Western Digital Offers New Cloud Solution for Scale-Out Data Center Deployments


Western Digital Offers New Cloud Solution for Scale-Out Data Center Deployments

By Erin Harrison

Digital storage company Western Digital may have cornered the cloud data center market with its new WD Se line of hard drives, which are designed for scale-out data center deployments. What makes its enterprise-grade platform unique is that its tailored to provide the necessary combination of performance, reliability and robustness for large-scale replicated environments, mid-sized network attached storage (NAS) deployment and backup/archiving applications.

WD Se is designed to address the massive growth of semi-structured data, which is accelerating the scale-out of data centers of all sizes, offering capacities up to four TB to allow customers to balance their data growth challenges, according to Richard Rutledge, senior vice president of WD’s Data Center Storage Business Unit.

Rutledge also touted WD’s real-world experience with Apache Hadoop, giving the Irvine, Calif.-based company an edge over competitors in the space.

“Today’s cloud data center installations require a cost-effective way to build large-scale storage systems, while maintaining the 24/7 reliability necessary to minimize total cost of ownership,” Rutledge explained in a statement. “WD’s utilization of vast amounts of manufacturing and engineering data has forced us – like many other companies – to use map-reduce methodologies to effectively analyze our data. The WD Se hard drives are used in our own big datacenter, where we have gained real-world experience with Apache Hadoop.”

In terms of pricing, WD’s Se hard drives, shipping in 2TB, 3TB to 4TB capacities, are available through distributors and resellers and range in cost from $159.99 to $309.99. The drives are also covered by a five-year limited warranty.

In addition to meeting the needs of cloud data centers, WD Se drives also address the SMB to mid-range network-attached storage (NAS) market. The workload capabilities for SMB-focused six-bay-plus table-top NAS units and rack-mount multi-tenant NAS solutions with up to 24 bays, provide NAS integrators a complement to WD Red hard drives, which are for small NAS systems.

In addition to undergoing at least 5,000,000 hours of functional and thermal testing and over 20,000,000 hours of additional testing under actual workloads in server and storage systems, WD’s Se hard drives feature the following:

  • A dual processor for twice the processing power to maximize performance
  • Enhanced Rotary Acceleration Feed Forward (RAFF) technology that includes sophisticated electronics to monitor the drive and correct both linear and rotational vibration in real-time 
  • Dual actuator technology improves head positional accuracy over the data track(s) 
  • StableTrac whereby the motor shaft is secured at both ends to reduce system-induced vibration and stabilize platters for accurate tracking during read and write operations delivering a consistent level of performance for applications 
  • Multi-axis shock sensor automatically detects the subtlest shock events and compensates to protect the data 
  • RAID-specific, time-limited error recovery (TLER) prevents drive fallout caused by the extended hard drive error-recovery processes common to desktop drives 
    Dynamic fly height technology where each read-write head’s fly height is adjusted in real time for optimum reliability

Earlier this year, WD added network backup software and appliances from Arkeia Software, a data protection company based in Carlsbad, Calif., which was acquired by WD. The acquisition was completed through a merger transaction, encompassing all of the employees, technology and products of Arkeia

Edited by Jamie Epstein

Executive Editor, Cloud Computing

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