data-centers

Western Digital Unveils the Future of Data Infrastructure

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

In addition to introducing new OpenFlex architecture and product line, the company has announced its plans to deliver an application programming interface (API) and key product specifications to the open community to create a complete foundation for open, software composable infrastructure (SCI). By delivering solutions that enable the independent scaling of compute, storage and network resources that can be quickly orchestrated, SCI enables new levels of scalability, efficiency, agility and performance.

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, and openFlex product line of flash and disk NVMe-over-Fabric (NVMf) devices.

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 and easily 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 up to 40 percent by eliminating underutilized resources. The fine-grain scalability of OpenFlex can also reduce initial infrastructure investment by nearly 50 percent. 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.

“Data centers need a more efficient approach to satisfying the needs of complex and dynamic applications and data workflows,” said Phil Bullinger, senior vice president and general manager of Data Center Systems at Western Digital. “To ensure flexibility, data center operators also need open solutions that enable them to select from best-in-class, vendor neutral options. Western Digital’s OpenFlex architecture and products, and our commitment to the open community help satisfy these needs, while delivering significant improvements in cost and agility. We’re building on our proven leadership in disk, flash and NVMe storage products to deliver the future of data infrastructure.”

Western Digital’s introduction of the Kingfish API and providing of product specifications to the community to enable vendor neutral and plug-compatible solutions, further demonstrates the company’s commitment to open architectures. At the time of this announcement, 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.

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