Western Digital Flash Perspective Event: Creating Environments Where Our Data Can Thrive

Over 40% of the bits in the world are stored on Western Digital products, which is insane when you think about it, but here we are. Just about everything that we use or do utilizes some form of storage, and Western Digital is the global leader in both hard drives and SSDs. During the Western Digital Flash Perspective Event today, they shared some exciting announcements that give us a glimpse at how Western Digital will continue creating environments for our data to thrive.

Here are the main announcements covered at today’s event…

WD_BLACK Adds Three New SSD Solutions

Whether you are an advanced gamer or just starting, fast and reliable flash solutions are critical for enhancing your gaming experience. Western Digital has just announced the addition of three new WD_BLACK SSDs, each intended to upgrade your PC and next-gen console gaming experience.


Western Digital WD_BLACK SN750 SE NVMe SSD

This DRAM-less internal storage solution for PC gamers leverages PCIe Gen4 technology (backward compatible with PCIe Gen3) to deliver read speeds of up to 3,600MB/s. Using up to 30% less power consumption than the previous model, laptop gamers can expect longer playtimes between charges. The included WD_BLACK Dashboard will monitor the drive’s health while optimizing peak performance in gaming mode — even during streaming.

The WD_BLACK SN750 SE NVMe SSD will be available in 250GB, 500GB, and 1TB capacities, starting at $54.99, and it is available for pre-order on the Western Digital site. Later this summer, you’ll be able to find it from other retailers.

WD_BLACK D30 Game Drive SSD

Western Digital WD_BLACK D30 Game Drive SSD

If you’re a console gamer looking to minimize game load times and get into the game fast, this sleek and compact high-performance SSD comes with read speeds up to 900 MB/s. You’ll be able to spend more time playing games and less time deleting them with expanded storage for up to 50 games with capacities up to 2TB. The drive includes a detachable stand so you can keep it next to your system.

The WD_BLACK D30 Game Drive SSD is available in 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB capacities, starting at $89.99.

WD_BLACK D30 Game Drive SSD for Xbox

Western Digital WD_BLACK D30 Game Drive SSD for Xbox

The WD_BLACK D30 Game Drive SSD is an officially licensed Xbox portable memory device that offers accelerated speeds and capacity packaged in a compact Xbox-inspired design. You can plug in your drive and quickly begin building your game library or making room on your console for new titles while also playing legacy Xbox One favorites directly from the drive. A 1-month membership of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is included with your purchase, and you’ll have access to 100+ games on consoles and PC, plus online console multiplayer.

The WD_BLACK D30 Game Drive SSD for Xbox comes in 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB capacities, starting at $99.99, and it is available for pre-order on the Western Digital site. In June, you’ll be able to find it from other retailers.

SanDisk Professional – Premium Storage Solutions for Content Creators and Professionals

Western Digital SanDisk Professional

If creating content is your life’s work — whether that content is blockbuster films, professional photography, or whatever it might be, being able to save your created content, transfer it, off-load it, share it, and archive it is all a part of your daily process. SanDisk Professional has been created to offer a range of purpose-built tools to make every step of the process better and more harmonized.

Based on the foundation of the SanDisk consumer brand and its professional-grade G-Technology brand (which I just learned has been the storage choice of Hollywood professionals for decades), the new SanDisk Professional line will feature modular workflow solutions with professional-grade performance and enterprise-class reliability that will include:

  • PRO-CINEMA CFexpress VPG400 – An all-new professional-grade, rugged CFexpress card for videographers and cinematographers needing superior, uninterrupted performance with video recording at a minimum of 400MB/s to keep up with the demands facing today’s videography, broadcast, and cinema industries. The new card is expected to be available this summer.
  • PRO-READER series – Four new PRO-READER devices that feature a USB-C interface that supports SuperSpeed USB 10Gbs. Designed to work with the latest and most common camera media, including CFast, CFexpress, RED Mini-Mag, CF, microSD, and SD. The series of PRO-READERS are expected to be available this summer.
  • PRO-DOCK 4 – A new revolutionary 4-bay reader docking station that can bridge capture and ingest with a truly scalable offloading solution that saves critical time and money on multi-camera productions. The PRO-DOCK 4, expected to be available later this summer, enables up to four simultaneous card offloads.
  • A new 4TB G-DRIVE ArmorLock Encrypted NVMe SSD along with our trusted line up of G-DRIVE ultra-rugged portable drives, desktop devices featuring our enterprise-grade Ultrastar drives, and G-RAID and G-RAID SHUTTLE transportable, enterprise-grade RAID solutions (now featuring both Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C support) that offer an exceptional range of reliable, high-performance, high-capacity drives for everything from transfer to 100TB+* back up and archive for all types of mission-critical content. The broad range of new drives is expected to begin rolling out by early June.

