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Western Digital Corporation has announced expansion of 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 centers having data set sizes smaller than 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.

 

According to the company, Western Digital leads 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 center systems still rely on moderate capacity points for RAID-based block-and-file systems.

 

“The power of Big Data is driving the need for higher capacities across a broad spectrum of applications,” said Brendan Collins, Vice-President – Marketing, Devices Business Unit, Western Digital. “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 centers a solution to keep Big Data on-premises, rather than transition entirely to the cloud.”

 

Distributed file systems such as Apache Hadoop often have workloads that require higher access density in order to maintain performance when running Big Data analytics jobs. The “sweet spot” capacities for these applications are 4TB, 6TB and 8TB. Western Digital’s new enterprise solutions are designed for this space, while providing 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 center architects.

 

Available immediately for qualification, the new Ultrastar 7K6, supporting 4TB and 6TB capacity points, utilizes a new 4-disk, enterprise-class, air-based design. The new products provide up to 12-per cent faster performance than the prior generation Ultrastar 7K6000 and are 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. Further information regarding the Ultrastar 7K6 and 7K8 is available on the website.

 

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.

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