Western Digital introduces open storage architecture for data centers

Can HGST ARM-based drives and open Ethernet make Western Digital the next data center darling?

At the Open Stack Summit next week HGST, a Western Digital company, will be demonstrating their implementation of an open Ethernet storage architecture designed, to allow datacenters to seamlessly deploy storage, processing, and memory resources as needed within their facility.

The open Ethernet approach is targeted at the same issues that Seagate is addressing with their Kinetic Open Storage Platform that ZDNet wrote about last October .

HGST believes that their approach is more flexible than Seagate’s due to its support for any Linux implementation with next week’s demo showing unmodified implementations of Red Hat Storage Server, Ceph, and OpenStack Object Storage running on the demo system.

Because the storage doesn't require unique development to a specific API HGST believes that it will make it preferable to the Seagate Kinetic model. The HGST drives will include an embedded ARM processor and memory, running a Linux variant, to allow the offloading of storage specific services. It has yet to be seen if fully making use of the on-board processing capabilities can be done without implementing a specific API for the new hardware.

At this early stage it is difficult to directly compare the HGST open Ethernet storage and the Seagate Kinetics platform.

Both require an investment in new hardware and while Seagate has outlined a detailed path for migrating to their architecture and outlined usage scenarios that best utilize the technology, HGST is at an earlier point in the development process.

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