Western Digital bulks up IntelliFlash family with more NVMe, high density options

Meanwhile, Western Digital's updated IntelliFlash software extends its data management feature set with transparent dataset migration and hybrid-cloud data mobility.
Written by Stephanie Condon, Senior Writer

Western Digital on Tuesday announced that it's expanding its IntelliFlash data center systems portfolio, with additions that make NVMe more accessible and offer higher density. Western Digital is also updating its IntelliFlash software with new data management features like live data migration and hybrid-cloud data mobility.

First, the company is expanding its IntelliFlash N-series of NVMe all-flash arrays. The new N5100 is less performant but more affordable than the N5200 and N5800, which Western Digital says should accelerate the rate of NVMe adoption for mainstream workloads. It offers up to 400,000 IOPS and latency as low as 200µsec. 

Meanwhile, Western Digital's IntelliFlash software update offers improvements to the existing N series hardware, delivering twice the IOPS, about 1.5x the throughput and a reduction in latency. This was accomplished by improving the data pathways, according to Erik Ottem, Western Digital's senior director of product marketing. 


"NVMe is famous for having multiple lanes to get things done, kind of like freeway lanes instead of a country road," he explained to ZDNet. "We designed the software to take fuller advantage of that multi-pathing, multi-tasking capability." 

Next, Western Digital is expanding the options in its IntelliFlash HD-series of high density all-flash arrays. The new HD2160 offers the most density in the series, with a maximum raw capacity of 2,576 TB in a 14-rack unit. That doubles the density offered by the HD series. 


Density is increasingly important as organizations collect more and more data, Ottem noted. "If a customer has a smallish data center and they're constrained on space, getting the most out of every floor tile is going to be important," he said. 

In addition to improving hardware performance, version 3.10 of the IntelliFlash OS offers new capabilities. With Live Dataset Migration, customers can move legacy IntelliFlash data pools to new IntelliFlash arrays, or they can support other on-premise or hybrid cloud migrations. No reconfiguration or application recoding is required. Storage pools can be migrated while they're in use without any disruption. 

Additionally, it offers an Amazon S3 cloud connector for seamless connectivity to AWS or to other S3-enabled platforms like Western Digital's ActiveScale object storage system. Customers can take frequent snapshots of their data and load them into AWS for data-recovery purposes. 

IntelliFlash OS 3.10 also includes simplified VMware deployments and management of VMware vSphere datastores, as well as robust IntelliCare predictive-analytics health monitoring service.

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