Western Digital partners with Percona to optimize drives for MySQL

Western Digital unveiled a new storage portfolio for content creators and an embedded flash platform for mobile technologies, among other flash updates announced today.
Written by Stephanie Condon, Senior Writer

Western Digital on Wednesday announced it's partnering with Percona, which builds open source database software and services, to optimize its Zoned Namespaces (ZNS) drives for MySQL. The partnership underscores Western Digital's commitment to creating data center infrastructure products and its strategy of working with partners to bring its products to market. 

Specifically, the two companies have worked together to optimize the software stack of Western Digital's Ultrastar DC ZN540 NVMe ZNS SSDs for MySQL Server. MySQL users will be able to install the Percona Server for MySQL and get out-of-the-box support for Western Digital Zoned Namespaces SSDs. 

"Many of our customers are using MySQL as a database for their online data services and this new partnership with Percona will allow customers to unlock the full capabilities of our innovative ZNS flash solutions," Wim De Wispelaere, Western Digital's VP of strategic initiatives, said in a statement.

According to the storage company, a MySQL Server running on a ZN540 ZNS SSD with MyRocks can perform up to 3x more transactions per second compared to using a conventional SSD with InnoDB in write-heavy MySQL use cases. Meanwhile, the Ultrastar ZNS SSD delivers up to 25% higher density and can handle 3.5 drive writes a day.

The Percona Server for MySQL with Western Digital ZNS SSDs will be available in the second half of this year.

Western Digital announced a series of other flash updates on Wednesday, including a new storage portfolio for content creators. The new SanDisk Professional brand of storage products includes a new professional-grade, storage card for videographers and cinematographers, four new card readers, a new 4-bay reader docking station and a range of new high-capacity drives.


The portfolio is designed for a range of content, from audio and video to digital media. It's also meant to pull together the technology necessary for the different steps of the content creation workflow, from acquisition and storage through manipulation and distribution. 

Specifically, the portfolio includes: 

  • PRO-CINEMA CFexpress VPG400: A new professional-grade, rugged CFexpress card for videographers and cinematographers recording video at a minimum of 400MB/s. The new card is expected to be available this summer.

  • PRO-READER series: Four new PRO-READER devices that feature a USB-CTM interface that supports SuperSpeed USB 10Gbs. Designed to work with the latest and most common camera media including CFastTM, CFexpress, RED Mini-Mag, CF, microSDTM and SDTM cards. The series of PRO-READERS are expected to be available this summer.

  • PRO-DOCK 4: A new 4-bay reader docking station that can bridge capture and ingest with a scalable offloading solution. The PRO-DOCK 4, expected to be available later this summer, enables up to four simultaneous card offloads.

  • A range of new drives: A 4TB G-DRIVE ArmorLock Encrypted NVMe SSD, desktop devices featuring enterprise-grade Ultrastar drives, and G-RAID and G-RAID SHUTTLE transportable, enterprise-grade RAID solutions (now featuring both Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C support). The new drives are expected to begin rolling out by early June.

Western Digital on Wednesday also rolled out a new embedded flash platform for mobile technologies. The embedded flash platform for Universal Flash Storage (UFS) 3.1 is designed for a range of mobile applications, including automotive, IoT, AR/VR and drones. 

Based on the JEDEC-compliant UFS 3.1 specification, the platform is designed to be versatile, fast and reliable. Western Digital will use the platform's vertical integration capabilities to design purpose-built solutions for different markets. 

Compared to the previous generation, the new platform is expected to deliver up to 90% improvement in sequential write performance, Western Digital said. The company expects to deliver products to market in the second half of this year. 

Lastly, Western Digital on Wednesday unveiled three new SSDs for its WD_BLACK portfolio of products for gamers.

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