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Western Digital announces Red NAS drive family

Western Digital announces Red NAS drive family

Western Digital's Red drive family is designed specifically for use in Network Attached Storage (NAS) enclosures.

Storage specialist Western Digital has announced the new Red family of hard drives, aimed specifically at the Network Attached Storage (NAS) market.

The successor to Western Digital's reduced-power Green drives, the Red family of 3.5in SATA-connected hard drives feature reduced power draw compared to the Black drives but improved performance over the Greens. The drives also include something Western Digital is called 'NASware technology,' which it claims improves reliability and performance when the drives are used in multiple-bay NAS boxes.

As well as NASware, the drives include 3D Active Balance Plus, a technology Western Digital claims improves overall drive reliability by ensuring that the platters don't wobble as they spin.

'Until now, customers had to choose between using desktop or high-end server drives for their home or small office NAS systems – neither of which were both cost effective for consumer solutions and fully NAS compatible,' claimed Melyssa Banda, senior director of product marketing for Western Digital, somewhat disingenuously at the product launch event. 'WD saw this challenge as a perfect opportunity to design a better solution so we developed WD Red drives, an optimised product for this rapidly growing segment.'

As well as full compatibility with home and small office NAS systems - although the company has yet to indicate just why plain-old desktop-grade SATA drives are 'incompatible' with such systems - the drives include a three-year warranty and access to what Western Digital claims is a 24/7 'premium, dedicated support' service.

The drives are launching in 1TB, 2TB, and 3TB capacities. All models feature a SATA 6.0Gb/s interface, 64MB of cache, and spin at a variable pace using Western Digital's IntelliPower technology. Full performance details aren't yet available, but the company has claimed 150MB/s sustained transfer for the 1TB model and 145MB/s for the 2TB and 3TB versions.

While not yet available in the UK sales channel, US pricing has been set at $109, $139 and $189 respectively (around £70, £89 and £122 excluding taxes.)

19 Comments

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GuilleAcoustic 11th July 2012, 16:51 Quote
Maybe I'll soon replace my Caviar Green inside my Synology :D
PlayLoud 11th July 2012, 20:45 Quote
Hmm. Building a HTPC soon. Now I have to decide between Green and Red.
Gareth Halfacree 11th July 2012, 21:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by PlayLoud
Hmm. Building a HTPC soon. Now I have to decide between Green and Red.
My recommendation? Buy a selection of drives from different vendors. I've seen plenty of NAS systems die when two or more drives have failed simultaneously - either due to a manufacturing defect in the drives or simply an unlucky roll on the bathtub curve. Spreading the risk is the best way: if you're mirroring, use one manufacturer for the master drive and another for the mirror.

Oh, and remember that RAID isn't a backup. That one bites a *lot* of people in the bum eventually.
Harlequin 11th July 2012, 21:47 Quote
^^ and 90% of raid is really software run on the cpu anyway ;)
Sloth 11th July 2012, 21:49 Quote
While it'll be interesting to see if there's any large performance difference I'm willing to bet pricing will dictate the success of these drives for more discerning buyers.

The Green drives of equal size can be had for up to $20 less than the given prices for the Red drives. If there's no real great benefit I can see people saving a bit by going with Greens anyway. If you're looking at both a NAS and backup for said NAS you could save enough money to buy an entire hard drive...

Looking at Newegg, 1TB Red is $109 as stated, 2TB is $129 being a bit less than stated, and 3TB is $179 again a bit less than stated. It should also be noted that these prices don't include the $7 shipping which the Green drives get for free.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
My recommendation? Buy a selection of drives from different vendors. I've seen plenty of NAS systems die when two or more drives have failed simultaneously - either due to a manufacturing defect in the drives or simply an unlucky roll on the bathtub curve. Spreading the risk is the best way: if you're mirroring, use one manufacturer for the master drive and another for the mirror.

Oh, and remember that RAID isn't a backup. That one bites a *lot* of people in the bum eventually.
What are the chances of getting a NAS/home server How To/Tips and Tricks?
Harlequin 11th July 2012, 22:34 Quote
Gareth? you up for it? would happily guinea pig it as i want to (re)build a home server :D
Gareth Halfacree 11th July 2012, 22:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sloth
What are the chances of getting a NAS/home server How To/Tips and Tricks?
I'd be willing to cover that - although it'd be based on Linux or BSD. I've never really trusted Windows as a server OS...
Sloth 11th July 2012, 22:59 Quote
Given the recent news about WHS being dropped and the replacement costing $400+ I think Linux and BSD (such as FreeNAS) are what most readers would be wanting to see anyway!
Gareth Halfacree 11th July 2012, 23:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sloth
Given the recent news about WHS being dropped and the replacement costing $400+ I think Linux and BSD (such as FreeNAS) are what most readers would be wanting to see anyway!

