Western Digital Extends Capacity-Enterprise HDD Technology Leadership into Broad Family of Data Center Solutions Enabling Unmatched TCO


…Company Announces Worldwide Availability of 16TB and 18TB Capacities for Ultrastar® HDDs, WD Gold™ HDDs and Ultrastar Storage Platforms, Serving a Diverse Set of Workloads from Big Data and Enterprise/SMB Storage to SDS and Hyperscale Deployments
News Highlights:

Western Digital’s market-leading HDD innovations – including the first commercial implementation of energy-assisted magnetic recording (EAMR) technology, the industry’s first triple-stage actuator (TSA), and the sixth generation product with HelioSeal® technology – extend across its enhanced data center portfolio to deliver the highest areal density and unmatched total cost of ownership (TCO) value for a variety of customer and market needs.

New WD Gold 16TB and 18TB HDDs are now available in the channel for system integrators and resellers serving enterprises and SMBs who need more reliable storage for big data and enterprise storage workloads compared to traditional desktop-class HDDs.
Shipping since March to select hyperscale and enterprise OEM customers, including Datto, DDN and Dropbox, the new 16TB and 18TB Ultrastar DC HC550 CMR HDDs are now available for cloud, large enterprise customers and other data center architects looking for the highest capacity with low power for designing more efficient infrastructures.

The 20TB Ultrastar DC HC650 host-managed SMR HDDs continue to ship for qualification.
The Ultrastar Data60 and Data102 JBODs and the Serv60+8 storage server now feature 16TB and 18TB Ultrastar CMR HDDs, delivering the industry’s highest storage density in a fully optimized platform for added durability and data reliability for software-defined storage (SDS) environments. Ultrastar platforms with 20TB SMR HDDs are expected to be available next quarter.

July 8, 2020 – Continuously innovating to help organizations keep pace with rapidly expanding volumes of data, Western Digital (NASDAQ: WDC) today announced that it is extending its HDD technology and capacity leadership into its broader portfolio of data center solutions. Leveraging innovations from the Ultrastar 18TB and 20TB HDD technology platform, 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. Through Western Digital’s vertical integration capabilities and broad portfolio, the company continues to be uniquely positioned to help customers meet data demands as they design their storage infrastructures for better efficiency and productivity.

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

Western Digital HDD Technology Innovation with 18TB and 20TB Ultrastar HDDs
Western Digital continues to innovate on multiple technical vectors such as energy assist, mechanical design, materials and recording technologies. 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 Western Digital’s HelioSeal design for outstanding power efficiency, and mechanical innovations such as the industry’s first 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 center environments with unmatched TCO value.

“We are excited to test Western Digital’s latest 18TB Ultrastar HDD reliability and capacity innovations and look forward to identifying technologies that deliver powerful value to our customers,” said Joe Carvalho, vice president, Infrastructure Engineering at Datto, the leading global provider of cloud-based software and technology solutions delivered through managed service providers (MSPs).    

Extending the WD Gold Family with New 16TB and 18TB Enterprise-Class Hard Drives
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.

Ultrastar Platforms and Storage Server Now Available with 16TB and 18TB Ultrastar CMR HDDs
Also announced today 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 organizations to balance capacity, performance and cost.

Leveraging its knowledge of drive characteristics and systems, Western Digital has implemented two design innovations across these platforms for added data reliability. Western Digital’s patented IsoVibe™ vibration isolation technology helps ensure consistent performance is maintained even under heavy workloads. Additionally, Western Digital’s innovative 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 percent compared to Western Digital’s previous generation platforms.1

“With these two features—IsoVibe and ArcticFlow—Western Digital has managed to incorporate its extensive knowledge of drives into these platforms to help them function optimally in the field.

Any modern IT organization must take these innovations into account during any storage hardware evaluation. Something as seemingly behind-the-scenes as a drive platform could help organizations reduce the hidden costs of storage,” said Scott Sinclair, senior analyst at ESG.

“Cloud service providers and systems integrators today have one thing in common: they all require a multi-tiered storage strategy, leveraging multiple technologies to manage the explosion of valuable data and breadth of workloads.

Unlike any other vendor in the space, Western Digital develops, manufacturers and markets NAND, SSDs, HDDs and platforms,” said Yusuf Jamal, senior vice president of Western Digital’s Devices and Platforms Business. “The depth and breadth of our data center portfolio enable us to deliver the right innovations at the right time to help all of our data center customers—from hyperscale cloud customers to enterprises and SMBs—solve their most important data infrastructure challenges.”

Western Digital continuously innovates, pushing the boundaries of science and technology to deliver products that enable greater data infrastructure efficiency and productivity with best-in-class TCO. Its broad data center portfolio includes its family of Ultrastar HDDs and SSDs; WD Gold HDDs and SSDs; OpenFlex™ NVMe-oF™ open composable infrastructure; Ultrastar storage platforms; RapidFlex™ NVMe-oF controllers; and the Ultrastar memory extension drive. Western Digital is also championing Zoned Storage, an open-source, standards-based initiative building upon the synergies of SMR HDDs and ZNS SSDs that enables data centers to scale efficiently.