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Western Digital adds top tech to data centre solutions

14 Jul 2020

Western Digital is extending its HDD technology and capacity capabilities into its broader portfolio of data centre solutions.

The WD Gold family now features new 16TB and 18TB CMR HDD capacities. Also available are an upgraded line of Ultrastar JBOD platforms and an Ultrastar hybrid storage server featuring Ultrastar 16TB and 18TB CMR HDDs. 

“Western Digital’s expanded family of data centre HDD solutions addresses a variety of customer needs, which puts them in a unique early position to capitalise on cloud and OEM customer transitions to 18TB, and even to 20TB for those optimising the benefits of SMR,” says TRENDFOCUS vice president John Chen. 

“Capacity-enterprise HDDs will continue to dominate the nearline and secondary storage market as there is simply no other cost-effective substitute for data at scale. As a result, we expect nearline disk drive exabytes shipments to grow at a 32.5% CAGR, reaching 1.9 zettabytes by 2024.”  

Announced in September 2019 and currently shipping, the 20TB Ultrastar DC HC650 host-managed SMR HDDs and 16TB and 18TB Ultrastar DC HC550 CMR HDDs are the industry’s first commercial implementation of EAMR technology. 

Together with HelioSeal for power efficiency and mechanical innovations such as the TSA to enhance head-positioning accuracy and deliver greater capacity capabilities, these drives deliver leading areal density. 

These nine-disk drives also enable customers to more efficiently provision and scale their data centre environments with unmatched TCO value.

Following the recent availability of WD Gold NVMe SSDs, Western Digital has again expanded its WD Gold family of drives for channel customers to include 16TB and 18TB CMR HDD models. 

Available now and featuring a five-year limited warranty, the new WD Gold CMR HDDs are specifically designed for use in enterprise-class server and storage systems and are purpose-built for heavy workloads and a broad array of big data applications.

With up to 2.5M hours MTBF, WD Gold HDDs deliver enhanced levels of dependability and durability, as well as vibration protection technology for improved, consistent performance. 

WD Gold HDDs are designed to handle workloads up to 550TB per year, which is among the highest of any 3.5-inch hard drive. The new WD Gold drives also feature Western Digital’s HelioSeal technology that enables high capacities with a low power draw.

Also announced are Western Digital’s Ultrastar Data60 and Data102 JBODs, and Serv60+8 storage server that have been upgraded to leverage the company’s enterprise-class 16TB and 18TB Ultrastar DC HC550 CMR HDDs. 

With up to 1.836PB in a 4U, these new platforms are available now and come with a five-year limited warranty. Ultrastar platforms with upgrades to Ultrastar DC HC650 20TB SMR HDDs are expected to follow next quarter.

The Ultrastar Data60 and Data102 are key elements of next-generation disaggregated storage and SDS infrastructure.

The Ultrastar Serv60+8 is a high-capacity hybrid storage server with compute included. 

These Ultrastar platforms address the demanding needs of large enterprise customers, OEMs, cloud service providers, and integrators that require dense, shared HDD or hybrid storage. 

The Data60 and Data102 provide the flexibility to specify the HDD and SSD combinations with up to 24 drive slots configured with SSDs, while the Serv60+8 offers a choice of CPUs, memory and drives. All of this enables organisations to balance capacity, performance and cost.

Western Digital has implemented two design innovations across these platforms for added data reliability. 

IsoVibe vibration isolation technology helps ensure consistent performance is maintained even under heavy workloads. Additionally, ArcticFlow thermal zone cooling technology enables drives to operate at lower and more consistent temperatures than conventional systems, resulting in lower fan speeds, reduced vibration, lower power consumption, quieter operation and ultimately higher reliability. 

The combination of IsoVibe and ArcticFlow has been demonstrated to reduce field drive returns by 62% compared to Western Digital’s previous-generation platforms.