching so all the SAN utilities, such as SAN-SAN replication, all work, while data is transparent between the cache and on HDD. Cirrus had great traffic and drew in a lot of interest.

I am already looking forward to 2016 to see how Oracle continues innovating in new market opportunities.

Use Cases for SANsymphony-V10

Nytro XP6302 and XP6500 Cards Meet DataCore Ready Program Verification Criteria

ssv-typical-layoutSeagate’s Nytro XP6302 and XP6500 flash accelerator cards have recently earned certification for full compatibility with DataCore SANsymphony-V storage virtualization software. With this certification, Seagate has become a member of the DataCore Ready™ Program, which identifies solutions that are trusted to work seamlessly in DataCore SANsymphony-V infrastructures.

The Nytro XP6302 and XP6500 cards passed the certification process with no issues and delivered exemplary performance within the DataCore test environment. Seagate’s Nytro technical support and ease of use — such as its easy installation, Windows driver support and management tools — prove that Nytro flash accelerator cards are a great storage solution for DataCore infrastructures.

Software-driven storage architectures liberate storage from static hardware-based limitations. They also enable the use of existing equipment and conventional storage devices to achieve the robust and responsive performance necessary to support highly dynamic virtual IT environments.

DataCore SANsymphony-V storage virtualization software empowers organizations to manage and scale their data storage architectures, delivering performance gains at a fraction of the cost of legacy solutions.

Organizations that deploy DataCore solutions may be faced with the burden of identifying compatible storage products that enhance the DataCore SANsymphony-V Software-defined Storage infrastructures. While DataCore solutions interoperate with common open and industry standard products, those listed as DataCore Ready have completed additional verification testing such as set performance targets and completion of a functional test plan with zero failures, thereby providing customer confidence in joint-solution compatibility.

DataCore Software is a leading software-defined storage vendor specializing in storage virtualization, storage management and storage networking. DataCore has more than 10,000 customer site deployments around the globe.

Use Cases for SANsymphony-V10


Ross Turk of Red Hat speaks to end users at Seagate in Cupertino

Seagate Hosts Red Hat’s Inaugural Storage Day

Ross Turk of Red Hat speaks to end users at Seagate in Cupertino

Seagate’s flash vision is anchored in collaboration — be it with strategic suppliers like Micron, Microsoft and Dell, or partnerships with technology leaders like Red Hat.

Using a community-powered open-source approach, Red Hat helps drive many innovative technologies that liberate IT resources. Among these is Ceph, a distributed storage system designed for excellent performance, reliability and scalability.

Red Hat’s Ceph Storage is a massively scalable, open-source solution, which, when combined with Seagate Nytro flash accelerator cards and shingled-magnetic recording (SMR) drives, can satisfy both performance and cost objectives.

Recognizing the steep learning curve in mastering a new technology like Ceph, Red Hat and Seagate organized the first ever Red Hat Storage Day at Seagate in Cupertino to better educate the market. The event attracted over 40 end users with a range of presentations, a “before-and-after” demo showing the benefits of Nytro caching and performance, as well as a “take home” self-paced test drive of Red Hat Ceph Storage.

Break-out sessions explored the value and emerging use cases for the technology, discussed how to utilize Seagate flash products in Ceph deployments, and included a customer spotlight from web-hosting provider Dreamhost.

Together, Red Hat and Seagate emphasized their collective leadership in this space. The Raleigh, North Carolina-based Red Hat is the world’s leading provider of open-source software solutions.

“We were happy to work with Red Hat as their first partner to support such an event,” said Tony Afshary, director of ecosystem solutions and marketing for flash at Seagate, who also presented on the advantages of Nytro flash products and SMR drives. “This was a great opportunity to bring both of our teams’ knowledge base to the table and position our solutions in front of users to encourage their interest in deploying Red Hat Ceph Storage with Seagate technologies.”

“Red Hat and Seagate worked closely together on this event, with the goal of innovating to solve customer challenges in the datacenter, cloud and beyond”, added Ross Turk, director of product marketing for storage and big data at Red Hat. “With content from Seagate and other members of the Red Hat storage community, we were able to create a fun and engaging environment for our highly technical audience. I think we’ll see relationships with these customers expand as a result, bringing great opportunity.”

Seagate supports Ministry of Science science, technology, engineering and math education

From CSI Sleuthing to Rocketry, We Put the Fun in Science

Seagate supports Ministry of Science science, technology, engineering and math education

Two recent Seagate-supported educational events in Northern Ireland showed thousands of young people how the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) subjects impact so many aspects of our lives—and can lead to a host of exciting career opportunities.

CultureTECH Junior

Once again, Seagate supported CultureTECH, a week-long festival of technology, media, music and gaming held in September. This year’s event welcomed more than 60,000 people to some 200 events, featuring everything from a massive Minecraft weekend, hands-on 3D printing demonstrations and a comics and creative arts exhibition by top artists and writers working in this genre.

