IBM to exit hard drive biz...

CougTek

Serial computer killer
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Why did no one submited the news/rumor on the front page? It would be a lot easier for me to just click on "accept" rather than writing the whole announcement.

You have no heart for me.
 

Tannin

Storage? I am Storage!
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I think you are right, Buck. But two things to note:

First, it is only rumour at present. It's just wacky enough to be true, but it's still only rumour at this stage.

Second, it will inded change the industry - but not, perhaps in the way that you expect. (Making an unwarranted assumption here about your expectations.) The primary effect will be to change the competitive landscape.

Currently on the desktop we have:

Maxtor
Seagate
Western Digital
Samsung

IBM are off the radar. Sure, they have OEM business (or I assume they do) but they are bleeding big time.

In SCSI we have:

Seagate
Maxtor
IBM (Perhaps ailing a little but stiull in there and punching.)
Fujitsu
Plus bit-players like Hitachi.

And in notebook drives we have:

IBM
Toshiba
Hitachi
Plus bit players.

I suspect that even IBM's notebook business, their stronghold for so long, might be less than 100% roses at present.

Now consider the new, post Hitachi landscape.

The notebook field is probably the most significant sector of all. IBM plus Hitachi equals a market share dominance in the IT hardware industry second only to Intel's. Big dollars to be made there, with only Toshiba to challenge them. Who knows, we might even see Seagate make their long-ago promised return to the 2.5 inch market, if there are only two major players left to compete against. Doubt it though. They would have one hell of a task in front of them. Four years is a long, long time in this industry.

In SCSI, I see little change. The dissapearance of Hitachi as a seperate entity will make few waves, outside of Japan, perhaps, where Hitachi are huge, I believe. Maybe they will have the sense to retain the Hitachi name for the domestic market. Actually, come to think of it, they will probably have to market all their drive products under the Hitachi name worldwide - they could hardly sell them under the name "IBM", could they!

And on the desktop. Seagate and Maxtor et al do not stand to loose a competitor given a Hitachi takeover, they stand to gain one. Hell, with Hitachi at the helm I'd consider buying IBM drives again myself, and I bet I'm not the only one.

But riddle me this one, if you can. How did IBM manage to loose the plot so badly anyway? What went wrong? It's obvious that the company had some hind of internal upheaval - how else do you explain their sudden fall from their former grace? But what?
 

Handruin

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There is also other speculation regarding IBM, Hitachi and...EMC. Rumor is that IBM and Hitachi are creating an alliance to battle EMC in the enterprise storage arena.

Time will tell, but I may be working for one of them some day...(that's only a guess...no inside info because I have none.) :-?
 

Buck

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Did IBM really lose anything?

The exit from the 3.5” EIDE market bodes little change in the OEM arena. Even a good portion of IBM desktop systems don’t come with IBM hard disk drives. The big four you mentioned will gain very little market share with the loss of IBM, but they will look behind them as Hitachi takes a foot hold. Nevertheless, Hitachi won’t be able to storm into the market just yet, so I don’t feel that the other big players are worried about business for the short term. The biggest worry would be Hitachi’s ability to leverage the massive IBM research and development resources that could come along with this purchase. This would promise to be an especially sharp thorn in Western Digital’s side (if true), since they don’t have the assets to compete with such colossal research budgets.

As you described, Tannin, the 2.5” market would become the most volatile, which for some reason, I see Microsoft spreading their grubby little tentacles in to. (Game console>next step>another step>notebook market?)

As for the SCSI market, I don’t see much changing either. However, I would like to know what type of drives that IBM presently installs, and will install, in their servers. Will this course change from IBM SCSI to Hitachi SCSI?

Back to my first question, did IBM lose anything? I think they just amputated a dying limb, one riddled with items sold as commonly as bubble gum; with components that are less profitable then spoiled milk. I’m sure there was a small upheaval within IBM; the casualties fewer then expected, with only the occasional blue suit stained.
 

Mercutio

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IBM's enterprise storage is agnostic. Sometimes their bigger equipment (disclaimer: I only work on PC Servers. Ask Fushigi about their i-Series hardware) will have Seagate or Fujitsu drives and sometimes IBM.
 

HellDiver

Learning Storage Performance
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AFAIK Hitachi isn't "buying" the unit, rather IBM and Hitachi are forming a joint venture with 30/70% (respectively) share. Which is rumored to cost Hitachi $1b. Can you call such a joint venture "buyout"? Dunno...
 

Fushigi

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Mercutio said:
IBM's enterprise storage is agnostic. Sometimes their bigger equipment (disclaimer: I only work on PC Servers. Ask Fushigi about their i-Series hardware) will have Seagate or Fujitsu drives and sometimes IBM.
iSeries machines are 99.99999% IBM SCSI drives. The remaining .00001% are Seagate as IBM had to use some non-IBM drives to replace bad IBM units while some firmware issues were hammered out.

Even one of the two 3rd party iSeries disk providers is simply reselling IBM disks bought form the OEM division (vs. the iSeries division). EMC is the other; I don't know whose disks they use.

BTW, I would imagine the pSeries & zSeries to be the same. Storage for midrange & larger servers is very profitable, often costing 4 to 6 times what identical Wintel storage costs. IBM and any other vendor will want to keep as much of that in the fold as possible.

- Fushigi
 
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