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Wednesday, August 08, 2018
Western Digital Unveils New Family of fabric-attached Products


Western Digital today unveiled a set of open standards, architecture and products to address the demands of high-scale private and public cloud data centers.

In addition to introducing new OpenFlex architecture and product line, the company announced its plans to deliver an application programming interface (API) and key product specifications to the open community to create a foundation for open, software composable infrastructure (SCI).

The elements of today's announcement include:

  • The Kingfish open API for orchestrating and managing SCI
  • Open product mechanical specifications to enable vendor neutral solutions
  • OpenFlex architecture and initial partner ecosystem
  • OpenFlex product line of flash and disk NVMe-over-Fabric (NVMf) devices

The exponential growth in data is not only fueling new Big Data and Fast Data applications, it is also creating complexities in the way that data is being captured, preserved, accessed and transformed. With large data sets being shared across diverse applications throughout an extended lifecycle, the dynamic nature of these more demanding, high-scale workloads is exceeding the limits of traditional data infrastructure.

Built on industry standard NVMf technology, Western Digital's OpenFlex architecture creates independently scalable pools of flash and disk that can be connected to computing resources via common networking technologies, such as Ethernet. The Kingfish API enables the flash and disk pools to be presented as software composable infrastructure that can be quickly orchestrated into logical application servers. When compared to hyperconverged infrastructure (HCIs), which has fixed ratios of compute, storage and networking, the OpenFlex architecture and products can reduce total cost of ownership by eliminating underutilized resources. The scalability of OpenFlex can also reduce initial infrastructure investment by nearly 50 percent, according to WD. Additionally, with the disaggregated resources being directly connected, application performance can be more predictable since the logical servers are less susceptible to "noisy neighbor" workloads that compete for the same resources or data paths.

The OpenFlex architecture leverages a broad ecosystem of data center hardware and software offerings that includes: Apache Hadoop, Apache Spark, Apache Kafka, Apache Cassandra, Apache Mesos, Broadcom, Ceph, DriveScale, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Inspur, Kaminario, Kubernetes, Marvell, Mellanox Technologies, Microsoft SQL Server, Percona, and Super Micro Computer.

Western Digital's family of OpenFlex fabric-attached products will be offered in a variety of performance levels and capacities. Highlights include:

  • OpenFlex F3000 Series Fabric Device: For performance intensive Fast Data applications. Available in capacities up to 61TB, it delivers low-latency NVMe flash performance over two 50Gb Ethernet ports.
  • OpenFlex E3000 Series Fabric Enclosure: A 3U enclosure that houses up to ten hot swappable F3000 fabric devices.
  • OpenFlex D3000 Series Fabric Device: For capacity intensive Big Data applications. The 1U device offers up to 168TB of hard disk capacity over two 25Gb Ethernet ports.

The OpenFlex F3000 fabric device and OpenFlex E3000 enclosure will be available in the fourth quarter of calendar 2018. The OpenFlex D3000 fabric device will be available in 2019.



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