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August 9, 2018

Western Digital Unveils OpenFlex Architecture and Product Line

Western Digital's OpenFlex architecture and product line launched for data centres.

By Umar Hassan

Western Digital has launched its OpenFlex architecture and product line for “high-scale private and public cloud” data centres.

The American computer data storage company has also announced plans to deliver the Kingfish API alongside Western Digital’s newest product line.

OpenFlex is supported by an ecosystem on a number of data centre hardware and software platforms, including HPE, Microsoft SQL Server, Apache Hadoop, Kubernetes and more.

Building and Running the OpenFlex Architecture

In terms of building and running the OpenFlex architecture, it is built on the network storage protocol NVMe over Fabrics (NVMe).

NVMe allows the architecture to create scalable pools of flash and disk independently by connecting it via networking technologies such as Ethernet.

The Kingfish API complements the architecture by presenting both flash and disk pools as software composable architecture that can be turned into application servers.

Credit: Western Digital

Alongside this, Western Digital has put out its OpenFlex “fabric-attached products” that will be offered in different performance levels and capacities for data centre architects and IT managers.

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It ranges from the OpenFlex F3000 Series Fabric Device with up to 61TB capacity, delivering “low-latency” NVMf flash performance with two Ethernet ports.

There is also the E3000 Series Fabric Enclosure and the “capacity-intensive” 168TB D3000 Series Fabric Device within the product line.

Phil Bullinger, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Data Center Systems at Western Digital commented: “Data centers need a more efficient approach to satisfying the needs of complex and dynamic applications and data workflows,”

Bullinger added: “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.”

Ashish Nadkarni, Group VP, Infrastructure Systems, Platforms and Technologies at the International Data Corporation said: “Western Digital’s OpenFlex architecture provides flexible composability that maximizes resource utilization in a highly scalable and flexible way, as well as eliminates the problems of ‘stranded storage’.”

Western Digital’s OpenFlex F300 Fabric Device and E3000 Series Fabric Enclosure are available in Q4 2018 while the D3000 Fabric Device will be releasing in 2019.

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