by Adam Armstrong

Western Digital Introduces OpenFlex Architecture

Today at Flash Memory Summit (FMS) in Santa Clara, Western Digital Corp. (WDC) announced its new comprehensive set of open standards, architecture and products under the OpenFlex banner. These new products and architecture are touted to address the ever-increasing demands of high-scale private and public cloud data centers. Aside from OpenFlex, WD is also announcing an API, Kingfish, and product specifications for the open community.

As Big Data continues grow, it is not only giving companies insights, but it is helping to development new technologies and applications to harvest these insights. Western Digital’s OpenFlex is built off of NVMf technology and creates independently scalable pools of flash and disk that can be connected to computing resources via common networking technologies, such as Ethernet. The Kingfish API then allows for these pools to be presented as software composable infrastructure that can be quickly and easily orchestrated into logical application servers. Comparing OpenFlex to traditional HCI customer can see lower TCO and lower initial investment.

Western Digital is showing its commitment to the open community through its Kingfish API. Its open nature makes it, as well as OpenFlex, vendor neutral and plug compatible. OpenFlex leaverages technology from Apache Hadoop, Apache Spark, Apache Kafka, Apache Cassandra, Apache Mesos, Broadcom, Ceph, DriveScale, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Inspur, Kaminario, Kubernetes, Marvell Technology Group, Mellanox Technologies, Microsoft SQL Server, Percona, and Super Micro Computer. OpenFlex will be offered in a variety of perfromance levels and capacities. 

Products include:

  • OpenFlex F3000 Series Fabric Device: For performance intensive Fast Data applications. Available in capacities up to 61TB4, it delivers low-latency NVMe flash performance over two 50Gb Ethernet ports.
  • OpenFlex  E3000 Series Fabric Enclosure: A 3U enclosure that houses up to ten hot swappable F3000 fabric devices.
  • OpenFlex D3000 Series Fabric Device: For capacity intensive Big Data applications. The 1U device offers up to 168TB of hard disk capacity over two 25Gb Ethernet ports.


The new Western Digital OpenFlex F3000 fabric device and OpenFlex E3000 enclosure is expected to be available in the fourth quarter of calendar 2018. The OpenFlex D3000 fabric device will be available in 2019.

Western Digital OpenFlex

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