Western Digital enhances OpenFlex JBOF

Western Digital has upgraded its OpenFlex storage solution, integrating faster dual-port SSDs and the new RapidFlex fabric bridge for improved performance.

OpenFlex is a 2RU x 24-bay disaggregated chassis designed with NVMe SSDs, offering Ethernet NVMe-oF access. It supports both RoCE and NVMe/TCP. The Data24 3200 enclosure is equipped with the Ultrastar DC SN655 drive, an enhancement from last year’s SN650 model. Both drives incorporate the WD/Kioxia BiCS5 flash with 112 layers in TLC (3bits/cell) configuration, reaching a peak capacity of 15.4TB. These drives are also compatible with PCIe gen 4.

Kurt Chan, VP and GM of Western Digital’s Digital Platforms division, said: “When combining RapidFlex and Ultrastar into the Data24, Western Digital gives organizations a transformative, next-generation way to share flash and bring greater value to their business.”

Western Digital OpenFlex Data24 3200 chassis, DC SN655 SSD, RapidFlex C2000 Fabric Bridge card, and A2000 ASIC
Clockwise from top left: OpenFlex Data24 3200 chassis, DC SN655 SSD, RapidFlex C2000 Fabric Bridge card, and A2000 ASIC

The SN655 provides up to 1,100,000/125,000 random read/write IOPS and sequential read/write speeds of up to 6.8/3.7GBps. In comparison, the older SN650 model achieved up to 970,000/109,000 random read/write IOPS and a sequential speed of 6.6/2.8GBps.

Both the SN650 and SN655 feature a U.3 format, come with a five-year warranty, and support 1 drive write per day. The SN655 is available in three capacities: 3.48, 7.68, and 15.36TB, whereas the SN650 was available in 7.68 and 15.56TB options.

The RapidFlex C2000 Fabric Bridge, powered by the A2000 ASIC, serves as a PCIe adapter. This device can export the PCIe bus over Ethernet and boasts two 100GbitE ports linked to 16 PCIe gen 4 lanes. An additional advantage of the C2000 is its ability to function in initiator mode, adding to its existing target mode. This feature enables clients to deploy more cost-efficient and energy-saving initiator cards in their servers, negating the need for a traditional Ethernet NIC for NVMe-oF connectivity.

With the C2000’s capabilities, the Data24 3200 can connect to up to six server hosts directly, eliminating the necessity for a switch device.

The OpenFlex Data24 3200 NVMe-oF Storage Platform, along with the RapidFlex A2000, C2000 FBDs, and the Ultrastar SN655 dual-port NVMe SSD are currently available for sampling.