WD F3200 flash device is ‘open, fast, composable’

Western Digital has announced the F3200, the latest iteration of its flash fabric shared storage system for composable systems. Key takeaways? The NVMe-oF device is faster than its predecessors, there are software improvements and capacities stay the same. Also it’s not cheap.

The F3200 tucks into WD’s OpenFlex composable systems storage and is “open, fast and composable,” according to the company blog announcing the product. OpenFlex disaggregates server CPUs, memory and storage. It has an openly available API and is supported by DriveScale and Silk (rebranded Kaminario.) Its architecture allows for disaggregating GPUs and FPGAs.

The F3200 looks the same as the F3100.

F3000, F3100 and F3200

Two years ago WD introduced OpenFlex F3000, a ruler format flash drive using 64-layer 3D NAND, with 61TB capacity, NVMe-oF RoCE connectivity, and housed in an E3000 Fabric enclosure which could take ten F3000s. 

The F3100 launched in August 2019 and used 96-layer 3D NAND in a ruler format and 61.4TB capacity. It had up to 11.7GB/sec bandwidth; more or less the same as the F3000’s 12GB/sec, and delivered up to 2.1m IOPS with a latency of less than 48μs.

Now WD has announced the F3200, with the same 61.4TB maximum capacity and faster write performance; up to 48 per cent random and 22 per cent sequential write speed gain. There is up to 4 per cent mixed read and write performance increase.

WD says latency is under 40μs 99.99 per cent of the time but a speeds table puts a different slant on this:

This shows the 61.4TB model has 47.2μs 99.99 per cent ransom write latency while the 51.2TB variant has a 46.7μs number. Only the lower capacity models slip under the 40μs figure.

The F3200 has 2 x 50GbitE ports and is available in 15.3, 30.7 and 61.4TB capacity points. The endurance is 0.8 drive writes per day, but can be increased to 2 DWPD by formatting capacity down to 12.8TB, 25.6TB or 51.2TB, respectively.

New software includes VLAN tagging, secure erase, expanded NVMe namespace and non-disruptive firmware updates. The F3200 also incorporates Open Composable APIs to enable filterable email alerts and telemetry data.

A 25.6TB F31200 costs $19,721.04 at NCDS, a Canadian retailer, while the 12.8TB model is priced at $13,829.71.The 61.4TB model will set you back $31,988.64.