Western Digital Introduces Products for Software Composable Infrastructure (SCI) for High-Scale Data Centers

Data received : 8-Aug-2018

Key Take-Aways :
  • Western Digital Corp. (NASDAQ: WDC) 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 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).
  • 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 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.
  • According to a recent survey by IDC of mid-sized and large-enterprise IT users, less than half of their available compute and storage capacity is being utilized. In response to dynamic workload demands, 70 percent of users reported inefficiencies in the time it takes them to provision compute and storage resources.
  • 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.

  • Phil Bullinger, senior vice president and general manager of Data Center Systems at Western Digital
  • Ashish Nadkarni, Group VP, Infrastructure Systems, Platforms and Technologies, IDC

Western Digital’s family of OpenFlex fabric-attached products will be offered in a variety of performance levels and capacities to enable data center architects and IT managers to purpose-build a scalable and flexible data center for their unique needs. Highlights include:
  • OpenFlex™ F3000 Series Fabric Device: For performance intensive Fast Data applications. Available in capacities up to 61TB4, it delivers low-latency NVMe flash performance over two 50Gb5 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.
Editor's comments:
  • The SCI envisions a concept whereby independent scaling of compute, storage and network resources that can be quickly orchestrated - this brings new levels of scalability, efficiency, agility and performance in terms of data center infrastucture, notwithstanding older technology such as cloud computing, software defined networking (SDN) - essentially, SCI is the next level of fine-tuning : fine-grain scalability.
  • Before SCI, data center managers were left without choice to deliver flexible infrastructure with inflexible building blocks, resulting in underutilized infrastructure and unnecessary cost.
  • SCI caters a storage-oriented cloud computing and software defined networking (SDN) solution for stranded storage - by allowing flexible composability that maximizes resource utilization.
  • In other words, cloud computing were created to resolve under-utilized server; SDN were created to resolve under-utilized network; SCI is meant to resolve under-utilized storage.

Western Digital Unveils the future of Data Infrastructure.