by Adam Armstrong

Western Digital Makes Several Data Center Storage Enhancements

At its Media and Analyst event in San Jose, California, Western Digital Corporation (WDC) made several additions to its data center solutions. These new solutions include the ActiveScale 5.3 object storage system, expansions to its IntelliFlash N Series family of all-flash arrays, and the new Ultrastar Serv60+8 hybrid storage server platform. All-in-all, these solutions address object storage, NVMe, high-performance storage, and SDS server and storage solutions to drive up performance while creating a better TCO.

Data needs are changing and they are changing from the data center to the edge. The changes are being driven by the increasing volume, velocity, and variety of data being generated. Companies feel the change and are struggling to contain and use this evolving data while keeping IT budgets the same. At the same time, innovation is begging to be brought around with new applications and technology such as IoT, ML, AI, and analytics. Seeing this need, Western Digital is expanding and enhancing its data center offerings.

On the object storage side of things, Western Digital is rolling out the latest version of its ActiveScale, version 5.3. ActiveScale 5.3 now supports up to 19 nines (99.99999999999999999%) of data durability or what the company calls “Data Forever” architecture, which allows users to store PBs of data over several generations in an economic fashion. ActiveScale can start at 864TB and scale up to 63PB in a single namespace. It is ideal for such use cases as data collaboration, digital repositories for media workflows, analytics, machine learning, IoT, and tape and legacy NAS consolidation in backup and archive workloads.

Enhancements include:

  • Unified Data Access
  • NFS target for ingest
  • Traditional file system format data management
  • Hybrid cloud replication with built-in bucket-level replication from an on-premises ActiveScale system to an Amazon AWS bucket
  • 20% percent higher storage density for new and existing scale-up or scale-out configurations
  • Docker container support for select customers

For high-performance, Western Digital is expanding its IntelliFlash (acquired with Tegile) N Series. The IntelliFlash N Series are NVMe flash arrays designed for real-time transactional applications, machine learning, artificial intelligence and deep analytics. The four new systems are powered by IntelliFlash OS 3.9 and can scale from 19TB to 1.3PB of NVMe storage. The new OS version offers a full suite of capabilities including multiple protocols, data reduction, data protection and automated data healing.

Finally, Western Digital has also updated its SDS offerings with the new Ultrastar Serv60+8 high-capacity, performance-optimized storage server. Representing a cornerstone in the company’s SDS strategy, the Ultrastar Serv60+8 is designed for SDS archive, backup, media streaming, content repositories, and remote office and private-cloud environments. The server features dual Intel Xeon scalable CPUs 60 bays for either HDDs, SSDs, or a combination of the two, along with a dedicated high-performance, eight-bay SSD section that can accept SAS, SATA or NVMe SSDs for added data acceleration. The Ultrastar Serv60+8 leverages new technology such as ArcticFlow and IsoVibe technologies, which help improve reliability, maintain predictable performance, and enhance energy efficiency.


ActiveScale 5.3 is available now. The newly expanded IntelliFlash N Series is expected to be available later this year. The Ultrastar Serv60+8 storage server platforms start at 144TB and are now available, in multiple configurations.

Western Digital Innovation

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