23 September 2014

Western Digital's Cold-DATA-storage HDDs

Western Digital (WD) unveiled its innovative WD Ae designed to emerge archive tier within web-scale data centers.
This hard drive had the lowest power consumption and featured Progressive Capacity Model enabling for a new level of storage cloud infrastructures.

According to Matt Rutledge, Senior VP and General Manager, Storage Technology WD, he said that current customers specifically need an HDD expanding cold-data repositories.
“Now in our third generation with over 700 petabytes deployed, WD is bringing the WD Ae drive to the broader market, representing another vital component of WD’s capacity storage portfolio, which delivers features and product attributes optimized for the rapidly evolving storage market.”
Reliable, long-term data management for massive-scale data storage is becoming ever more critical. The conventional tools and technologies for cost-effective storage are not practical in massive-scale data centers, so entirely new approaches to storage architectures and associated component technology are emerging.
WD AE Datacenter Archive HDD 6TB

Progressive-Capacity, Energy-Efficient WD Ae Drives Enable Archive Tier of Storage Optimized for Web-scale, Cold-data Infrastructures

According to John Rydning, IDC’s vice president for hard disk drive research:
“Cloud service providers have rapidly growing volumes of generally inactive data to store and manage, while at the same providing customers with access to the data at almost any time. WD’s new WD Ae line of HDDs is aimed directly at these storage use cases, and is helping to define a new, active archive enterprise storage sub-segment, thus opening new HDD storage opportunities for the HDD industry.”

WD has led the cold/archive market with multiple generations of file storage, actively evolving a product formula to deliver the optimal combination of cost-effectiveness, power efficiency, storage density, and application intensity. 

WD Ae drives are purpose-built archive HDDs with extreme areal density on a high volume mechanical platform that offers increased power efficiency and a Progressive Capacity model.

Part of the unique attributes of the WD Ae hard drive family includes: a dense five-platter platform, which renders an optimal mix of power, performance, capacity and cost; capacities greater than 6 TB; SATA 6 Gb/s interface; and a workload and reliability rating of 60 TB/yr workload and 500 Khrs Mean Time Before Failure (MTBF).

WD Ae Progressive Capacity

As technology and manufacturing processes mature over time, incremental capacity increases are realized. WD’s innovative Progressive Capacity model allows distribution of these incrementally higher capacity models to take advantage of their fullest available capacity: 6.1 TB, 6.2 TB, or 6.3 TB, for instance. These more granular size increments result in far greater role attainment through the life of a product platform. 

At the massive scale of modern applications, the availability of incremental capacity each quarter renders exceptional value to data centers who can realize improvements in capacity-per-drive, capacity-per-volumetric space and reduced infrastructure overhead.

Hot vs. Cold Data Storage - the Data Storage Temperature Continuum

While approximately 20-30 percent of data on most networks is active, commonly referred to as “hot,” the majority of data, 70-80 percent is inactive or “cold,” meaning it is unchanging and infrequently accessed. Given the challenges of storing petabyte- or exabyte-scale data, public cloud and private cloud ecosystems are focused on creating entirely new tiers of storage to deal with the varying degrees of “data temperature.” 

The cold data tier is emerging in a manner very similar to the way the “Tier 0” developed over the past decade to deal with critical performance requirements. Now the industry is adding a new tier on the opposite end of the data temperature spectrum, often referred to as “Tier 3” storage.

WD AE Datacenter Archive HDD

Cold storage is the practice of creating a new tier of relevant information not frequently accessed for long periods of time and can include structured, unstructured, or semi-structured data that has timeless value, and of which the exact schedule of retrieval is uncertain. As a result, data recovery times can be relaxed, compared to the speed at which hot data needs be retrieved.

Ultimately, with purpose-built and cost-optimized cold data storage infrastructure and devices, IT departments can deliver vastly improved time-to-archive and time-to-retrieve cold/archive data that outstrips capabilities of monolithic tape libraries while utilizing standard hard-drive-based storage solutions that are abundantly used and understood to realize optimal application value and significant storage cost savings.


WD Ae hard drives will be sold in box quantities of 20 and available to select distributors, integrators and distributed by Ubertech Technologies Inc and Iontech Techologies Inc. in the Philippines starting late 2014. WD Ae drives are covered by a three-year limited warranty. 


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