Western Digital Begins Volume Shipments of 24TB CMR HDDs; Industry Adoption of SMR Strengthens as 28TB SMR HDD Ramps
Company Executes Next Phase of its HDD Technology Roadmap, Giving Hyperscale, Cloud and Enterprise Customers Unmatched Solutions to Help Reach Sustainability Goals and Lower TCO
Ain Alalam – Rashad Iskandrni
November 20, 2023 – As new applications, use cases and connected devices multiply, Western Digital’s (NASDAQ: WDC) enterprise-class hard disk drives (HDDs) remain critical for helping data center customers design more cost-efficient, scalable and sustainable infrastructure. When combined with the emergence of generative AI and the multitude of innovative applications it is enabling, the demand for high-capacity, low-power and reliable storage is poised to surge.
Western Digital leverages numerous technology innovations – ePMR, OptiNAND™, UltraSMR and more – to deliver predictable capacity growth in scalable, highly reliable products. Western Digital is now shipping its new 10-disk 24TB1 CMR HDD family for hyperscale, cloud and enterprise data center customers. Sampling since August, the new 28TB SMR HDD is also ramping, adding to the company’s SMR leadership position and momentum as its 26TB SMR HDD exabyte shipments reached nearly half of its data center exabytes shipped in the first quarter fiscal year 2024.
“With these new offerings, Western Digital is once again proving that hard drives are not just keeping pace, they are forging a path forward, ensuring that data-intensive applications of today and tomorrow have a strong foundation to build on,” said Ed Burns, Research Director, Hard Disk Drive and Storage Technologies with IDC. “We are seeing strong momentum for Western Digital’s SMR HDDs and believe that SMR adoption will continue to grow as their new 28TB SMR HDD offers the next compelling TCO value proposition that cloud customers cannot ignore.”
This new generation of drives is built on a proven platform with technology innovations specifically designed for data center customers who are consistently looking for the highest capacity storage to help them achieve the lowest possible total cost of ownership (TCO). These high-capacity HDDs are also a significant step forward in meeting the company’s sustainability targets and toward helping data center customers meet theirs. Specifically, these 28TB and 24TB HDDs are built with 40% (by weight) recycled content, and are 10%+² more energy efficient per terabyte, contributing to customers’ data center infrastructure power efficiency goals at scale.
“New and existing endpoints from industries, connected devices, digital platforms, AI innovations, autonomous machines and more create a staggering amount of data each day. This relentless creation of data ultimately finds its way to the cloud, which is underpinned by our continued advancements in HDDs,” said Ashley Gorakhpurwalla, EVP and GM, HDD Business Unit, Western Digital. “As a strategic partner to cloud and data center customers around the world, we are extending the value of our proven HDD platform and technology innovations to deliver the highest capacity HDD storage and TCO value that our customers demand.”
28TB Ultrastar® DC HC680 SMR HDD
Western Digital is driving the next big shift in cloud data center with SMR HDDs. At 28TB, the new Ultrastar DC HC680 SMR HDD provides the utmost in storage density for hyperscale, cloud and enterprise customers. Designed for sequential write workloads where storage density, watt/TB and $/TB are critical parameters, it targets environments such as bulk storage, online backup and archive, video surveillance, cloud storage, storage for regulatory compliance, big data storage, and other applications where data may be infrequently accessed. For the growing list of customers who have optimized their stacks to take advantage of the benefits of SMR, these drives enable continued time-to-market advantage of integrating the highest capacity HDDs on the market and scaling their product offerings in a lower-power footprint.
24TB Ultrastar DC HC580 CMR HDD
Continuing to deliver innovation at scale, the Ultrastar DC HC580 24TB CMR HDD with improved OptiNAND technology is the next leap in data density, allowing data center customers to maximize their storage within the same footprint, and in power-constrained environments. For better storage density, the HC580 can enable up to 612TB1 of raw storage per rack unit in a 4U 102-drive bay solution. These drives are also more power efficient, providing 12% less Watt/TB2 compared to the company’s previous 22TB version.
The Ultrastar DC HC680 and HC580 HDDs are currently being qualified by select hyperscalers, CSPs and OEM customers, and are now available for large enterprise customers looking for the highest capacity with lower power per terabyte for designing more efficient storage systems and data centers.
Ultrastar DC HC680 and HC580 SAS HDD versions will be available in CYQ1’24 (FYQ3’24).
Ultrastar Data60 and Data102 Hybrid Storage Platforms
The new Ultrastar drives are also being qualified and integrated into the company’s Ultrastar Data60 and Data102 JBOD hybrid storage platforms, which are key building blocks for designing next-generation disaggregated storage and software-defined storage (SDS) infrastructure. Each storage platform comes with unique IsoVibe™ and ArcticFlow™ technologies for improved performance and reliability. Ultrastar Data60 and Data102 platforms with the new HDDs will be available beginning next month.
WD Gold® 24TB1 CMR HDDs
Western Digital is also now shipping its 24TB WD Gold CMR SATA HDD into the channel. These drives are specifically designed for system integrators and resellers serving enterprises and SMBs who need more reliable storage for big data and enterprise storage workloads compared to traditional client HDDs. Leveraging innovations from the Ultrastar technology platform, the WD Gold 24TB HDD provides up to 2.5M hours MTBF (projected3), features vibration protection technology, is designed to handle workloads up to 550TB per year 4 and comes with a 5-year limited warranty.