WD unveils industry's first 22TB CMR and 26TB SMR HDDs for the cloud

Western Digital debuts the the 26TB Ultrastar DC HC670 UltraSMR HDD and the 22TB Ultrastar DC HC570 HDD, an industry first.

Published May 9, 2022 11:05 AM CDT   |   Updated Sun, May 29 2022 7:26 PM CDT
1 minute & 59 seconds read time

Western Digital has just unleashed the industry's first 22TB CMR and 26TB UltraSMR HDDs to "select hyperscale cloud customers, further expanding its areal density leadership and delivering customer value by driving TCO lower".

WD unveils industry's first 22TB CMR and 26TB SMR HDDs for the cloud 02 | TweakTown.com

The huge new 26TB and 22TB drives use unique OptiNAND technology, energy-assisted PMR (ePMR), triple-stage actuator (TSA), HelioSeal, and now UltraSMR technologies. So... not only is WD already offering 26TB and 22TB HDDs but they're already teasing bigger 30TB+ drives using ePMR.

Western Digital CEO David Goeckeler said before the "What's Next Western Digital Event in San Francisco": Everything we do starts with the belief in human potential as it intersects digital innovation, and in turn, creates possibility. This possibility is fueled by a technology platform that the world's innovators are building on and enabling the best new experiences - intelligent devices, powered by the cloud, connected by high-performance networks. We have only scratched the surface on the value of data and the technologies that unlock it".

Executive Vice President and GM of the HDD business unit, Ashley Gorakhpurwalla, outlined Western Digital's plan to address surging capacity demands by advancing HDD capacity and keeping TCO competitively low. The new 22TB and 26TB SMR drives, Gorakhpurwalla says, lead the industry in areal density and TCO.

WD unveils industry's first 22TB CMR and 26TB SMR HDDs for the cloud 01 | TweakTown.com

Gorakhpurwalla said: "The economics of storing a bit matter more now than ever. What's different now is the matter of scale. What used to be petabytes is now at zettabyte scale, and that changes everything. If you're dealing with a million, two million, or 10 million of anything, that's a huge multiplier".

"It's fewer CPUs, network switches, UPS devices, environmental conditioning, and so on. But more than that, with our roadmap of innovation the returns on these increases are immediate. There's no waiting three years for these improvements to pay off".

"As you go into the cloud space, many customers are large enough in scale and sophisticated enough in capability that they are not necessarily asking for commoditization, but they have the volume to support specialization. That unique capability they're asking for is the exact opposite of commoditization. It means we are engineering and innovating in partnership with our customers in a way that is specific to their needs".

Rob Soderbery, EVP and GM of the Flash Business Unit at Western Digital added: "One of the unique things we bring to the relationship in that hyperscale value proposition is the way we partner. What does being a strategic partner mean? It means things like a long-term roadmap interlock. We routinely plan two to three years out with these customers. There's a long-term reputational trust and reliability that we have with our hyperscale customers. On balance they like our propositional offer and the way we conduct business".

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Western Digital 18TB WD Red Pro NAS Internal Hard Drive HDD (WD181KFGX)

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Anthony joined the TweakTown team in 2010 and has since reviewed 100s of graphics cards. Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering.

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