Western Digital Champions Zoned Storage, an Open Initiative to Redefine Data Centers for Zettabyte Scale

Zoned Storage Architecture Leverages Standardization of ZNS and SMR
Enabling More Efficient, Zettabyte-scale Architectures for Data Center


  • The Zoned Storage initiative brings together tools and resources,
    leveraging advantages of zone block management, for architecting a
    robust, efficient and purpose-built storage tier to achieve
    competitive TCO now and into the future.
  • A new developer site, hosted by Western Digital on ZonedStorage.io,
    includes open-source, standards-based tools and resources for ZNS and
  • SMR areal density growth rate tracks closely with global data demand
    growth. Western Digital demonstrates 20TB with expected shipment in
    2020. Western Digital estimates that 50 percent of its HDD exabytes
    shipped will be on SMR by 2023.

SAN JOSE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–With a focus on enabling purpose-built, open and scalable data center
architectures, Western Digital today launched Zoned Storage, an
initiative that brings together new innovations and industry standards
for cloud and hyperscale data center architects to design efficient
storage tiers that help maintain competitive TCO and achieve greater
economies of scale as we approach the zettabyte-scale era.

By 2023 and beyond, enterprises, machines, industries, consumers,
science and more will be generating 103 zettabytes per year, according
to IDC*. For this next-generation of data, new data center
constructs, such as composable
disaggregated infrastructure
, are needed as today’s general-purpose
architectures are inefficient and can carry resource and cost overhead
when faced with an increasing span of workloads, applications and
datasets. As more and more of this data will be sequential in nature –
video, IoT/edge data, surveillance, or data that can be grouped or
“zoned” into larger chunks such as large AI/ML datasets – there are
opportunities to organize workloads for better performance and
efficiencies with lower TCO by accelerating the adoption of zoned
storage devices.

The Zoned Storage architecture enables applications, host and storage to
orchestrate data placement and take full advantage of the highest
available storage capacities typically with shingled magnetic recording
(SMR) HDDs and the emerging zoned namespaces (ZNS) standard for NVMe
SSDs to deliver better endurance and predictable, low-latency QoS
performance. A planned extension of the NVMe standard, ZNS complements
SMR technology, enabling developers to take advantage of both SMR and
ZNS under a single storage stack, regardless of media type. With 50
percent of Western Digital’s HDD exabyte shipments expected to be on SMR
by 2023, customers will be able to leverage their SMR application
development to encompass high-capacity ZNS SSDs. Delivering intelligence
to application architectures, SMR and ZNS will be key foundational
building blocks of the new zettabyte-scale era now and into the future.

“There’s no doubt that the industry needs to come together and find new
and creative ways to design and architect infrastructures for the future
to more intelligently and efficiently optimize workloads, and storage
and compute infrastructure,” said Ashish Nadkarni, group vice president,
Infrastructure Systems, Platforms and Technologies at IDC. “With total
HDD and SSD revenue expected to reach 27 percent of total IT
infrastructure spend by 2022, we see SMR, SSDs and ZNS together as a
standout opportunity for cloud and hyperscale data center customers to
optimize infrastructure for better cost economies at scale. Unifying the
ZNS and SMR architectures via open, standards-based initiatives is a
logical industry step, which can take advantage of SMR HDD areal density
gains and new innovations in Flash. Whoever enters the market first,
will definitely have a competitive advantage on TCO and the learning

Areal Density Leadership with SMR, Plus ZNS NVMe SSDs, Lay Foundation
for Zoned Storage Initiative

Increasingly, cloud service
providers are investing in host software that can manage high-capacity
SMR HDDs to deliver better TCO to customers at scale. SMR and ZNS are
fundamentally reshaping cloud and enterprise data centers, delivering
long-term TCO into the future. With a growing ecosystem and continued
SMR adoption, Western Digital is focused on delivering the highest
capacities, together with its evolving energy assist recording
technologies. Today, the company’s 15TB Ultrastar® DC HC620 SMR HDDs are
shipping in volume, with a technology demonstration of its 20TB SMR HDD
at a press event and private customer gathering being held in Beijing
this week.

Western Digital is also announcing its ZNS development SSD for early
Zoned Storage efforts. ZNS NVMe SSDs offer several benefits over
traditional NVMe SSDs. Conforming to the ZNS feature set, as defined and
governed by NVM
Express, Inc.
, these ZNS SSDs are designed to lower write
amplification, increase capacity, and provide improved throughput and
latency. ZNS SSDs achieve these improvements by aligning “zones” to the
internal physical properties of the SSDs, eliminating inefficiencies in
the placement of data.

New ZonedStorage.io Community Site with Open-Source Tools and

As a natural extension to Western Digital’s ongoing
contributions within the NVMe Consortium, and its long history of making
its SMR-based tools available to the open-source community, the company
has launched ZonedStorage.io. Working with the open-source community,
customers and industry players, ZonedStorage.io is aimed to jump-start
application development initiatives within the developer community as
well as help data center infrastructure engineers take advantage of
Zoned Storage technologies. The site hosts information about software
development libraries, tools, ZNS information, SMR resources and
reference architectures that provide a unified framework to manage
purpose-built ZNS SSDs and capacity-optimized SMR HDDs. Through this
initiative, developers can gain confidence in the burgeoning ecosystem
of community and industry contributors and supporters, including ATTO
Technology, Broadcom, Mellanox and SUSE.

In addition to championing the ZonedStorage.io site, Western Digital’s
suite of products consists of the Ultrastar ZNS NVMe development SSD and
the Ultrastar DC HC620 15TB SMR HDD. The 15TB Ultrastar DC HC620 is
currently available and shipping in volume to qualified customers. The
Ultrastar ZNS NVMe development SSD is available to select customers.
Please visit WesternDigital.com
for Ultrastar product information or ZonedStorage.io
for open-source information.


