Seagate continues to be the market leader in mass data storage solutions. This is how they do it

NVR. Edge computing. AI Surveillance Drives. Seagate’s Zubair Shareef gives us a little insight as to what’s next

Aman Ali

2/15/2022 5 min read

Over the years, Seagate has diversified its product line into different categories. You’ve got Barracuda for base-level storage requirements, the Firecuda series of drives built for gaming, IronWorld for NAS environments, Exos for hyper-scale enterprise environments, and lastly SkyHawk for surveillance storage requirements.

Seagate has been a pioneer in the data storage solutions market for over 40 years now. What started off at Shugart Technologies back in 1979, they have been monumental in meeting the world’s increasing demands for data storage in sectors like cloud solutions and surveillance. Not a lot of folks know this but IBM was Seagate’s first client just when they were about to introduce their personal computers. The company’s first product was a five-megabyte, 5.25 inch hard drive called the ST-506 launched in 1980.

Since then they’ve launched the world’s first 7200rpm, 10,000rpm, and 15,000rpm drives and as of April 2021, they have shipped over 3 Zettabytes of HDDs (that’s the equivalent of about three billion 1TB HDDs)

At Intersec, one of the world’s leading emergency services, security, and safety events, I sat down with Zubair Shareef, a veteran with over 20 years of experience in the surveillance industry. Zubair works at Seagate as their Sales Representative for surveillance solutions so if there was someone who could give me more insight into the world of data storage solutions, it was him.

Lets start off with a small introduction about yourself

My name is Zubair and I come from a security surveillance background specifically for video surveillance. I have been in the Middle East region for more than 18 years and overall in the video surveillance industry for more than 20 years.

What has the response been for Seagate at Intersec this year?

Its been amazing! People are delighted to see all the latest technologies Seagate has been showcasing at Intersec and to gather more information about what Seagate has bought into the region from a data storage solution point.

Could you give me a summary of all the latest products youve unveiled this year?

The latest launch weve done is the 20TB high-capacity drive that falls under the enterprise category. Weve also been showcasing our centralized SAN storage which is an end-to-end design developed by Seagate.

Weve got so many players in the market in this segment like Western Digital, HGST, Toshiba…..If you had to sort of give someone an elevator pitch as to why they need to opt for Seagate over other brands, what would it be?

Seagate has been a technology leader from a data storage solution point of view and Seagate has been working in this domain for over 40 years. We also provide our customers with unique offerings like Data Rescue and Recovery solutions. This particular service in this region we are offering free of cost to Skyhawk customers and the services are rendered in-house by Seagate engineers.

A lot of businesses are now opting for NVR over DVR surveillance solutions. Whats next in the world of surveillance systems and how is Seagate ensuring the brand is always ahead of the game?

From a video surveillance perspective, data storage is evolving from endpoint to edge to the core. What we are witnessing from a mid to enterprise level of storage is that people are willing to go for a private cum public cloud sort of a solution. What I basically mean is something that is local storage as well as remote storage. So, depending on the type of application, we see the transition happening but people are also continuing to look at DVR and NVR solutions.

Would you attribute this to a cost factor that people do not want to spend a substantial amount to upgrade from DVR to NVR?

I believe it is cost as well as the adoption of new technologies that various manufacturers are bringing into the market. Now from a cost perspective if everything has to be stored locally, its going to cost them a lot. They could come up with a solution where they look at their critical data to be saved locally whereas the data which is non-critical could be stored on some kind of cloud solution or remote server where they do not have to shell out huge investments.

And thats what my next question is about, on one side you are encouraging SMEs to sort of transition their data to the cloud but then you also have edge computing on the other side where critical data is stored in their own infrastructure for which you are offering solutions for. What would be the ideal thing to do?

This is why it is important to understand the customers requirements because security is a very sensitive subject. Sometimes they would want to have quick accessibility to the data as well as have it at their own premises. Usually what happens is that a customer would want their data to be stored locally for the initial 30 days and beyond that, they would still like to have access to the data but it isnt so important to them hence it is pushed to the cloud.

Weve covered a lot about your enterprise solutions. Lets get to your retail side of the business, the average consumer. Will you be releasing any news products this year or are you just going to improve on what you already offer?

Definitely. There will be new innovations in every category including retail consumer products.

Youve been in this industry for about 20 years with the last two years being at Seagate. How has COVID changed things in the world of surveillance? With more people working from home, has the demand for storage solutions gone up or down, and what happens a few years from now?

Covid has brought in a new way of working. Before Covid, people werent really looking at using video surveillance storage from a different perspective. Now with Covid happening, people are looking at the data from a utilization operational methodology perspective. At the peak of Covid, cameras were being used to detect who has a high temperature as well as where people were getting accumulated. So in totality, we have a new perspective in looking at data so in general there are a lot of things you can do with this data.

Speaking of Data, with so much surveillance happening, what is Seagate doing to safeguard the information that is stored on these solutions?

Now when it comes to Data Privacy and Data Encryption, Seagate has a solution where all this data is stored on an encrypted drive so that preserves the data from a security point of view. With regards to Data Recovery, it is a service where if the drive fails due to XYZ reasons and you feel that the data is still potential for you, this is where we bring in our data recovery services in general. Laymans language, its like data insurance. Our resources have the ability to extract about 90% of the data which is inside the hard drives.

Any advice you have for SMEs who would like to incorporate surveillance solutions offered by Seagate. Where do they start? Who do they reach out to?

From a starting point, if they really want to explore Seagate’s offerings, they should visit our website to get first-hand information.I would also request them to reach out to one of our company representatives who are based out of the Middle East region to get more insight and understand their requirements. Last but not the least, our authorized distributors would also have all the information you are looking