Western Digital increases ActiveScale object storage performance, density and services

The performance increase is in the range of 3x, while the new Data Pipeline Services streamlines data processing.

A three rack ActiveScale X100

Today, Western Digital is announcing the OS 5.5 version of their ActiveScale object storage portfolio. The enhancements significantly ramp up performance, up to 3x. The new models are significantly denser, because of new 14 TB drives. In addition, a new ActiveScale Data Pipeline Service streamlines data processing with real-time object notifications.

“We are marketing this stressing three separate enhancements,” said Erik Ottem, Senior Director of Product Marketing at WD. “First, is that the fast got faster, with our improved scale out performance. Second is that the dense got denser, with support for new 14 TB HDDs. Third is that the smart got smarter, with our new Data Pipeline Services.”

The ActiveScale technology came to WD in 2012, through the acquisition of HGST [Hitachi Global Storage Technologies].

“There are two different offerings in the family,” Ottem said. “The P100 is modular, for a lower entry point, while the X100 is the full system, but the OS is the same, so the enhancements impact both models.”

The X100 scales to 74 PB raw storage per rack, compared to 27 PB for the P100.

“The ActiveScale X100 is the top of the line, aimed at large repositories of cold data,” Ottem noted. “It can have 9 racks of 74 PB each with a single name space, and so is good for analytic and High Performance Computing workloads. The biggest customers are up around 200 PB in size.”

The performance enhancements are of a 3X factor, up to 75GB/sec throughput.

“We made improvements in how file performance works, being more careful about where file data gets placed, in order to optimize file data placement,” Ottem said.  “We have also responded to customer requests with the addition of asynchronous scale out, to reduce latency for long distance DR while keeping full three-geo durability spread for cost-effectiveness.” Customers can now choose between synchronous or asynchronous geo resiliency to meet specific needs.

The improved density comes from support for new 14TB Ultrastar data centre-class drives.

“These are an upgrade from the 12TB drives that were used before,” Ottem said. “That increases capacity by 16 per cent, which is a nice bump, at an increase in the MSRP price of between 2.5 and 5 per cent.“

The new ActiveScale Data Pipeline Service uses real-time object notifications to apps in order to optimize task initiation for improved productivity and faster time to value. This links distributed web-scale applications and streamlines data processing by automatically triggering workflows.

“The Data Pipeline Service is a complete net-new, which we also created to respond to a major customer ask,” Ottem indicated.

“The ActiveScale View management tool has also been upgraded significantly,” he said. This now enables S3 management with a look and feel that is similar to S3, to simplify hybrid cloud deployment, and reduce staff training expenses.

Finally, with this version WD is also emphasizing how ActiveScale can support a Golden Copy, by serving as a data hub for golden copies to break down siloes between on-prem and public cloud applications.

“It helps to determine a single source of truth strategy,” Ottem said.

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