Since the inaugural festival in 2012, Seagate’s funding has been directed at the educational element of the program—enabling organizers to create and develop a dedicated CultureTECH Junior strand for the event.

This year’s flagship schools’ event, funded by Seagate, certainly brought science to life with a bang. Over five days, the Ministry of Science Live stage show wowed some 6,000 local students of all ages with spectacular—and often noisy—demonstrations of scientific principles. And this year, a shorter version of the show was taken to entertain students at Ardnashee Special School.

Staff at the school were thrilled that their students didn’t have to miss out on seeing the show.

“Our school caters to students with a wide range of learning difficulties and associated disabilities, so it’s not easy for staff to take them to events off-site,” explained Dan Byrne, teacher and ICT coordinator. “We really appreciate Seagate and CultureTECH responding to these constraints by bringing the show to us. Our kids and staff got a great kick out of seeing their classroom science brought to life in this way.”

annual Seagate Real World Science Conference in Northern Ireland

Seagate Real World Science Conference

In October, the annual Seagate Real World Science Conference—hosted by St. Mary’s College—introduced some 250 students, ages 13 to 14, to a wide range of STEM careers via hands-on workshops. Now in its ninth year, this Seagate-led event brings together more than a dozen STEM employers whose workshops give students a taste for the type of work they engage in on a daily basis.

This year’s activities included the science of firefighting, “CSI-style” forensics, robotics, rocket science, product design and prototyping, and more. Also in the mix were a number of Seagate volunteer-led workshops based on the scientific principles and technologies that underpin wafer fabrication.

Brian Burns, VP at Seagate’s Springtown facility, was happy to see employees share their passion for science and technology with local teens and their teachers.

“We’ve built very successful relationships with our neighboring schools and colleges and we’ve been listening to what they’re telling us,” Burns said. “The main message we’re hearing is that the focus needs to be on encouraging students to study the sciences. I can’t think of a better way of doing that than through our Real World Science Conference.”

Seagate's annual Real World Science Conference

Seagate creates space for the human experience by innovating how data is stored, shared and used. Learn more at

Sustainability — Only Measurement Makes It Possible

Sustainability — Only Measurement Makes It Possible

Sustainability — Only Measurement Makes It Possible

Measurement is crucial to Seagate’s sustainability efforts

Lord Kelvin, inventor of the Kelvin Temperature Scale, wasn’t talking about business when he said, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” His comment, however, captures Seagate’s environmental impact measurement and reduction strategy, a key element of our continuing efforts to become a more sustainable and responsible company.

As part of this strategy we’ve commissioned product Life Cycle Assessments (LCA), a rigorous international standard-based methodology used to assess environmental impacts at every stage of a product’s life—from raw-material sourcing, manufacturing, to transport at every stage, product use and product end-of-life.

Using LCA results, we’ve achieved very encouraging progress. Two successful examples are projects by the logistics team and the corporate packaging engineering team.

Logistics efficiency

The logistics team identified savings through shifting product transportation from air to surface modes such as truck, rail and ocean prior to having LCA results, which subsequently supported projected cost savings plus environmental-impact reductions.

For example, in FY09, we shipped the vast majority of our products by air. From Q1FY10 to Q1FY15 we have reduced our shipping mix away from air, helping to reduce our cost-per-unit-moved.  We continue to shift our shipping mix and have set goals for Q2FY16 and beyond.

The logistics team’s efforts produced a measurable reduction in climate-change impacts across our core portfolio from FY11 to FY15. This success illustrates how effective business decisions and sustainability save expense, reduce environmental impact and increase our business resiliency.

The corporate packaging engineering team uses LCA as a design tool to assist in making sustainable decisions, including material selection. The following example illustrates the power of “doing the math” and highlights the value of engaging Seagate’s EHS and sustainability team in the product-design stage:

Sustainable packaging

At first glance, substituting fully recycled material for a virgin material seems to be the more sustainable option. However, our corporate packaging engineering team study proved just the opposite for an OEM packaging design, which uses a 100-percent virgin material expanded polypropylene (EPP) foam cushion. A 100-percent recycled expanded polyethylene (EPE) foam cushion was calculated to have higher environmental impacts than the 100-percent virgin option.

The reason is that for the same cushioning performance, the recycled option weighed more than the current design. The heavier cushion creates additional fossil-fuel impacts to transport, in this case offsetting the impact reduction from recycled-material use. More information about OEM packaging and other LCAs is available here.

This project illustrates how engaging our EHS and Sustainability team can help drive the best environmental decisions when costs are neutral.

We’re making good progress, and Seagate commits to a sustainability journey where we continuously refine our tools and processes. We recognize that the journey to a more sustainable Seagate is a marathon, not a sprint.  Sustainability holds the key for our resiliency, and investments we make now will continue to pay dividends in the future.

Sustainable business practices are consistent with lowest total cost and highest reliability. We’re continuing to explore new tools to help reduce our impacts and align to create a more sustainable business.

Seagate creates space for the human experience by innovating how data is stored, shared and used. Learn more at