Western Digital Samples World’s First 20TB SMR and 18TB CMR Hard Drives

Western Digital announced that it has started shipping the industry’s highest-capacity HDD samples to enterprise OEMs and hyperscale customers worldwide. The 20 TB Ultrastar DC HC650 SMR HDDs and 18 TB Ultrastar DC HC550 CMR HDDs, first previewed in June 2019, and announced in September 2019, feature its first-ever commercial implementation of energy-assisted magnetic recording technology on a nine-disk platform, enabling customers to more efficiently provision and scale their data center environments with unmatched total cost of ownership.

With zettabyte-scale data growth, the need for higher-capacity data storage across a broad spectrum of applications and workloads can be reliably met only with high Capacity Enterprise HDDs. The industry-leading capacities of Western Digital’s Ultrastar 20 TB SMR and 18 TB CMR HelioSeal HDDs enable customers to deploy up to 22 percent fewer racks and reduce their TCO by up to 11 percent, along with the corresponding reductions in power consumption, cooling costs, and data center infrastructure needs when compared with today’s 14 TB CMR HDDs.

wd drives 2 wd drives 3

Western Digital achieves the industry’s highest areal density performance in these drives through the innovative use of energy-assisted magnetic recording. Together with the company’s HelioSeal and SMR technologies, triple-stage micro actuation and 9-disk platform, the energy-assisted recording technology provides an integrated solution, resulting in the dramatic gain in drive capacities.

“The market outlook for capacity-optimized enterprise HDDs remains very positive as IDC expects petabytes shipped to hyperscale cloud data centers and for OEM storage systems and servers to grow at a combined compound annual growth rate of 28% through 2023,” said Ed Burns, Research Director, HDD and Storage Technologies at IDC. “Western Digital’s new 20 TB and 18 TB HDDs should make a compelling case for customers to transition to higher capacity points as they seek greater storage and energy efficiencies in the near-term while building more cost-effective and scalable infrastructures for the future.”

“Delivering samples of our Ultrastar 20 TB SMR and 18 TB CMR HDDs marks a significant milestone for Western Digital—demonstrating our enduring commitment to the open SMR-based ecosystem, as well as our strong track record of innovation to provide great value for our customers,” said Phil Bullinger, senior vice president and general manager of Western Digital’s Data Center Business Unit. “These new HDDs deliver unsurpassed capacity and are our first to leverage energy-assisted magnetic recording technology, enabling new levels of data center efficiency and driving value creation from data at scale.”

Western Digital is now sampling the 20 TB Ultrastar DC HC650 SMR HDD and the 18 TB Ultrastar DC HC550 CMR HDD, with qualification and volume shipments expected in the first half of 2020.

About Author