Sunday, 20th October 2019
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Western Digital promises HDD leading densities

Western Digital is combining a new nine-disk platform and energy-assisted recording to deliver the world’s highest capacity drives to OEM and hyperscale data center customers.

Addressing the TCO requirements of data center customers, Western Digital has introduced its nine-disk mechanical platform, which includes energy-assisted recording technology and maintains the company’s areal density leadership while delivering the highest capacity available. The company will sample the 18TB Ultrastar DC HC550 CMR HDD and the 20TB Ultrastar DC HC650 SMR HDD to select customers by the end of 2019 with production ramp expected in the first half of 2020.

This rapid ramp and availability of the 20TB SMR drive following a technology preview in June 2019, supports a growing ecosystem and the continued industry adoption of SMR. Western Digital estimates that 50 percent of its HDD exabytes shipped will be on SMR by 2023.

“At Dropbox, we are constantly looking for ways to improve efficiency and power in our data centers,” said Akhil Gupta, vice president of engineering at Dropbox. “We’re excited to see SMR drives reach a 20TB capacity point, which will enable us to power collaboration and deliver long-term value to our customers.”

Western Digital will offer a unique and full portfolio of Capacity Enterprise HDDs, with cost-optimized configurations for every important capacity point: six-disk 10TB Ultrastar DC HC330 air-based HDD; eight-disk 14TB Ultrastar DC HC530 helium-based HDD; nine-disk 18TB Ultrastar DC HC550 helium-based HDD; and a nine-disk 20TB Ultrastar DC HC650 helium-based HDD. The company’s strong execution has resulted in a rapid ramp and majority share at its capacity point for the Ultrastar DC HC530 HDD3, the industry’s only available eight-disk 14TB CMR drive. According to TRENDFOCUS, 14TB will continue to be the industry’s dominant capacity point through the first half of 2020.1

“Western Digital continues to innovate to deliver efficient, purpose-built storage with excellent TCO with the optimal combination of industry-leading areal density, mechanical innovations and materials advancements,” said Christopher Bergey, senior vice president and general manager of Data Center Devices, Western Digital. “Leveraging our success in bringing energy-assisted recording to market with our expertise in mechanical design, we can deliver this scalable HDD platform with significant capacity increases to our customers, particularly in the transition from 14TB to 18TB.”

John Chen, vice president at TRENDFOCUS, said, “As data continues to pour into the data center, there is an appetite for meaningful capacity increases that ultimately achieve better TCO. Western Digital has chosen capacity points of 10TB/14TB/18TB built around six-, eight- and nine-disk platforms to provide sufficient segmentation for the increasingly complex workloads driving the next wave of hyperscale growth.”

Rick Kutcipal, product line manager, Data Center Solutions Group at Broadcom, said, “We continue to collaborate with Western Digital to deliver host-managed SMR and traditional CMR HDD high-capacity solutions across a broad ecosystem. Broadcom is a leading supplier of enterprise storage infrastructure. Our goal is to enable customers to create optimal infrastructure designs that reduce risk while lowering total system cost. By continuing to deliver the highest capacities, Western Digital and Broadcom will enable customers to reap both time-to-market and TCO benefits for generations to come."

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