WDs Red is the first line of NASspecific hard drives

first_imgNetwork-attached storage (NAS) units are one area where the hard drive has little to fear from today’s solid-state drives. Networked storage favors capacity over transfer speed and reliability over performance, so the hard drive is still very much the best option. Realizing this, and seeing big projected growth in the NAS market, Western Digital has developed Red, a series of hard drives specifically designed for use in network-attached storage.The Red drives looks like normal, 3.5-inch hard drives (only parts of the label are red), and they will initially come in 1TB, 2TB, and 3TB capacities. Each drive will have a 64MB cache, DDR2, WD’s Intellipower rotational speed moderation, and 6Gbit/s SATA. Sounds just like a normal 3.5-inch drive, right? In most ways they are, but each Red disk will have WD’s NASware RAID management as well as firmware and hardware improvements that make them ideally suited to work in small, 1-5 bay enclosures.WD has also increased the MTBF for the Red drives from 650,000 hours to 1,000,000 as they believe them to be that much more reliable than their standard offerings. They are rated for operating temperatures up to 70 degrees C (instead of 60) because the drives will operate in hot, multi-drive environments.Those drive improvements are all internal so WD isn’t speaking much about what was specifically changed, but the end result should be cooler, more efficient hard drives with “best-in-class power utilization”. One of the improvements that was mentioned was 3D active balancing, which is designed to make for for less vibration and less noise. That means quieter NAS units and significantly less grumpy IT managers.Performance will be above that of WD’s Green series, but not at the level of the enthusiast-level Black. The Red series isn’t specifically geared for top speed, but they should be respectable all-rounded performers and, more importantly, optimized for the tasks most often handled by a drive in a NAS.Western Digital didn’t stop at just the hard drives for this roll out, they worked with NAS companies, like Synology, in order to ensure maximum compatibility across product lines. Also, the Red drives will include a free copy of Acronis True Image backup software, and they will have a dedicated, 24-7 support line from WD’s in-house NAS team.With more NAS units being sold ever year and a large share of those diskless, WD has the makings for a solid product here. It seems like they’ve taken the task seriously and given buyers a number of reason why they should put the right hard drive in their NAS, not just the cheapest one.last_img

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