Inside Thinkmate

Western Digital JBOD Ultrastar 102

Innovative Cooling and Vibration Control for High-Density Storage

For data centers grappling with explosive data growth, high-density storage solutions are critical for keeping up with increasing capacity demands. However, packing more drives into an enclosure can create issues like vibration, cooling inefficiencies, and reliability problems. Western Digital's Ultrastar Data102 Hybrid Storage Platform tackles these challenges head-on through innovative patented hardware technologies.

Unmatched Storage Density

The Ultrastar Data102 achieves a staggering raw capacity of up to 2.65PB in a compact 4U form factor - made possible by utilizing Western Digital's latest 26TB SMR HDDs. Up to four enclosures can be daisy-chained to scale to a maximum raw capacity of 10.6PB. This extreme density pays dividends in reduced data center footprint and operational costs.

Vibration-Proof Performance with IsoVibe

In densely-packed drive arrays, vibrations from adjacent drives can cause performance-sapping read/write errors and head positioning issues. Western Digital's patented IsoVibe technology tackles this by precisely cutting the baseboard to suspend each drive, isolating it from transmitted vibrations. IsoVibe reduces rotational vibration by over 60% compared to conventional enclosures. It also improves a key head positioning metric called "total run out" by 24% compared to a competitor. This ensures consistently high drive performance even under heavy workloads.

Optimized Cooling with ArcticFlow

Dense storage also creates cooling challenges as air passing over successive drive rows heats up, losing effectiveness. ArcticFlow addresses this by introducing two separate thermal zones - a front zone with conventional front-to-back airflow, and a rear zone that pulls fresh cold air from the data center directly into the center of the chassis. Heated air from the front zone is ducted around the sides to the hot aisle, while the rear zone gets a fresh supply of cold air. This patented zoned design prevents hot spots and ensures all drives operate at consistent, lower temperatures compared to conventional cooling.

The Benefits: Lower Cooling Costs, Higher Reliability

ArcticFlow technology requires just over half the cooling power per drive compared to a leading competitor enclosure tested. In a large 20,000 drive data center, this could translate to $300,000 in energy cost savings over 5 years. Additionally, with drives running an average 13°C cooler in testing, an Arrhenius model projects ArcticFlow extends drive life with a 44% lower annual failure rate.

  • Built for Maximum Flexibility: The Ultrastar Data102 offers exceptional configuration flexibility. Enterprises can mix and match up to 102 SAS or SATA 3.5"\ HDDs and SSDs to balance capacity, performance and cost. Connectivity is provided by redundant hot-swap I/O modules with up to 12 x 12Gb/s SAS-3 ports.
  • Enterprise Grade Reliability: With fully redundant hot-swappable components like power supplies, fans and I/O modules, the Ultrastar Data102 is built for maximum uptime. Western Digital's HelioSeal drives ensure cool, quiet operation and high reliability. The entire platform is backed by a 5-year limited warranty option.
  • Comprehensive Management: The included Western Digital Resource Manager utility provides a unified GUI for real-time monitoring of components, status indicators, configuration management and more across multiple enclosures.
  • The Result: 62% Lower Field Drive Returns: By combining cutting-edge hardware innovations like IsoVibe vibration isolation and ArcticFlow thermal zoning, along with Western Digital's Silicon to Systems design approach, the Ultrastar Data102 platform has delivered a 62% reduction in field drive returns compared to previous generation Western Digital storage products without these technologies.


With its massive storage density, patented vibration and cooling technologies, robust enterprise design with redundancy, efficiency benefits, proven reliability improvements, and 5-year warranty option, the Western Digital Ultrastar Data102 is the ideal modern storage platform for software-defined data centers. Maximize your capacity while maintaining high performance, uptime and operational savings.

At Thinkmate, we are dedicated to helping you leverage leading-edge technology to drive innovation and provide solutions that enhance storage, efficiency, and sustainability. Explore the Western Digital Ultrastar Data102 or reach out to one of our solution architects at

Speak with an Expert Configurator at 1-800-371-1212