by Adam Armstrong

WD Unveils New Storage Technologies At Its Investor Day

Today at Western Digital Corp.’s Investor Day 2016, WDC introduced several new storage technologies. WDC introduced a new NVMe-over-PCIe fabric advanced flash platform for cloud-scale data center infrastructures. Along with this WDC introduced new SSDs (including their highest capacity to date at just under 8TB and a new NVMe SSD) as well as the highest capacity HDD at 12TB.

Aimed at optimizing storage performance, efficiency, and cost in disaggregated cloud-scale data center infrastructures; the new platform can deliver 18 million IOPS in a 2U space. This would be the highest performance per rack space currently available. WDC hits this performance by using NVMe SSDs connected to multiple servers over a PCIe switched fabric. Using NVMe SSDs, the platform can deliver low latencies as well as its high performance.

Aside from delivering ultra high performance and low latency, the new platform provides independent provisioning of both capacity and performance. Provisioning capacity and performance independently is important in a disaggregated cloud data center architecture. The platform is designed for mission critical applications, it also provides high availability and serviceability. Ideal use-cases include: credit card fraud detection, video stream analysis, location-based services, advertising servers, automated systems, and solutions built on artificial intelligence, machine learning, or deep learning.

The new NVMe drive is the Ultrastar SN200 NVMe SSD Series replacing the SN150 Series. The drive comes in both 2.5” and HHHL form factors with capacities ranging from 800GB to 7.68TB. WDC points out that this is their fastest NVMe PCIe SSD as of yet with performance of sequential read of 100% and random read of 61% the performance of the SN150. Ideal use-cases include: ecommerce, search and social networks, and intensive analytics.

Also on the SSD front, WDC announced their highest capacity SAS SSD, the SS200. This enterprise, dual port SAS drive runs up to 7.68TB in capacity and comes in two endurance capacities (1 DWPD and 3 DWPD). The SS200 has quoted read performance of 1.8GB/s sequential and 250K IOPS random and 1GB/s sequential and 86K random write performance. The new drives also leverage WDC’s latest generation Guardian Technology platform. The platform includes a set of features that are designed to improve endurance and reliability, help safeguard against data loss, and further ensure excellent QoS.

Continuing to push the boundaries in HDD capacity, WDC is announcing a 12TB HDD, the He12. Like the drives before it, the He12 is a helium filled drive, allowing for thinner disks due to the lower density of the gas. The drive comes in one capacity point, 12TB, but it does come in either SAS or SATA interface. The He12 is unique in the fact that it contains 8 disks. The He12 uses PMR technology, however, using SMR technology WDC can bump the capacity up even further to a whopping 14TB.

Features & Specifications:

Ultrastar SN200 NVMe PCIe SSD Series

  • PCIe Gen 3 & NVMe 1.2 compatible
  • 70/30 mixed read/write random performance of up to 560,000 4KiB IOPS
  • Storage capacity up to 7.68TB in both 2.5-inch SFF and HH-HL AIC form factors
  • Flash-aware RAID, end- to-end data-path protection, advanced ECC, secure erase, PowerSafe power-loss protection

Ultrastar SS200 SAS SSD

  • Enterprise-grade 12Gb/s SAS SSD; backward compatible with 6Gb/s SAS
  • Available in capacities from 400GB to 7.68TB in 2.5-inch drive form factor
  • Read Performance: Up to 1,800MB/s sequential read and up to 250,000 4KiB IOPS in random reads
  • Write Performance: Up to 1,000MB/s sequential writes; endurance of 3 or 1 random drive writes per day for 5 years
  • Data Security: Instant Secure Erase (ISE) & Self-Encrypting Drive (SED) options including TCG Enterprise

Ultrastar He12 Helium HDD

  • HelioSeal: Western Digital’s fourth generation, based on exclusive HelioSeal technology, bringing the highest capacity HDD to market
  • World’s first 8 disk design, 12TB capacity, available with either 12Gb/s SAS or 6Gb/s SATA interface
  • Data Security: Instant Secure Erase, sanitize and safely redeploy HDDs using the Instant Secure Erase feature
  • SED Features: Help protect end user data with encryption (Self Encrypting Drive)
  • Reliability: MTBF rating at 2.5M hours with a 5-year limited warranty


The new NVMe-over-PCIe fabric advanced flash platform is expected to be available in the first half of 2017. The Ultrastar SN200 NVMe SSD Series and the Ultrastar SS200 SAS SSD are expeted to be generally available in the first quarter of the 2017. The Ultrastar He12 is expected to be generally available the first half of the 2017, and the 14TB SMR HDD is expected to be generally available in the middle of 2017.

WD main site

Discuss This Story

Sign up for the StorageReview newsletter

Related News and Reviews