Industry Quotes:

“If you think about the digital universe and how much content will be
generated – from healthcare to autonomous cars to digital marketplaces
and smart cities – we’re just scratching the surface of
zettabyte-scale,” said Martin Fink, CTO, Western Digital. “With this
data deluge, data centers architects can’t simply solve problems in the
same way using general-purpose IT. The Zoned Storage initiative, along
with our innovations in Flash and SMR – including our 20TB on nine-disks
– gives customers the tools and resources needed to architect and
intelligently optimize workloads for generations to come. Through our
understanding of software stacks, and proven contributions to
initiatives and standards committees such as RISC-V and NVMe/NVMe-oF, we
look forward to sharing that knowledge with the open-source community to
help drive support and adoption of ZNS and SMR.”

“We have been working with Western Digital for quite some time testing,
validating and delivering solutions as part of its host-managed SMR HDD
ecosystem,” said Jas Tremblay, vice president and general manager, Data
Center Solutions Group at Broadcom. “As a leading provider of storage
controllers, our goal is to enable customers to create optimal
infrastructure designs that reduce risk while lowering total system cost
and time-to-market. The Zoned Storage initiative is a new and historic
step to help prepare cloud and hyperscale customers for the
zettabyte-scale era. Thanks to the strong stewardship of Western
Digital, and the work of the NVMe committee and the open source
community, we’re bringing smart disaggregation, intelligence, and
standardization in the storage tier for generations to come.”

“SUSE is a pioneer in open source software and software-defined
infrastructure that helps our customers manage data complexity and
increase efficiency,” said Matthias Eckermann, director of Product
Management Linux Platforms, SUSE. “Host-managed SMR HDDs and ZNS are the
two foundational technologies of the Zoned Storage initiative where SUSE
Linux Enterprise Server 15 and SUSE Enterprise Storage will play a vital
role in the orchestration of applications, host and storage. The end
result is improved workload efficiency, better utilization of IT
infrastructure and resources, and lower TCO. We look forward to
contributing to the ZonedStorage.io community to help enable the
zetta-scale era.”

“Mellanox offers unique intelligent networking and storage acceleration
technologies and have worked with Western Digital to bring truly
best-in-class storage solutions to customers worldwide,” said Dror
Goldenberg, senior vice president of software architecture, Mellanox
Technologies. “We look forward to working with Western Digital in the
Zoned Storage initiative to leverage SMR and ZNS storage in conjunction
with Mellanox’s BlueField and SmartNIC portfolio to deliver highly
scalable and adaptable infrastructures to handle increasing data
volumes, bandwidth requirements and new application types in the data

“As a leader specializing in storage and network connectivity, and
infrastructure solutions for the most demanding data-intensive IT and
M&E environments, our goal is to work with our ecosystem partners,
including Western Digital on host-managed SMR, and the open-source
community to help customers better store, manage and deliver data,” said
Tom Kolniak, senior director, Marketing, ATTO Technology. “The
foundational open-source work that Zoned Storage provides through
ZonedStorage.io, leveraging ZNS and SMR, creates more options for SDS infrastructures
as a way to both manage current complex storage challenges, and lays a
foundation to more intelligently manage and scale workloads for the

Stay connected to Western Digital:

About Western Digital
Western Digital creates environments
for data to thrive. The company is driving the innovation needed to help
customers capture, preserve, access and transform an ever-increasing
diversity of data. Everywhere data lives, from advanced data centers to
mobile sensors to personal devices, our industry-leading solutions
deliver the possibilities of data. Western Digital data-centric
solutions are marketed under the Western Digital, G-Technology™,
SanDisk, and WD brands.

*Source IDC Worldwide Global DataSphere Forecast, 2019-2023: Consumer
Dependence on the Enterprise Widening, January 2019, DOC #US44615319

Forward-Looking Statements
This news release contains
certain forward-looking statements, including statements regarding the
Zoned Storage Initiative, applications, benefits, capabilities, features
and performance of Western Digital’s SSD and HDD products. There are a
number of risks and uncertainties that may cause these forward-looking
statements to be inaccurate including, among others: volatility in
global economic conditions; business conditions and growth in the
storage ecosystem; impact of competitive products and pricing; market
acceptance and cost of commodity materials and specialized product
components; actions by competitors; unexpected advances in competing
technologies; our development and introduction of products based on new
technologies and expansion into new data storage markets; risks
associated with acquisitions, mergers and joint ventures; difficulties
or delays in manufacturing; and other risks and uncertainties listed in
the company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission,
including our most recently filed periodic report to which your
attention is directed. The company undertakes no obligation to update
the information in this release in the event facts or circumstances
change after the date of this release.

© 2019 Western Digital Corporation or its affiliates. All rights
reserved. Western Digital, the Western Digital logo, G-Technology,
SanDisk, WD, and Ultrastar are registered trademarks or trademarks of
Western Digital Corporation or its affiliates in the US and/or other
countries. Linux® is the registered trademark of Linus Torvalds in the
U.S. and other countries. The NVMe and NVMe-oF word marks are trademarks
of NVM Express, Inc. All other marks are the property of their
respective owners.

As used for storage capacity, one terabyte (TB) = one trillion bytes.
Total accessible capacity varies depending on operating environment.


Company contacts:
Erin Hartin
Western Digital Public
[email protected]

Peter Andrew
Western Digital Investor Relations
[email protected]

error: Content is protected !!