I've pitched it to the bossman, so watch this space.
Fingers66 11th July 2012, 23:06 Quote
Please include OpenMediaVault in any comparison, it is fantastic (coming from a ex-FreeNAS user).

Sent from my HTC Desire S using Tapatalk 2
Harlequin 11th July 2012, 23:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
I've pitched it to the bossman, so watch this space.

+rep - cant wait tbh , ` eejuts guide to linux nas` is really what most people actually want ; a `how to turn an old pc into something useful again - for free`

and thats the sort of writing your awesome at :D
phuzz 12th July 2012, 00:23 Quote
Another vote for OpenMediaVault, it's as least as easy to install as XP, if not easier. Just pop a cd or USB key in, boot from it and follow the instructions.
ArthurB 12th July 2012, 03:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sloth
The Green drives of equal size can be had for up to $20 less than the given prices for the Red drives. If there's no real great benefit I can see people saving a bit by going with Greens anyway.
One of the main advantages to the Red drives is that are designed to run continuously i.e. 24/7, whereas most consumer drives [url=are not (typically 2,400 hours per year or 8 hours per day, 5 days per week).
fluxtatic 12th July 2012, 08:57 Quote
Oooh, Gareth, teach we poor Windows power users exactly how the hell you're supposed to compile and install BSD.

I've got a 1TB Green drive currently...not a big fan. I always feel like it's on the verge of failure, especially when it's put itself to sleep and takes forever to respond. When it does that, I just wait in dread to hear the "click...click....click". There's a firmware fix that stops it from putting itself to sleep after 5 seconds, but after I had all my important data on it, I didn't want to update for fear of bricking it.

For the minor difference in power, relatively, I'll stick with 'normal' 7200 rpm drives. Although I inadvertently recommended a WD A/V drive to a friend and he's perfectly happy with it.

I'm still wating for prices to come back down - it's way too painful to shell out $140 for a 2TB drive when I paid $80 for one a little more than a year ago. That did kind of tear it for me, though; prices have come down to the point where my next drive will be an SSD. When I checked Newegg for an 80GB (needed a cheap boot drive), it was $99.99. When I can pick up a 128GB SSD for not much more than that, HDDs start to become stupid for anything less than a TB to be used for mass storage.
faugusztin 12th July 2012, 09:22 Quote
In my opinion, WD Red drives are WD RE4-GP with following modifications :
- no green sleep thingy (aka spindown after 8 seconds)
- less warranty

I had bunch of WD Green drives to fail, but except one WD20EARX they all were the first WD20EARS drives (WD20EARS-00S, 4 platter version). All WD20EARS-00M (3 platter version) and all but one WD20EARX are working fine.

Sure, in future i will buy red drives probably for my fileserver, if they won't be stupidly overpriced. But if they will be more expensive than Blue, then i will just buy Blue drives. Seagate (and because of that Samsung too now) is banned in my house :D.
Gareth Halfacree 12th July 2012, 09:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by fluxtatic
Oooh, Gareth, teach we poor Windows power users exactly how the hell you're supposed to compile and install BSD.
If you *really* want to learn how to compile it, I'll oblige, but have you ever compiled Windows? Here's a hint: I install BSD by inserting the CD into the optical drive and rebooting. Then I follow the on-screen prompts. Then I go and play on the PlayChoice while it installs. Ten or so minutes later (a pound's worth of PlayChoice time, typically): BSD.
Westyfield2 12th July 2012, 17:12 Quote
"Until now, customers had to choose between using desktop or high-end server drives for their home or small office NAS systems – neither of which were both cost effective for consumer solutions and fully NAS compatible"

Hmm, wonder what's wrong with enterprise grade RE4? Time Limited Error Recovery on them should stop the RAID controller dumping them because they're unresponsive.

Actually, doesn't the RE4 stand for “RAID Edition”?
fluxtatic 16th July 2012, 01:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
If you *really* want to learn how to compile it, I'll oblige, but have you ever compiled Windows? Here's a hint: I install BSD by inserting the CD into the optical drive and rebooting. Then I follow the on-screen prompts. Then I go and play on the PlayChoice while it installs. Ten or so minutes later (a pound's worth of PlayChoice time, typically): BSD.

Good to know - last time I looked into it, I couldn't find binaries of BSD (FreeBSD, as I recall), so I was left with attempting to compile it myself, and documentation was a bit lacking for someone who had never attempted to compile an OS. I'll have to check it out next time the Windows install on my server craps out.
faugusztin 16th July 2012, 09:13 Quote
Then you were looking wrong ?
http://web.archive.org/web/19961221025901/http://www.freebsd.org/where.html

That is the FreeBSD download site from 1996. Don't let the wording "The official sources for FreeBSD are:" confuse you :D.
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