Q&A With Mark Song of Seagate: The Thinking Behind Seagate’s New Business Storage Windows Server 4-Bay NAS

Hi Folks -

In a recent blog article, I highlighted how Seagate Technology is now offering Windows Storage Server 2012 on its new Seagate Business Storage Windows Server 4-bay NAS. In this post, I’d like to share the perspective of Mark Song, Director of Product Line Management for Business Storage at Seagate Technology, who we recently interviewed about the company’s decision to add Windows Storage Server to its line of business storage solutions for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs):


What types of customers do you focus on, and what types of needs and/or opportunities do you see within that segment of the storage market?

We’re focused on network storage for professionals, small businesses, and medium-sized businesses. Within that customer base, we see three primary trends:

  • Continued growth in data volumes, along with the need to be able to cost-effectively store, protect, access, and share that valuable data.
  • The need to integrate more deeply with existing IT infrastructures, the cornerstone of which is based on Windows Server for the majority of our customer base.
  • A desire to easily and securely access data from not only PCs, but also from other devices such as tablets and smartphones—including both remotely and on-premises.
Why did you add an offering based on Windows Storage Server to your product portfolio?

Windows Storage Server enabled us to deliver native support for Active Directory—and thus integrate more seamlessly with Windows Server-based IT infrastructures that dominate the SMB space. Even with the prospect of Samba 4 in the future and domain controller-capable Linux boxes, Windows Storage Server offers the best integration with Active Directory, along with a unique combination of other enterprise-class features. By delivering native support for Active Directory, we’re enabling our customers to more easily add new storage, and to more easily secure, access, and manage that storage after it’s been deployed.

What makes this new Seagate solution special or different?

We’re one of the only Windows NAS providers that provides our own software add-on—namely, Seagate System Monitor. It provides a single point of access for all of the device’s features, including comprehensive hardware monitoring as well as contextual links to many Windows Storage Server management tools. Customers benefit from instantaneous monitoring, as well as faster and easier access to the set of storage management tools built into Windows Storage Server. Other areas where the Seagate Business Storage Windows Server 4-bay NAS differentiates itself from the competition include the use of Seagate NAS-optimized hard drives and 100GB of free EVault Offsite Cloud Backup. Finally, we’re one of the first to offer a built-in Universal Storage Module (USM) slot which, when combined with Windows Server Backup, provides a powerful yet simple means of data protection. We set out to make enterprise-class storage more affordable for a broader audience, and our new NAS based on Windows Storage Server 2012 is enabling us to do just that.

Which storage features in Windows Storage Server are you particularly excited about?

Windows Storage Server 2012 includes the latest network protocol implementations such as SMB3, NFSv4, and a built-in iSCSI Target. Together, these features enable us to support a broader range of storage needs and successfully compete with other NAS products in the market, many of which are significantly more expensive. We also see great value in other Windows Storage Server features such as BitLocker Drive Encryption, as a means of protecting sensitive business information, as well as the storage virtualization features provided by Storage Spaces. These are all examples of how Windows Storage Server is enabling us to bring enterprise-class storage features to the SMB space, at a price point they can afford.

How has the market reacted to your new offering, and what’s coming next?

The market is excited since this product unifies three big names—Intel, Microsoft, and Seagate—into a single offering. Everyone understands that this first product based on Windows Storage Server is only the beginning and can't wait to see what’s coming next. Looking forward, we’re working with partners to further enrich our products in areas such as remote access and private cloud, and are further strengthening our relationship with Microsoft in product development and technology enablement.

Well folks, it looks like Seagate is doing some great things with Windows Storage Server and I’m excited to start playing with these new NAS devices. Special thanks to Mark Song for this interview and happy holidays to everyone that reads this post!

Scott Johnson
Senior Program Manager
Windows Storage Server