by Michael Rink

Western Digital Announces Ultrastar Memory Drive

Western Digital Corp (WDC) announced its foray into the in-memory computing market segment. It is allowing select customers to sample a new Ultrastar DC ME200 Memory Extension Drive. The Ultrastar is WD's first product designed to provide near DRAM performance from a PCIe device.

The Ultrastar memory drive is drop-in ready and PCIe-device compatible with most Intel x86 servers. Available in 1TiB, 2TiB, and 4TiB, the solution requires no modifications to the operating system, system hardware, firmware or application stacks. WD recommendations a 1U server utilize no more than 24TiB of system memory from Ultrastar DC ME200 drives for in-memory compute clusters. Supported server interfaces are NVMe U.2 and PCIe AIC (add-in-card) HH-HL.

Western Digital has released some test results comparing the Ultrastar's performance to 786GB of pure RAM operating at 1080k transactions per second. When mixed 3:1 (576GB from Ultrastar:192GB RAM) the Ultrastar still provides 91% of the performance (983k transactions). As the percentage of memory provided by the Ultrastar increases, the transactions per second slowly falls to 85% of pure RAM (918k transactions) at 7:1 (672GB from Ultrastar:96GB RAM). 

Currently, the Ultrastar supports the following operating systems:

  • Linux 64-bit OS
  • RHEL 6.5, 6.6, 6.7, 6.8, 6.9, 7.0, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4
  • SLES 11-SP4, 12, 12-SP1, 12-SP2
  • Fedora Core ver. 4 to 27;
  • Open SuSe ver. 10 to 11
  • Ubuntu Server ver. 16.04 to 17.10; 
  • Debian 9.5.0


The Ultrastar memory drive is currently available and sampling with select customers.

Western Digital Ultrastar

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