Western Digital’s Data Vision at SFD18

At Storage Field Day, the delegates got a glimpse into some data storage innovations and how these will continue to evolve. VP of DCS Business, Narayan Venkat, describes how the data will flow, varying categories of data, and how Western Digital envisions the environment changing to allow for these new paradigms to happen. Data storage is a rapidly changing field, and Western Digital made a convincing case during Storage Field Day that they are prepared to meet whatever the needs of storage that enterprises will discover going forward.

Managing Massive Media

Chris Evans looks at the state of throughput for mechanical hard drives in this post. While spinning disks may be seen as a legacy technology by some, they are still used widely across many industries and applications. The problem comes when looking at random access to these, and the physical limitations imposed by how they operate. In this regard, random read performance has barely nudged for hard drives in over a decade. Western Digital discussed how they were trying to address these issues at Storage Field Day, and how they are using things like zoned hard drives to also help alleviate future concerns with increasingly dense SSDs. Because many of these approaches require a degree of application support, Chris think both system manufacturers and software-defined storage developers will have to take these approaches into consideration.

Western Digital, Composable Infrastructure, Hyperscalers, and You

Western Digital had an impressive presentation at Storage Field Day, showing the breadth of offerings from the iconic storage media company. At the event, their Senior Director of Product Management and Marketing Scott Hamilton dived into how NVMe over Fabrics solves a lot of the storage problems required to operate at the very largest scale, and enables interesting new models like composable infrastructure. For Dan Frith, composable infrastructure right now seems eager to cater to the needs of hyperscalers. But far from making Western Digital’s presentation uninteresting, their continued investment and refinement of the approach means that when enterprises want to move to that approach, the storage ecosystem will be ready for them.

Storage Field Day 19–Western Digital

At their recent Storage Field Day presentation, Western Digital led with a startling estimate. They project that by 2023, 103 zetabytes worth of IoT data will be produced. This is to say nothing of the ever increasing video and other data constantly being generated. Much of their presentation was how Western Digital was working to provide ever increasing storage densities across all mediums. It was not lost on Joey D’Antoni during the event that a lot of this work seemed to be driven by demand from hyperscalers, who will increasingly carry the growth of stored data. Developments with multi-actuator drives and zoned storage were shown to be key in how Western Digital will provide for the industries storage needs in the future.

Gaming Is Driving Storage Innovation at WDC

Western Digital has long been a stalwart in the storage industry, designing storage media and innovating in that space for decades. At Storage Field Day, the provided updates on how a lot of their designs are catering toward hyperscale companies, or how the emergence of 5G will ramp up the need for faster performance with streaming video. But for Ray Lucchesi, what stood out in the session was how gaming was increasingly driving innovation with Western Digital. As a result of high performance needs, both of gamers to play games and for services that host them, WD detailed innovations with their WD Black line, which includes HDD, but is increasingly featuring SSDs. The showed how they are catering these drives to the unique requirements and environment found in gaming PCs.

Open Source and Open Standards Open the Future

Chin-Fah Heoh has heard from Western Digital at back to back Storage Field Day events, and appreciates that the company dives right into their informative sessions. During their presentation, they shared a few open source initiatives to address present inefficiencies. This included Zoned Storage to increase the efficiencies of shingled magnetic recording. They also reviewed their involvement with the RISC-V organization, the CHIPS Alliance, and Google OpenTitan project. Chin-Fah really appreciated their commitment to open source, and found it vital for the company to meet the ever increasing scaling needs of data storage.

Is Storage Still Relevant?

Gina Rosenthal asks the question, is storage still relevant? After hearing from Western Digital at Storage Field Day, the answer would seem to be yes. The presentation left Gina with a reminder that software innovation can only occur with hardware innovation. To feed into this positive feedback loop, Western Digital is investing in storage technology for emerging workloads with some exciting results. They spent a portion of their presentation showing how the advent of NVMe over Fabric allows for emerging new technological deployments, like composable infrastructure. By disaggregating the resources in a data center, and allowing them to be assembled on demand, organizations can optimize for demanding new workloads. This only touched on one of the many topics presented by Western Digital at the event, so be sure to check out their full video coverage.

The Hard Disk Is Dead! (But Only in Your Datacenter)

It’s almost de rigueur these days to declare the spinning disk dead. In an age of plentiful cheap flash, the performance limitations and mechanical complexity of a traditional hard drive can make it seemingly hard to justify. But as Enrico Signoretti points out, it’s not that the disk will die. Rather after seeing Western Digital lay out their roadmap at Storage Field Day, the disk will increasingly not be for small enterprises anymore. Instead, much like what happened with tape, disk will serve a valuable need in storing the ever increasing amounts of data for hyperscalers. As a random access medium, dense disk storage is ideal for cold, but not frozen, data, where things like retrieval time still matter. Because of this, far from the death of the disk ,Enrico sees a long life ahead.

