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Western Digital (WDC) Unveils Ultrastar Edge: Key Takeaways

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Western Digital WDC recently announced the availability of its Ultrastar Edge Servers’ portfolio including the Ultrastar Edge-MR.

Each of the Ultrastar Edge servers can support up to 40 cores and has two second-generation Intel Xeon Scalable Processors along with an NVIDIA T4 graphic processing unit (GPU). The servers also include eight Ultrastar NVMe solid state drives (SSDs) that offer up to 61 terabyte of storage capacity.

The latest servers have a 100 GB (or two 50 GB) Ethernet connection for data transmission to the cloud or data center.

Western Digital Corporation Price and Consensus

Western Digital Corporation Price and Consensus
Western Digital Corporation Price and Consensus

Western Digital Corporation price-consensus-chart | Western Digital Corporation Quote

A Look at the New Servers

According to Western Digital, Ultrastar Edge servers can boost speed and performance of Artificial Intelligence (AI), real-time analytics, Machine Learning (ML) training and video transcoding applications at the edge for cloud service providers, telcos and system integrators. With business enterprises deploying applications in remote locations like deserts and seas, it is fueling demand for rugged compute and storage solutions.

In remote environment, in absence (or limited) of network connectivity, Ultrastar servers offer lower latency and increased processing speed.

The latest servers are not only easy to transport but can also be easily deployed and are scalable across various locations like colocation (colo) facilities, factories, as well as remote data centers, noted the company.

Western Digital’s Ultrastar Edge-MR server, which is both stackable and transportable, is primarily designed for military and expert field teams that operate in hostile environments. The solution is expected to be generally available from the fourth quarter of calendar 2021.

Now, edge computing technology refers to the processing and storage of the data nearer to the edge of a user’s network, wherein the data is generated and not across a centralized data center. Migration of workloads to cloud, accelerated 5G deployment, and fast proliferation of Internet of Things (IoT) & AI applications is facilitating data processing at the edge.

Citing a senior analyst, Data Center Compute at Omdia, Western Digital revealed that server deployments at edge locations are projected to double through 2024, and reach an estimated five million units.

This projection bodes well for Western Digital’s recently-unveiled Ultrastar Edge servers and is expected to drive the top line, going ahead.

Opportunities Aplenty for Western Digital

Western Digital is also well-positioned to gain from high capacity energy-assisted drives (16 and 18 terabytes) and its second-generation NVMe enterprise SSDs. Improvement seen in NAND flash pricing trends as well as recovery in enterprise markets also bode well.

Also, the company’s WD_BLACK product line is witnessing strong momentum in the gaming vertical.

Nonetheless, increases in costs associated with the ramping up of next-generation energy assisted hard drives and higher COVID-19 related expenses are a concern amid stiff competition from the likes of Seagate STX and Micron, among others.

Zacks Rank & Other Stocks to Consider

At present, Western Digital sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Other stocks worth consideration in the broader technology sector are Facebook FB and Alphabet GOOGL. Both the stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

The long-term earnings growth rate for Facebook and Alphabet is currently pegged at 20.1% and 18.1%, respectively.

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