Disk drive and SSD maker Western Digital launches two specialized transportable systems for edge deployments. The Ultrastar Edge and Ultrastar Edge-MR will support 5G networks and other communications in harsh environments, such as deserts, seas, or jungles.
As organizations run apps in highly remote locations, they need ruggedized compute and storage where networks can be expensive, intermittent, or non-existent. So, customers demand new, distributed intelligent architectures outside of core data centers to help manage data at the edge, especially with the rise of 5G, IoT, and the cloud.
The new edge servers, including a rugged MIL-spec version, will reduce latency and improve bandwidth. In turn, they will enable organizations to transport, deploy, secure and analyze data in real-time quickly, even when disconnected.
Kurt Chan, who serves the role as Vice President for Data Centre Platforms at Western Digital, had this to say:
As a storage technology leader, we’re constantly looking ahead and anticipating how we’ll continue to serve our customers’ needs. The growth in data creation at the edge, the opportunities to extract value from that data, and the total available markets and customers innovating and doing work at the edge gives us a great opportunity for our new Ultrastar Edge server family.
The base Ultrastar Edge product features 2x Xeon Gold 6230T CPUs, 2.1GHz, both of which come with 20 cores. It also provides for Nvidia Tesla T4 GPU and 8x 7.68TB Ultrastar DC SN640 NVMe SSDs with up to 61TB storage. It has two 50Gbit/s or one 100Gbit/s Ethernet connection. All features combined make the Ultrastar Edge fast and capable of real-time analytics, AI, deep learning, ML training and inference, and video transcoding at the edge of an IT network.
The Ultrastar Edge-MR edition features the same pair of 2x gen-2 Xeon SP CPUs, only with up to 40 cores. It comes with a T4 GPU, 512GB of DRAM, dual 10GBase-T RJ-45 ports, and a Mellanox ConnectX-5 100GbE QSFP28 port. The Edge-MR is inside a hardened box which is rated IP32 for water and debris protection. It weighs 71.1lbs or 32.25kg, which is quite heavy to drag around. The product also went through design and testing according to MIL-STD-810G-CHG-1 and MIL-STD-461G standards.
Western Digital advises using the Edge-MR to analyze data during oil and gas explorations, research in the Amazon, or military operations far away from any server closet.
Western Digital introduces the new high-performance Ultrastar®Edge server. Compute closer to where data is generated for faster processing, lower latency, and real-time decision making. Learn more. https://t.co/dpYAaXq9bL pic.twitter.com/5SRSWAlLyD
— Western Digital Data Center Solutions (@WesternDigiDC) June 15, 2021
Both edge servers feature the Trusted Platform Module 2.0, a tamper-evident enclosure, and meet the FIPS 140-2 Level 2 security standard.
Currently, the edge servers are based on Intel, but the company is exploring other alternatives, such as AMD and RISC-V, especially for custom designs. Both edge servers are available for order.