Western Digital Presents at SFD19

Keiran Shelden remembers a time that’s probably familiar to many in IT. When he was building his first computer in the early aughts, 80GB seemed like more capacity than he could ever use. Like the rest of us, Keiran quickly found a use for the space. Analysts now say that by 2023, the world will use 103 Zettabytes of storage. As the creator of a lot of storage used in the world, Western Digital is a key provider of storage, resulting in a lot of interest from Keiran and the other delegates at Storage Field Day. They showed off their roadmap of how they plan to meet the ever increasing density and reliability needs of the enterprise and hyperscalers. Be sure to check out the full post, then dig into our video coverage of the presentation.

Storage Field Day 19–Current State of the Storage Industry

Joey D’Antoni has attended his second Storage Field Day event, and combined with his extensive experience in IT, it gave him a chance to take stock of the current state of the storage industry. He sees the industry separating among those who need or create ultra fast storage like NVMe, and those that cater to higher density storage required by hyperscalers. What he heard from companies like Western Digital at Storage Field Day was that far from being an endangered species, the spinning hard drive is here to stay, with disk manufacturers working to provide ever increasing density and reliability. This is being done with innovative new writing technologies on disk, and by adding multiple actuators on a drive. Doing this provides the advances in density needed to continue to make spinning disks relevant across the industry.

Come to MAMR! Western Digital Unfurls HDD Tech Roadmap

Western Digital is an iconic name in the storage industry, having a long history creating the disks behind the arrays that power the enterprise. At Storage Field Day, they went into detail about their hard drive road map for the future. This includes a near term move to energy-assisted perpendicular magnetic recording, which should allow for increasing density and reliability on drives. The delegates got a look at the 18TB HC550 drive, which will use the new recording tech and arrive on the market later in 2020. Western Digital also laid out their eventual transition plans to MAMR, as well as plans to bring triple stage micro actuators to the market soon. Chris Mellor broke down all the details and implications in this post.

Preview Storage Field Day 19 – Day 1

Arjan Timmerman put together a series of videos previewing what he expected to see at Storage Field Day. This video sets out some background on Tiger Technology, NetApp and Western Digital. These represent an interesting selection of experience with the event. Tiger Technology is new to the Field Day family, but has been a force in the media and entertainment space since 2004. NetApp has a long history both in enterprise storage and presenting at Storage Field Day. And Western Digital is an iconic provider of storage who is quickly becoming a familiar sight at the event. Arjan was excited to hear from each company at the event, and we can’t wait to hear more of his thoughts on the presentations going forward.

Tiers, Tiers, and More Storage Tiers

Enrico Signoretti is no stranger to Storage Field Day events. This gives him some helpful long term context to identify larger industry trends he sees playing out among otherwise unrelated presentations. At the most recent Storage Field Day, the importance of tiering across the storage industry came across loud and clear. From Tiger Technology demoing their simple, seamless and smart filter driver for Windows servers, to Komprise analyzing an organizations entire data domain to optimize data placement, to WekaIO using object storage in the back-end of their file system to store unused blocks, Enrico saw many examples of tiering being used to provide performance, capacity, and scalability at a reasonable price.

Storage Announcements at Western Digital’s Storage Field Day

Western Digital recently shook up a lot of their strategy in the enterprise, so it’s no surprise that a lot of people were eager to hear what they had to say at Storage Field Day. While not a delegate at the event, Tom Coughlin at Forbes watched the presentation to get caught up on all the news. The storage stalwart gave updates on their latest storage technology, like how they are using helium-filed drives utilizing shingled magnetic recording to provide media for companies approaching zettabyte scale. They also presented their Zoned Storage technology, which provides a unified approach to manage naturally serialized data at scale, important when you need predictable performance at cloud-scale. Be sure to read the rest of Tom’s post for his thoughts, then dig into the videos for all the details.

Top 5 Takeaways From #SFD19 Day 1

One of the great things about Field Day events is that they are live streamed on the internet, expanding our pool of delegates from the dozen individuals in the room to a much wider audience. We always love to hear people’s impression from the live stream, and Jason Benedicic has a great write up with his takeaways from our recent Storage Field Day event. For Jason, the event showed the breadth of quality engineering talent from across the world, showed NetApp’s exciting solutions with Active IQ and StorageGRID, and demonstrated that spinning disks aren’t dead yet. Be sure to check out all his thoughts in this post, and if you’ve watched the Storage Field Day presentations, why not share your big takeaways as well!

Storage Field Day 19 RoundUp

Storage Field Day is our first event of 2020, and we’ve got a packed roster of companies to present. It’s exciting to have a mix of familiar faces like NetApp and Dell EMC presenting with companies new to the event like Tiger Technology and Minio. Enrico Signoretti will be around the delegate table, asking questions and creating dialogue to help make Storage Field the unique event that it is. If that isn’t enough to get you excited, there is the always provocative “secret company” presenting at the event. Be sure to mark your calendar and unravel the mystery with us on the live stream.

Western Digital – The A Is For Active, The S Is For Scale

At Storage Field Day, Western Digital presented. The delegates got to hear from both their Tegile and HGST divisions. Dan Frith highlights what he saw about ActiveScale, HGST’s scalable object system. Coupled with cloud management features, Dan thinks it’s a “solid platform”.