Western Digital launches edge server family to support lower latency and real-time processing

This new hardware is designed for cloud service providers, telcos and system integrators and includes a rugged design for harsh environments.

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Image: iStock/gorodenkoff

Western Digital announced a new high-performance Ultrastar Edge server family. The company expects cloud services providers to use this product to power real-time decision making based on data collected at the edge.

The new product line includes:

  • The Ultrastar Edge-R: A rugged, 3U stackable server that meets military specs for field teams working in harsh remote environments.
  • The Ultrastar Edge: A transportable, 2U rack-mountable server with a portable case for color and edge data centers. 

Both servers support up to 40 cores with two 2nd Intel Xeon Scalable Processors, an NVIDIA T4 GPU and eight Ultrastar NVMe SSDs providing up to 61TB of storage. The hardware features two 50Gb or one 100Gb Ethernet connection for sending critical data back to the cloud or data center when connected. 

The Ultrastar Edge-MR also meets IP32 standards to provide ingress protection against water and debris. Both units have a tamper-evident enclosure and meet FIPS 140-2 Level 2 security standard to help store, secure, transfer and disseminate sensitive data. Western Digital expects both products to be available in the last quarter of 2021.

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"As a storage technology leader, we're constantly looking ahead and anticipating how we'll continue to serve our customers' needs," Kurt Chan, vice president, data center platforms at Western Digital, said in a press release. "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."

Manoj Sukumaran, a senior analyst at Data Center Compute at Omdia, said in a press release that he expects server deployments at edge locations to double through 2024, totaling an estimated five million units, to support cloud services, remote campuses, content delivery networks and virtually any vertical industry that relies on IoT, sensor or remote data.

"In the world of 5G and IoT, compute must happen at the edge—closer to devices, end-users and the machines that are generating the data—as latency and bandwidth are essential factors for success," he said. 

Jeff Johnson, co-founder, Aeon Computing, said in a press release that it's critical for the federal government and its agencies to gather information quickly in a variety of settings and to deliver insight when and where it is needed.

"We can now deliver a secure, rugged solution that brings the power of the cloud to virtually any edge or tactical environment around the world," he said.

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By Veronica Combs

Veronica Combs is a senior writer at TechRepublic. For more than 10 years, she has covered technology, healthcare, and business strategy. In addition to her writing and editing expertise, she has managed small and large teams at startups and establis...