We are now shipping the latest product in our capacity enterprise HDD product line, the 8TB Ultrastar® DC HC320, providing a new high capacity point in our lower capacity lineup of air-based products. As part of the unification of our new Western Digital brand, the Ultrastar DC HC320 is being introduced under the Western Digital Data Center (DC) segment branding. It was announced earlier this year as the HGST Ultrastar 7K8, as a companion to the Ultrastar 7K6.
Not only does the Ultrastar DC HC320 serve a specific market need for an enterprise class, lower capacity drive, but it also has the honor of being the first data center product to bear the new Western Digital brand. All new commercial and enterprise products going forward will carry this new Western Digital branding as we transition away from the HGST brand. Western Digital has gone through a significant transformation with the integration of multiple companies. Moving to the Western Digital brand for all of our commercial and enterprise products is the first step in unifying the brands in our portfolio.
Leadership in Data Center Drives
Western Digital has established itself as a leader in Data Center drives, being first with helium sealed technology (HelioSeal®), extending through four generations and cumulatively shipping over 20 million helium HDD units, more than any other manufacturer. HelioSeal drives are ideal for cloud service providers and very large data centers, where the highest capacity and storage density is valued for ultimate TCO (total cost of ownership).
But while HelioSeal HDDs deliver tremendous value for many customers, there remains a very healthy demand for enterprise class, lower capacity drives. The “sweet spot” for these mid-capacities is moving up from 4TB to 6TB and 8TB. These drives serve our OEM customers that need to offer a range of price points and capacity points for their customers, many of which are deploying servers for small and mid-size businesses, departments in larger corporations, or on-premise data center applications that can effectively utilize lower capacities than the maximum available at any one time. RAID arrays and Apache Hadoop® clusters are just two applications where these mid-capacity drives shine. Whether it is a traditional IT application or Big Data analytics, there are times where the highest capacity drive isn’t the best fit.
In every case, however, delivering more value is always important. So Western Digital leveraged its experience with enterprise class, air-based designs, extending the mature 5-platter platform, increasing the capacity to 8TB. The new Ultrastar DC HC320 fits the bill perfectly with a cost effective 8TB HDD for these applications.
The Right Solution at any Capacity
Whether helium or air, high capacity or lower capacity, you can count on Western Digital to meet the needs of the Data Center with the right drive with the right value proposition, featuring leading edge engineering and high reliability. Ultrastar DC HC320 is just the latest example.
 Based on TRENDFOCUS Helium HDD Shipments from 2014-2017 and Western Digital internal sales data.
Lenny oversees planning and management of WDC’s enterprise HDD product line with 30+ years in high tech marketing and product management.