2018 Press Releases

January 19, 2018

Western Digital Expands Mid-Range High-Density Hard Drive Offerings For On-Premises Big Data Environments

Western Digital Corporation is expanding its portfolio for enterprise customers with a new, mid-range series of 4 terabyte (TB), 6TB and 8TB air-based hard drives. The new products enable corporate data centres having data set sizes smaller than those found in hyperscale environments to harness the power of data across a broad spectrum of Big Data applications such as analytics and distributed file systems.

Western Digital is currently leading the high-capacity enterprise hard drive market for hyperscale and cloud environments with its 10TB, 12TB and 14TB drives, where the company’s HelioSeal helium-sealing technology is required for the highest capacities and densities to deliver the lowest (or best) TCO. However, many applications have small data sets or benefit from optimal performance from implementation of a cluster of lower capacity, air-based hard drives. Many traditional data centre systems still rely on moderate capacity points for RAID-based block-and-file systems.

Brendan Collins, Vice President of Marketing, Devices Business Unit, Western Digital, said, “The power of Big Data is driving the need for higher capacities across a broad spectrum of applications. Today, mid-range applications are preparing to move from 1TB and 2TB configurations to higher capacities. Our new enterprise solutions blend the technology and TCO leadership of Western Digital’s capacity enterprise product line with a high-density, air-based hard drive design, allowing OEMs to offer data centres a solution to keep Big Data on-premises, rather than transition entirely to the cloud.”

Often, distributed file systems such as Apache Hadoop have workloads that require higher access density in order to maintain performance when running tasks involving Big Data analytics. The “sweet spot” capacities for these applications are 4TB, 6TB and 8TB. The new solutions unveiled by Western Digital are designed for this space. They’re designed to provide enterprise-level performance and specifications for storage OEM partners to serve end customers with a range of capacity and price points, while maintaining the enterprise integrity demanded by today’s data centre architects.

Available immediately for qualification, the new Ultrastar 7K6, supporting 4TB and 6TB capacity points, utilises a new 4-disk, enterprise class, air-based design. The new products provide up to 12 percent faster performance than the prior generation Ultrastar 7K6000 and is designed for traditional storage and server applications as well as distributed and scalable computing, including block-and-file storage architecture. Later this quarter, the company will deliver an Ultrastar 7K8 8TB solution, which is based on an air-based design and is the ninth generation of the company’s 5-disk platform.

The 4TB, 6TB and 8TB offerings will be ready for volume ramp during the second calendar quarter of 2018. Western Digital's media cache and flash-based non-volatile cache (NVC) are implemented to improve write performance. These new enterprise drives will be available in either SAS or SATA interfaces and provide an enterprise-class MTBF rating of 2M hours.