Hyperscale HDDs

Building on significant technology innovations cultivated over decades, Western Digital is sampling its new industry-leading 22TB and 26TB UltraSMR HDDs to select hyperscale cloud customers, further expanding its areal density leadership and delivering customer value by driving TCO lower.

Western Digital’s HDD technology portfolio and areal density leadership puts it at the center of storage innovation. Leveraging its unique OptiNAND™ technology, energy-assisted PMR (ePMR), triple-stage actuator (TSA), HelioSeal® and now UltraSMR technologies, Western Digital is on a clear path to delivering 30+ TB with ePMR.



“As a longstanding partner of the industry’s leading cloud providers, we understand their unique requirements in building next-generation cloud infrastructure and invested in several HDD innovations we developed alongside our areal density technology,” said Ashley Gorakhpurwalla, EVP and GM, HDD Business Unit, Western Digital. “Our intent with taking this development strategy was not only to address the capacity demands of the world’s largest cloud titans but to deliver on a roadmap that would also support the evolving economics of their data centers for decades to come. With ePMR, OptiNAND and now UltraSMR as the foundation of Western Digital’s HDD roadmap, our cloud customers can continue rapidly scaling their business by taking advantage of our innovations to lower their storage TCO.”



OptiNAND, UltraSMR and ePMR Drive Cloud TCO Lower


The new ePMR drives leverage Western Digital’s OptiNAND technology to unlock unprecedented levels of capacity, performance and data resiliency. The 22TB CMR HDD incorporates OptiNAND to deliver areal-density leadership on a mature 2.2TB/platter HelioSeal platform with ten disks.



Combining OptiNAND with proprietary firmware that leverages HDD system-level hardware advancements, Western Digital’s new UltraSMR technology introduces large block encoding along with an advanced error correction algorithm that increases tracks-per-inch (TPI) to enable higher capacity. The result is Western Digital's new 26TB Ultrastar® DC HC670 UltraSMR HDD that delivers 2.6TB per platter, offering 18% more capacity for cloud customers optimizing their stacks to take advantage of the benefits of SMR. With cloud service providers increasingly adding SMR to their datacenter roadmaps, the 26TB capacity serves as a tipping point to accelerate adoption.



Uniquely capable with OptiNAND, the HDDs also include the ArmorCache™ write cache data safety feature, which gives customers the performance of write cache enable (WCE) combined with the data protection of write cache disable (WCD) for added data protection or resiliency in case of an emergency power off (EPO). For the first time in HDD history, this Write Cache Data Safety feature gives users both performance and data protection, no matter which mode is selected. OptiNAND gives the drives a significant performance increase also in WCD mode, which is greatest in random writes with larger block transfers. At common HDD application transfer lengths of 256KB or greater, IOPS and throughput improve by more than 40% relative to a non-OptiNAND drives, with a peak improvement of over 80% at 1MB transfer length. See the tech brief here for more details.



22TB CMR and 26TB UltraSMR HDD Availability:


The 22TB Ultrastar DC HC570 HDD and the new 26TB Ultrastar DC HC670 UltraSMR HDD are now sampling to select hyperscale customers. The DC HC570 HDD will begin volume shipments to the channel, and the UltraSMR HDD will begin shipping to select customers in the summer of 2022.

The Ultrastar Data60 and Data102 JBODs will feature the new 22TB CMR Ultrastar HDDs this summer, delivering the industry’s highest storage density in a fully optimized platform for added durability and data reliability for software-defined storage.

Extending OptiNAND innovations across its HDD portfolio, Western Digital will deliver 22TB WD Purple® Pro HDDs for smart video/surveillance, WD Red® Pro HDDs for NAS solutions, and WD Gold® HDDs for system integrators and resellers serving enterprises and SMBs. These drives will be available this summer.

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