by Adam Armstrong

Western Digital Launches 2 New NVMe SSD Families At FMS

Today at FMS 2019, Western Digital Corp (WDC) announced two new NVMe SSD families that leverage the company’s 96-layer 3D flash, the Ultrastar DC SN640 and Ultrastar DC SN340. The new drives are built for mixed-use-case workloads or very read-intensive applications, respectively. Aside from the NAND, the new drive families also leverage the company’s in-house SSD controller designs, firmware development and vertical integration. 

Data center needs are evolving while the need for capacity is growing. NVMe has made some tremendous waves as far as changing the way data can be used, such as real-time analytics, M2M and IoT, and emerging technologies like composable infrastructure. Data centers can’t continue with general-purpose architecture as some applications needs just aren’t met. That is where the new Western Digital Ultrastar drive families come in with the promise of making data center architecture more efficient through purpose-built storage tiers. 

Ultrastar DC SN640 NVMe SSD

For the mixed-use-case workloads there is the Ultrastar DC SN640 NVMe SSD Family. This drive family is ideal for applications such as SQL Server, MySQL, virtual desktops, and other business-critical workloads using hyperconverged infrastructures (HCI) such as VMware vSAN and Microsoft Azure Stack HCI solutions. According to Western Digital, the new drive family delivers twice the performance in sequential writes versus its predecessor. The SN640 family comes with tunable endurance and several security options. The drive family comes in a range of form factors including:

  • EDSFF E1.L with up to 30.72TB, designed to provide speeds up to 720K random-read IOPS. This form factor is ideal for designing best petabyte/rack for new dense data-center designs.  
  • U.2 7mm with up to 7.68TB, a popular form factor for storage servers, virtualized environments, and containerized applications using denser, power-efficient blade systems.
  • M.2 22x110 with up to 3.84TB for constrained spaces and OCP-compliant hardware.

Ultrastar DC SN340

For the read-intensive use cases there is the Ultrastar DC SN340 Gen3 x4 PCIe SSD. This power efficient drive family is aimed at warm storage and applications that write in large block sizes such as CDN and video caching. Other applications that can take advantage of the drive and its large-block write characteristics are distributed NoSQL databases like Apache Cassandra and MongoDB. The Ultrastar DC SN340 comes in capacities of up to 7.68TB.


Both drive families are currently sampling or will be sampling this quarter with select customers.

Western Digital

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