Western Digital announces Red NAS drive family

July 11, 2012 // 10:43 a.m.

Tags: #hard-drive #nas #network-attached-storage #sata #sata-60gbs #storage #wd #wd-red #western-digital #western-digital-red

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.)
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