Interview with Western Digital from Intersec 2024

We recently had the opportunity to interview Mohammed Owais, Sales Director, Middle East, at Western Digital.

GDGTME Team  •  January 30, 2024

Interview with Western Digital from Intersec 2024

At Intersec 2024, we had the opportunity to interview Mohammed Owais, Sales Director, Middle East, at Western Digital (WD). With over two decades of experience, he have been an integral part of the storage industry in the Middle East for more than 20 years.

Can you please tell us a little bit about yourself and your position at WD.  

My Name is Mohammed Owais, serving as the Sales Director, Middle East, at Western Digital. With over two decades of experience, I have been an integral part of the storage industry in the Middle East for more than 20 years.

Can you elaborate on the key features and specifications of the recently launched enterprise drives? How do these drives cater to the needs of hyperscale, cloud, and enterprise data center customers?

We recently launched the new Ultrastar DC HC580 24TB CMR HDD and DC HC680 28TB SMR HDD, the new 10-disk CMR and SMR drives that are designed keeping hyperscale, cloud, and enterprise data canter customers in mind. These new drives come with high capacity and lower power per terabyte, allowing for a more efficient storage system solution. These drives provide data center customers with an improved OptiNAND Technology, which allows them to further maximize efficient storage.

We also recently launched the Ultrastar DC SN655 NVMe SSD, a specialized solid-state drive that is optimized for cloud and scale out workloads. This drive enables a range of features for enterprise customers, such as handling substantial amounts of data, AI, and machine learning workloads, while also scaling capacities efficiently and maximizing overall GB/watt.

Could you provide more insights into the unique features of the 22TB WD Purple Pro CMR HDD, especially its OptiNAND™ technology, and how it supports video analytics servers, AI, and deep-learning systems?

The WD Purple Pro CMR HDD comes with high capacity of 22TB, made possible through the OptiNAND technology. It is purpose-built for enterprise-class applications that are targeted towards video analytics and AI deep learning systems.

This drive also comes with the exclusive AllFrame AI technology, which supports 32 AI streams for deep learning analytics within the system while helping to reduce dropped frames.

The WD Purple Pro is also optimized for handling up to 64 single-stream HD cameras as well as many of the latest smart cameras that transmit multiple streams. It offers high reliability with a MTBF of up to 2.5 million hours 2 for advanced smart video solutions that operate in 24/7 environments. The WD Purple Pro HDD family now comes in 8TB-22TB capacities.

What distinguishes the WD Purple microSD card from other storage solutions, and how does it meet the specific needs of continuous operation in video surveillance applications?

The WD Purple microSD card is uniquely designed for the mainstream security camera market. It uses a 96 layer 3D NAND technology, which allows for a powerful combination of ultra-endurance, high performance, and wide capacity.

Not only does it support 24/7 continuous recording, but it is also capable of recording under extreme temperatures.

The microSD card also comes with the unique feature of card health monitoring, which notifies the user when its time to service or change the card, allowing for preemptive storage management.

How do these specialized solid-state drives address the requirements of cloud and scale-out workloads, especially in handling substantial data, AI, and machine learning workloads efficiently?

The Ultrastar DC SN665 NVMe SSD comes with optimized features that are capable of addressing cloud and scale-out workloads, providing high QoS consistency for emerging workloads for big data, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. It comes with dual-port redundancy and failover capability, which further enhance the enterprise experience with additional security, high capacity, and low latency.

From a more technical perspective, it also comes with the next-generation Western Digital NVMe 1.4b controller with PCIe Generation 4.0 interface and Western Digital BiCS5 TLC 3D NAND which enables higher capacities and performance at scale for increasingly larger workloads. It also supports U.2 and U.3 backplanes and features power loss protection and 2.5M MTBF and 1.0 DW/D.

What is your outlook on the security and surveillance market in the UAE?

The surveillance and security market in the UAE is in a period of growth and we expect this pattern to continue. With urbanization increasing rapidly along with the increasing population, the need for public safety and security is of key concern. This further instigates the need for a proper and dependable video surveillance system, be it in public spaces such as airports or shopping malls, as well as private offices and residences. More surveillance equipment was also installed during the COVID-19 pandemic, a trend that has continued until today.

In Western Digital’s opinion, what technologies should hybrid businesses focus on to remain competitive in the market?

Hybrid businesses, which combine elements of traditional and digital models, should leverage a variety of technologies to remain competitive in the market. The specific technologies may vary depending on the industry and business model, but here are some general areas to focus on Cloud Computing, Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Edge Computing, and Augmented Reality.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Through our commitment to innovation, reliability, and sustainability and as we continue to pioneer the future of data storage, we aim to empower individuals, businesses, and societies to thrive in an increasingly data-centric world.

We would like to thank Mohammed Owais for taking the time to answer all our questions!

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