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Western Digital launches new initiative to improve how data centres store data

Written by Mon 17 Jun 2019

Company launches new initiative to accelerate adoption of zoned storage

It’s no secret that the amount of data being generated is accelerating at an unprecedented rate. In 2016, global IP traffic first exceeded one zettabyte, ushering in the Zettabyte Era. According to IDC, we will be generating 103 zettabytes per year by 2023 (for reference, one zettabyte is equivalent to 250 billion DVDs).

Among other things, this unstoppable dynamic calls for endless storage innovations so that cloud and hyperscale data centres can store all this data efficiently.

To that end, Western Digital has launched a zoned storage initiative that advances new technologies that change the way data is stored, so data centres can meet the storage demands of the zettabyte era.

The company has also launched a developer site that hosts open-source tools and libraries to help data centre engineers take advantage of the technology.

Zoned Storage

Storage tiers common in today’s data centres inefficiently store modern workloads, applications and data sets, such as video or data from IoT devices at the edge of the network, by writing them as random block writes, increasing resource and overheads for operators.

Most of this new data flooding facilities is sequential in nature, an attribute that lends itself to segmentation. This leads us to zoned storage devices, an emerging type of hardware that groups sequential data, such as large machine learning datasets, into zones, improving performance and efficiency.

Despite advances made in the open source community to support zone block devices, data infrastructure engineers and application developers still find it difficult to find out the level of support that exists in each Linux kernel release, or the required kernel version for them to work, Western Digital said in a blog post.

To address the problem, the company has launched a data centre architecture for zoned storage that includes its own storage hardware, specifically shingled magnetic recording (HMR) HDDs, capable of holding up to 15TB of data, and the emerging zoned namespaces (ZNS) standard for NVMe SSDs, designed to provide improved endurance and predictability.

The company also launched a developer site that hosts information on zoned block devices, including how-to guides, Linux kernel support and features, application and libraries, benchmarking, and system compliance tests.

“Using this platform, infrastructure engineers and storage application developers now have a centralized location to get all the information and resources needed to make use of Zoned Storage Technologies,” said Jorge Campello De Souza, office at the CTO at Western Digital.

Written by Mon 17 Jun 2019

Tags:

hardware storage western digital
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