November 24, 2018

Western Digital Enters In-Memory Computing Segment with Ultrastar Memory Drive

Western Digital announced it is extending the breadth and depth of its data center portfolio into the rapidly evolving in-memory computing market segment. The new Ultrastar® DC ME200 memory extension drive is the company’s first product that enables customers to better optimize in-memory system capacity/performance for running demanding applications that drive today’s real-time analytics and business insights.
“Today’s requirement for faster analytics, data processing, cloud services and high-performance computing (HPC) is increasing demand for in-memory computing across a variety of industries, including healthcare, telecommunications and IT, and retail,” said Ashish Nadkarni, group vice president, IDC. “By expanding in-memory capacity, the Ultrastar memory drive helps alleviate the high cost of adding extra DRAM, as well as addresses the physical limitations of available DIMM slots, where scaling is either cost-prohibitive or nearly impossible.”

“As a storage infrastructure leader, we’re constantly innovating and delivering solutions that address new ways of capturing, preserving, accessing and transforming data,” said Mark Grace, senior vice president of Devices, Western Digital. “The new Ultrastar memory drive is a natural addition to our world-class data center portfolio, addressing growing customer demand for business acceleration and real-time data processing within in-memory platforms. Leveraging our proven technology leadership, data center expertise and economies of scale, we are providing a new paradigm to in-memory computing relative to the size, scale and cost-effectiveness of the solution.”

The Ultrastar memory drive provides cost-efficient, near-DRAM performance for companies to expand memory pools sizes up to 8X the DRAM capacity, while offering substantial CAPEX and OPEX savings. With larger memory pools, application developers can take advantage of memory-aware performance and capacity optimizations, and expand faster data processing across many applications and workloads. The Ultrastar memory drive is ideal for in-memory applications such as Redis™, Memcached, Apache Spark™ and large-scale databases, providing higher capacities over current storage-class memory products.

The Ultrastar memory drive is drop-in ready and PCIe-device compatible with most Intel® x86 servers. Available in 1TiB, 2TiB and 4TiB, the solution requires no modifications to the operating system, system hardware, firmware or application stacks. For expandability, a 1U server can typically support up to 24TiB of system memory using the Ultrastar DC ME200 drive for in-memory compute clusters. Supported server interfaces are NVMe™ U.2 and PCIe AIC (add-in-card) HH-HL. Additional product information can be found here. The Ultrastar memory drive is currently available and sampling with select customers.


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