A New Embedded Flash Platform for Universal Flash Storage (UFS) 3.1

Flash storage is central to the success of all of the services, technologies, and devices that are built around mobility. The new Western Digital UFS 3.1 based on the JEDEC-compliant UFS 3.1 specification will give up to a 90% improvement in sequential write performance compared to the previous generation. This will help us actually see the promised potential in  5G and Wi-Fi 6 download speeds, so we’ll have an even better experience when doing everything from watching 8K video to burst mode photography on our mobile devices.

We can expect to see Western Digital products based on the UFS 3.1 platform in the second half of this year.

Western Digital and Persona Join Forces to Extend the Zoned Storage Ecosystem

Percona is a leader in open-source database software and services. As part of the Zoned Storage initiative, Western Digital has teamed up with them for even performance benefits of Western Digital’s Ultrastar DC ZN540 NVMe ZNS SSDs for MySQL Server.

Many of our customers are using MySQL as a database for their online data services, and this new partnership with Percona will allow customers to unlock the full capabilities of our innovative ZNS flash solutions. With our contributions to the Linux and MySQL open-source communities, MySQL users will be able to install the Percona Server for MySQL and get out-of-the-box support for Western Digital Zoned Namespaces SSDs. This demonstrates our continued commitment to deliver innovative data center infrastructure products and to build our partnership ecosystem to make those easy to implement by our customers. – Wim De Wispelaere, vice president, Strategic Initiatives at Western Digital.

We all use so many cloud services, whether we realize it or not — everything from shopping on our favorite internet sites to hailing a ride-share from your mobile device is done through some facet of cloud computing — but few of us give a second thought to how the magic actually happens.

To keep up with this growth, Western Digital says that modern databases must run on NVMe SSDs to handle the performance requirements of cloud-scale e-commerce, IoT and other services as user experiences depend on it.

Western Digital tests indicate that a MySQL Server running on a ZN540 ZNS SSD with MyRocks can perform up to 3x more transactions per second compared to using a conventional SSD with InnoDB in write-heavy MySQL use cases. These transactions complete with shorter and more predictable latency, making the cloud services more responsive.

The Ultrastar Zoned Namespaces SSD also delivers up to 25 percent higher density and can endure 3.5 drive writes a day, making it more robust in highly transactional workloads.

Percona will provide their enterprise-class software support, performance-tuning, and consulting services for the use of Percona Server for MySQL with Western Digital ZNS SSDs. Together the companies will ensure that customers with mission-critical environments can get access to expertise around the clock.

We have an ongoing mission to help our customers improve their open-source database performance, as this supports the critical applications that those companies run. We are excited to form this technology alliance with Western Digital to bring our open-source database expertise to customers. This alliance will allow customers to capitalize on the distinct skillsets of Percona and Western Digital, enabling customers to keep pace with modern application performance demands and ensure they can monitor performance with ease. –  Peter Zaitsev, founder and CEO at Percona.

The Percona Server for MySQL with Western Digital ZNS SSDs will be available in the second half of 2021.


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About the Author

Judie Lipsett Stanford
Judie is the co-owner and Editor-in-Chief of Gear Diary, which she founded in September 2006. She started in 1999 writing software reviews at the now-defunct smaller.com; from mid-2000 through 2006, she wrote hardware reviews for and co-edited at The Gadgeteer. A recipient of the Sigma Kappa Colby Award for Technology, Judie is best known for her device-agnostic approach, deep-dive reviews, and enjoyment of exploring the latest tech, gadgets, and gear.