96-Layer NAND in Perspective: WDC Video

After a briefing with Western Digital, Jim Handy gives some perspective on the significance of 96-layer NAND flash. By providing a scale model of the new NAND, it showed the terrific complexity and precision needed to operate at this level of density. For more of a technical deep dive into Western Digital’s 3D NAND, be sure to check out their recent presentation from Storage Field Day.


Western Digital : Innovation in 3D NAND and Low Latency Flash NAND

Western Digital has been a long time mainstay of the storage industry. Max Mortillaro heard from them at Storage Field Day earlier this year, and it fit into his larger considerations of the state of the solid state memory industry. In this post, he looks at how Western Digital has remained relevant as the industry transition from disk to flash. The company faces a similar transition as storage is starting to close the gap between DRAM and flash. Max looks at Western Digitals announcements around Low Latency Flash NAND and Storage Class Memory.


How To: Clone Windows 10 From SATA SSD to M.2 SSD (& Fix Inaccessible Boot Device)

Jon Klaus received a Western Digital Black SN750 M.2 SSD for testing at Storage Field Day. Naturally, he wanted to use this fast little NVMe drive as his Windows Boot disk. What he thought was going to be a simply clone and swap from an older SSD turned into anything but. If you’re considering swapping out a drive on an old Windows install, it’s a good idea to read Jon’s post to understand the UEFI vs BIOS when it comes to setting up boot drives. Who knew it could get so complicated?


The Full Force of Western Digital

Chin-Fah Heoh saw Western Digital present at Storage Field Day over three weeks ago, and he’s still wrapping his head around everything he saw. That’s because the company offers an incredible breadth of solutions, being one of the rare “silicon to system” companies in IT. From updates to NAND flash to storage subsystems, what stood out was the shift in Western Digital from a company that just provides drives and storage, to one that’s thinking about how to solve customer’s big data and fast data problems.


Western Digital Are Keeping Composed

Although they presented a broad set of technology and products at Storage Field Day in February, Dan Frith focused on Western Digital’s composable infrastructure offerings. He likes their story and sees composability as a technology to “free the average enterprise IT shop from the shackles of resource management ineptitude”. It’s not magic, but it’s certainly cool!


#91 – Storage Field Day 18 in Review

In this episode of the Storage Unpacked podcast, Chris Evans and Martin Glassborow discuss what happened at Storage Field Day last month. The companies pretty cleanly divided between scale-out primary storage and data protection solutions. They touch on all the presenters, and where listeners can learn more about the event. Be sure to give it a listen as a preview before watching all of the event presentation video on our site.


Western Digital Develops Low-Latency Flash to Compete With Intel Optane

Anton Shilov of Anandtech wrote about what Western Digital presented at Storage Field Day last month. The company showed off their Low Latency Flash NAND. This potential Optane competitor would offer speeds and access latencies between current 3D NAND and DRAM. While stopping short of calling LLF NAND Storage Class Memory, Western Digital sees it having a similar role in the data center.


WD Keeps Fast Flash Optane Substitute in the Wings

Chris Mellor was not a delegate at Storage Field Day last month, but he covered Western Digital​ for Blocks and Files. The company presented on their new low-latency flash, offering microsecond access times pitched squarely between current 3D NAND and DRAM, with a price to match. For Chris, this puts in squarely in competition with Intel’s Optane SCM.


Dual Actuator Drives: An Interesting Trend

Matt Leib had written off spinning disks as a storage media that didn’t have much of a future. That changed after seeing Western Digital present at Storage Field Day last month. They previewed a tech demo for a dual-actuator drive, which would offer double the read IOPS in a single drive. This could provide a new way to increase performance in a space that had previously only had more density to offer. Matt found it a really exciting possibility.


Western Digital to Demo Dual-Actuator HDDs Next Week: Double the Actuators for Double the Perf

AnandTech’s Anton Shilov was excited to hear that Western Digital announced they would be demoing dual-actuator drives at OCP Summit. This came during the company’s Storage Field Day presentation, where they made the case why the drive design makes sense. While drive capacity has increased over time, performance has remained roughly the same, meaning that performance per TB has decreased over time. This is problematic for service providers who need to meet SLAs based on this metric. Adding in dual-actuator, effectively putting two drives in one enclosure, would reduce the combined power usage and increase read IOPS.


Faster and Bigger SSDs Enable Us to Talk About Something Else Than IOps

For Jon Klaus, one of the major themes at Storage Field Day this week was the state of NVMe in the enterprise. Some companies like VAST Data were bullish enough to declare the death of the spinning disk, while other presenters like Western Digital were more optimistic about the long term viability of older media alongside NVMe. For Jon, what was significant was moving beyond just a speed and feed conversation around NVMe. Instead presenters focused on why geography of data and latency matters more across the entire IT stack.


SFD18-Western Digital

Western Digital offered something different at Storage Field Day, being a provider of the storage that most other presenters use in their products. Highlights include details about 96-layer 3D NAND production, and HDD advancements including Helium, and using technologies like MAMR, HAMR and SMR to push density,


Storage Field Day 18 – Fifty Shades of Disclosure

Max Mortillaro attended Storage Field Day last month as a delegate. At the event, he got to experience a dense schedule of presentations from emerging and prominent IT storage companies. Be sure to check out the full video coverage of the event to see the same great content that Max got to experience.


Podcast #3 – Chris & Matt Review the SFD18 Presenters

In this podcast episode, Chris Evan and Matt Leib did an off the cuff rundown of the Storage Field Day presenters. The event was jam packed with interesting IT companies, and the two do a great job of running through what stood out from Cohesity, Datera, IBM, NetApp, StorPool, VAST Data WekaIO and Western Digital.


Join Western Digital for Storage Field Day 18 on Feb 28th

Western Digital is a familiar name in the storage space, so it’s great to see them presenting again at Storage Field Day next week. You can watch their presentation on our live stream, where they’ll be talking about their NVMe SSDs, memory extension drives to NVMe-over-Fabric composable infrastructure, and enterprise NVMe all-flash arrays.


Storage Field Day 18 – It’s as Intense as Storage Field Day Gets

It’s hard to believe it, but Storage Field Day next week will be Max Mortillaro’s 7th such event. It’s hard to image having one without him around the delegate table. Despite the prospect of jet lag and a little information overload, he’s excited to hear from the full roster of presenting companies on tap. Be sure to tune into the event live stream to catch all the presentations along with Max.


Western Digital Redefines DRAM Caching

Chris Evans digis into Western Digital’s Ultrastar DC ME200. This is a solution to extend server DRAM using caching into byte-addressable NAND. Chris does a great job of giving this a technical overview, and considering if this will find a welcoming market, or simply cover up Western Digital’s lack of a true storage-class memory solution. He also highlights similar efforts to use NAND as a memory cache, specifically citing Diablo Technologies’ Memory1 solution, which he saw back in 2016 at a Tech Field Day event.


Western Digital at SFD15: ActiveScale object storage

Western Digital and Ray Lucchesi are both names synonymous with storage. We had them both attending Storage Field Day earlier this year. Ray was particularly interested in the companies ActiveScale object storage, a result of the company’s Amplidata acquisition in 2015. Ray runs through how ActiveScale could be well suited for data analytics.