LINBIT partners with Western Digital to support storage demands of AI technologies


Western Digital’s OpenFlex platform provides the storage tools and resources for organizations taking a truly disaggregated approach to their software-defined storage (SDS) infrastructure. Combining this with LINBIT’s LINSTOR software will enable northbound connectors to workload orchestrators like Kubernetes (K8s) and OpenStack® software. With the recent addition of a southbound driver for Western Digital’s Open Composable Application Programming Interface (API), it bridges the gap between Kubernetes/OpenStack and managing volumes on the NVMe-oF™ capable storage hardware.


Through disaggregating compute, storage, and network into virtual resource pools, IT managers can easily provision those resources on the fly, enabling better asset utilization and simplified operations. For example, when compared to hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI), the OpenFlex platform can eliminate underutilized resources and reduce TCO by up to 40 percent.

Fully automated volume management will be available on the F3200 storage devices. Users will also have the ability to add storage features of the Linux® IO stack to the volumes that arrive at the Kubernetes layer. These features include:

  • The ability to replicate storage environments remotely through the well-established DRBD driver
  • Virtual Data Optimizer (VDO) that eliminates redundant data
  • Defacto standard Linux hard disk encryption LUKS through an on-disk-format to facilitate compatibility among distributions and secure management of multiple user passwords
  • Add local Persistent Memory (PMEM) as cache in front of an NVMe-oF volume
  • Location-aware data placement for data-intensive applications
  • Asynchronous long distance replication of (multiple) volumes by contiguous snapshot shipping for disaster recovery purposes.

Manfred Berger, senior manager, business development, platforms, Western Digital, said: “We’ve recognized that there is a massive demand for storage solutions with more capacity and lower latency that can support the volume of data that technologies such as AI and 5G require. With LINBIT’s LINSTOR software added to our OpenFlex offering, the software-defined-storage solution combines the advantages of SDS systems, Linux OS features and composable hardware so that organisations have the confidence they need in their Kubernetes environments.” 

Philipp Reisner, CEO at LINBIT said: “It’s important that we’re supporting partners like Western Digital and its customers with storage solutions that meet the ever-growing data processing needs. With the open-source LINSTOR we bridge the gap between the workload orchestrator (Kubernetes) and the efficient OpenFlex storage devices from Western Digital. In combination delivering high-performance block storage at a very attractive price point.”

Initial testing of bi-directionally mirrored DRBP storage volumes between two X86 servers revealed a net read data rate of up to 18.6 GB/s or 6.7M 4kB combined read IOPS from just four storage devices inside one E3000 chassis across the network.



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