Western Digital expands data center portfolio with NVMe products

The new NVMe SSD and the NVMe-oF Storage Platform are designed for applications that require low latency, high IOPS and high bandwidth.
Written by Stephanie Condon, Senior Writer

Western Digital on Wednesday expanded its data center portfolio with new NVMe products designed for enterprises moving away from legacy storage solutions. The new products include the Ultrastar DC SN840 NVMe SSD, designed for high-performance servers. It also includes the new OpenFlex Data24 NVMe-oF Storage Platform, which extends the new SSDs across a low-latency Ethernet fabric network.  

The explosion of enterprise data being generated, and the higher demands of high-performance applications, has driven the adoption of higher-efficiency NVMe SSDs over legacy SATA and SAS interfaces. Among cloud hyperscalers, NVMe adoption is already around 90 percent, Western Digital says. However, OEMs and end-user IT organizations are still largely using SATA and SAS interfaces. To drive the next wave of NVMe growth, Western Digital says it's aiming to deliver performance as well as a bevy of enterprise-class features. 

The new dual-port Ultrastar DC SN840 NVMe SSDs deliver performance of up to 780K on random reads IOPS and 250K on random write IOPS. It delivers just above 3 GB of throughput on sequential reads and sequential writes on certain workloads. Capacity goes as high as 15.36 TB. 

Its features include 1 and 3 DW/D endurance levels, full power-loss protection, TCG encryption, SGL and Atomic Writes. 

It's well-suited for applications that need superior read/write and mixed workload performance, low latency and dual-port high availability, which could include high-performance computing (HPC), cloud computing, SQL/NoSQL databases, virtualization (VMs/containers), AI/ML and data analytics.

Meanwhile, the new OpenFlex Data24 NVMe-oF Storage Platform is a shared storage enclosure that combines the SN840 NVMe SSDs and Western Digital's RapidFlex NVMe-oF controllers. The platform enables the full bandwidth of Ultrastar NVMe SSDs to be shared by multiple hosts across a low-latency Ethernet fabric -- this addresses the problem of under-utilized storage resources and inefficient data siloes. 

It's launching with up to 24 hot-swappable SN840 NVMe SSDs, providing shared storage capacity of up to 368 TB in a compact 2U form factor.

The design also includes RapidFlex RDMA-enabled NVMe-oF controllers for network connectivity and low power. The RapidFlex brand of controllers come out of Western Digital's 2019 acquisition of Kazan Networks

Up to six hosts can be directly attached with 100 Gb Ethernet without the need for an external switch. The RapidFlex controllers provide sub-500 nanosecond latency for projected platform performance topping 13 M IOPS/70 GB/s when adding up to six network adapters to the OpenFlex Data24.

Shipments of the SN840 NVMe SSD will begin next month, while the OpenFlex Data24 NVMe-oF Platform is scheduled to ship in the fall.

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