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WD Adds Red Pro HDD Storage Line for Enterprise NAS

By - Source: Toms IT Pro

A Western Digital subsidiary, WD has announced new offerings in its Red family of SATA HDDs specifically built for use in NAS environments. The new WD Red and Red Pro drives come built with WD's NASware 3.0, meant to increase performance, reduce downtime and improve compatibility and integration.

First, a brief rundown of the specs for each drive. Created to meet small business needs, the WD Red drives are offered in a range of 1TB to 6TB models, with the 5TB and 6TB models being the newest additions, and can be used in arrays of between six and eight disks. The WD Red Pro line includes 2TB, 3TB and 4TB models and is meant for use in arrays of between 8 and 16 disks. Read: Enterprise Storage: New Technologies and the Future of HDDs

"With the expansion and evolution of the WD Red family, WD once again is providing its loyal customers with increased capacity up to 6 TB; improved bay count support with up to 8 bays; increased product breadth with WD Red Pro; and more features with the latest generation of NASware technology," says Matt Rutledge, senior vice president and general manager of WD Storage Technology.

WD's NASware 3.0 is where the Red line differentiates itself from the average desktop HDD.

First, WD runs compatibility tests with its partners to ensure the drives can be properly integrated with their devices. The firmware also allows the Red drives to run 24 hours a day while not suffering the same thermal damage seen in typical desktop HDDs. The drives are tuned for use in environments with high noise levels and intense vibrations so as not to damage themselves.

In terms of data protection, the reliability of the Red drives is given a boost with NASware 3.0. Time-Limited Error Recovery (TLER) alerts the NAS system to drop a failing drive after  seconds of failed reads, as opposed to the usual 20 seconds, potentially saving at-risk data. In the event of power loss, NASware 3.0 also ensures the completion of commands before fully shutting down in order to prevent data corruption or loss.

WD's firmware also targets system integrators with a set of features ideal for building more finely-tuned NAS environments. NASware 3.0 is compatible out of the box with the ATA Streaming Feature Set used for AV storage, the drives have optimized seek capabilities for best in class (BIC) performance and have a set of power management options.

Additionally, WD's Red line includes support for SMART Command Transport (SCT), a command set that displays access statistics and thermal profiles with a variation of  one degree Celsius.

WD Red HDDs have tested compatibility with several NAS products already. These include the ASUSTOR AS-608T and AS-609RD and the Synology RackStation and DiskStation families.

The WD Red line of drives includes a three year limited warranty and is priced at $249 and $299 for the new 5TB and 6TB models, respectively. The Red Pro line includes a five year limited warranty and is priced at $159, $199 and $259 for the 2TB, 3TB and 4TB models, respectively.