by Adam Armstrong

Western Digital Expands & Improves Its IntelliFlash Lineup

Today Western Digital Corp. (WDC) announced that it was enhancing and expanding its IntelliFlash data center systems portfolio. The company claims that it is doubling available performance and density as well as enhancing certain capabilities for data migration aims at hybrid-cloud mobility. Western Digital says these enhancements will give their customers greater choice and flexibility when designing their hybrid-cloud infrastructures.

What is Western Digital IntelliFlash?

IntelliFlash became part of Western Digital through its acquisition of Tegile in 2017. IntelliFlash brought persistent, high-performing storage under the WD banner. The company is now adding the entry-level, NVMe array with the IntelliFlash N5100. This rounds out the N-Series portfolio with the other larger models, N5200 and N5800, already being available. Now entry-level to large enterprise can take advantage of IntelliFlash NVMe performance. 

To get the most out of the new array, Western Digital also updated the operating system to IntelliFlash OS 3.10. The OS update allows for different IntelliFlash arrays to be mixed and matched to address specific workloads. OS 3.10 is said to be able to double the performance of the N5800 that results in the best-in-class random performance amongst fully-featured mid-range all-flash arrays with up to 1.7M IOPS and latency as low as 200µs. The OS 3.10 also enables the use of 15TB Ultrastar SSDs, which will double the capacity of certain IntelliFlash models. This allows IntelliFlash to scale from 19TB to 2.5PB raw in a 14U space. 

With new arrays, customers need new methods of migrating away from legacy gear. Western Digital has introduced Live Dataset Migration that allows customers to seamlessly move legacy IntelliFlash data pools to the latest IntelliFlash arrays, or support other migration needs. Live Dataset Migration allows customers to maintain productivity and continuity through the enablement of LUN migration of iSCSI/FC LUNS while the system is operating. The data mobility extends to the cloud as well with OS 3.10’s Amazon S3 cloud connector as well as other S3-enabled platforms such as Western Digital's ActiveScale object storage system. WD goes on to state that customers can place snapshots in AWS for hybrid-cloud configurations to protect data offsite and cost-effectively move cold or archive data off primary storage.

Other enhancements of OS 3.2 Include:

  • SMB3 optimization for Windows File Server 2016 deployment on Hyper-V
  • Simplified VMware deployments and management of VMware vSphere datastores
  • Enriched administrative features such as Powershell Toolkit for automating Windows storage
  • The robust IntelliCare predictive-analytics health monitoring service

Western Digital IntelliFlash Arrays

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