Western Digital presents future of hard drives in cloud era

  • Transformation of PCs contributing to an evolving disaggregated storage model
  • Data collection and content creation habits still demand the capacity of traditional hard drives

Western Digital presents future of hard drives in cloud eraEARLIER this month in Taipei, Western Digital unveiled its vision for the role hard drives will play in the future of personal computing.
According to Western Digital, the PC is undergoing a transformation in form factor and feature sets, contributing to an evolving disaggregated storage model.
Leading manufacturers are driving new, compelling products for consumers who are quickly adapting to the mobile advantages of smartphones and tablets, yet whose data collection and content creation habits demand the capacity of traditional hard drives.
Additionally, the cornerstone of the disaggregated model is cloud datacenter, where the immense capacity that only hard drives can serve is required, Western Digital said in a statement.
Matt Rutledge, vice president and general manager, client computing, and Pat Wilkison, cloud products, announced two new products and described the company’s innovations in the areas of thin-and-light PC storage, solid-state hybrid drives and data centre storage – all of which being a focus of WD innovation during today’s changing PC landscape and relentless global data growth.
At the event, Rutledge demonstrated how hard drives could be designed in the future to enable affordable high-capacity storage in tablets and other always-on, ultra-portable and low-profile computing devices by using special free-fall and shock sensors; robust mechanics; miniaturised electronics; and software intelligence that manages the use of NAND for data buffering and uninterrupted content experiences for consumers.
The company’s 5 mm thick, 2.5” WD Black SSHD is now being evaluated by OEM customers, who, with that technology, can design ultra-thin notebooks and other low-profile devices with as much as 500GB of storage, yet for a fraction of the cost of an SSD.
WD also introduced what it claims is the world’s thinnest 1 TB hard drive with its new 2.5” WD Blue 7 mm hard drive, which offers OEMs, channel integrators and consumers a unique storage solution for thin and light systems, slimmer notebooks, as well as compatibility with the industry-standard 9.5 mm drive slots of mainstream notebooks.
Wilkison presented the evolving model for cloud datacentres, which are providing massive, scale-out service for social media sites, content services for mobile devices and commercial cloud storage.
He outlined the tiered building blocks of today’s datacentres, dominated by the highest capacity, most reliable hard drives to facilitate annual data growth of more than 30%; as well as WD's series of high-capacity and high-performance drives and where they fit in the datacentre ecosystem.
The company also unveiled the first enterprise-class hard drives for scale-out datacentre market, the WD Se family of drives. Built on an enterprise-grade platform for reliable 24 x 7 x 365 data centre operation, WD Se is tailored to deliver the right combination of performance, reliability and robustness for large-scale replicated environments, mid-sized network attached storage (NAS) deployment, and backup/ archiving applications.

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