Seagate Ships One Millionth Self-Encrypting Hard Drive

Seagate Expands Lineup of SEDs, Expects Quick Increase of Demand

by Anton Shilov
02/14/2011 | 08:24 PM

Seagate Technologies, the company that ships most enterprise-class hard disk drives (SEDs), on Monday said that shipments of its self-encrypting drives (SEDs) have exceeded one millions of units. The company intends to greatly expand its lineup of SEDs as it believed that the demand for such drives will grow fast.


Seagate shipped its first self-encrypting drive back in 2005 and for several years was the only supplier of SEDs in the world. SEDs keep all security keys and cryptographic operations within the drive, separating them from the operating system to provide greater protection against hacking and tampering than traditional software alternatives, which can give thieves backdoor access to encryption keys and are otherwise more vulnerable to key theft. As a consequence, despite of the fact that encryption brings loads of benefits for many users who require security, those drives were not installed by many computer makers because they wanted them to come from several manufacturers. Besides, governmental organizations wanted SEDs to pass certain tests before adopting them. All in all, it took Seagate more than five years to ship over a million of drives. But from this point, the company believes, that the popularity of SEDs will grow faster than before.

Six original equipment manufacturers – Dell, Fujitsu, Hitachi, IBM, LSI and Network Appliance – now offer products powered by Seagate enterprise self-encrypting drives (SEDs). Dell, Lenovo and Panasonic are shipping or qualifying standard-sized or thin laptops with Seagate Momentus and Momentus Thin SEDs as optional features. Seagate now ships 24 products in a family of enterprise drives that includes Savvio, Cheetah, Constellation ES and Constellation SEDs.

Seagate’s family of Savvio, Cheetah, Constellation and Momentus SEDs have secured FIPS 140-2 certification from the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). This key government certification clears the way for deployments of Seagate self-encrypting drives by all U.S. and Canadian federal agencies, many state and local governments, and regulated industries such as healthcare, finance and defense required to use FIPS-certified gear to help protect sensitive data on PCs and computer networks and in data centers. The Seagate laptop and enterprise hard drives are the first with native encryption to earn the FIPS certification.

According to Seagate, Momentus SED shipments have doubled in each of the past three years and naturally last year the demand for them accelerated. Seagate believes that as data leaks and security breaches because of HDD-related purposes get more common, organizations will start to buy more self-encrypting drives. At present Seagate is considering solid-state drives with self-encrypting feature, but the company is tight lipped about any concrete plans in that direction.

“Companies and government organizations worldwide increasingly are securing confidential information on self-encrypting hard drives, recognizing that this commonsense yet powerful approach simplifies the deployment of security for data at rest. As storage and security continue to converge, solutions like Seagate’s self-encrypting hard drives are leading the way by providing organizations with the strong, easy-to-use security they need to protect their data assets," said Charles Kolodgy, research director of security products for analyst group IDC.