WD Announces NAS-targeted 'Red' Hard Drives

Discussion in 'Storage Devices and Memory' started by Rob Williams, Jul 11, 2012.

  1. Rob Williams

    Rob Williams Editor-in-Chief Staff Member Moderator

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    Having released audio-video hard drives in the past (dubbed "AV"), I've long wondered if Western Digital would release a series targeted at one of the most thriving storage markets out there: network-attached storage. Lo and behold, it's happened, making me wish I had jotted that thought down to paper (rather, Notepad... as if I remember how to use paper).

    [​IMG]

    Read the rest of our post and then discuss it here!
     
  2. Tharic-Nar

    Tharic-Nar Senior Editor Staff Member Moderator

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    And I'd pick this drive over a Black... why? Yeah, this seems more like a step back than forward to be honest, RE4 and Black already filled this role. I guess they wanted a slightly more expensive Green drive, which doesn't drop connections when it power-saves.

    Next they'll probably reduce the warranty on the Black drives to make them cheaper.
     
  3. Rob Williams

    Rob Williams Editor-in-Chief Staff Member Moderator

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    2TB RE4: $230
    2TB Black: $200
    2TB Red: $140

    Isn't that reason enough?
     
  4. madmat

    madmat Soup Nazi

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    No soup for you!
    For your additional money over the green drives you're basically picking up 1yr more warranty and an improved MTBF and losing some circuitry. True, the circuitry lost isn't needed if you do RAID. If not, is it going to be a detriment to not have on board error correction?
     
  5. Rob Williams

    Rob Williams Editor-in-Chief Staff Member Moderator

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    No circuitry has been removed from the drives, rather it's just that the firmware has been tweaked to reduce this time-out issue with NAS boxes. These are not drives I'd use on the desktop, unless you're connecting it to a RAID controller.

    From what I understand, there are ways to mimic the time-limited error recovery (TLER) on Green drives with WD's own tool, but regardless, the Red drives carry the beefier warranty and slightly improved specs for NAS use.
     
  6. madmat

    madmat Soup Nazi

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    No soup for you!
    I wasn't talking about for desktop use, for a NAS box. I've met people that don't do RAID for various reasons such as cost or complexity which is why I asked. For a desktop system I'd use a WD blue drive. Better performance than the green drives and better cost than the black drives. Win/win.
     
  7. Rob Williams

    Rob Williams Editor-in-Chief Staff Member Moderator

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    I agree on the Blue drives. For NAS use, I don't think the removal of TLER is going to hurt, even if just one drive is being used (it's still going through a RAID, in a JBOD configuration, I guess).

    With this announcement I noticed that drive prices have come down quite a bit, but we're still not at pre-Thailand levels. The 2TB Green before the flood was about $90, and now it's $120. That's a LOOOT better than the $200+ that it was after the floods. Still would love to see it go back to "normal".
     
  8. Rob Williams

    Rob Williams Editor-in-Chief Staff Member Moderator

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    Hmm, I just noticed something. I figured that these were called "WD Red" and not "WD Caviar Red" because they're not desktop drives, but on WD's website, -no- drives are listed as Caviar anymore, or Momentus on the desktop side. I wonder when that change-over happened?
     
  9. Tharic-Nar

    Tharic-Nar Senior Editor Staff Member Moderator

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    Ok, so after reading into the drive a bit, it definitely fills a niche and has its purpose. Its performance is mostly on par with Blues and even Black in some cases. After reading into the TLER feature, it makes sense now. When in RAID, like a RAID 5, a normal drive hits a bad sector, it will keep trying to read it, the controller picks up on this long lead time, then declares the drive dead and begins to rebuild that sector. With TLER on the drive, it makes only a few passes, then says the data is corrupt, the controller then rebuilds the sector and everything carries on as per normal, without the drive declared 'dead'. TLER is only on the RE4 drive, but now the Red too.

    So, great drive for real RAID (i.e. not RAID 0), not so great for normal system use. The other feature of the drive is its built-in balance mechanism, which allows it to maintain higher performance. The other downside is the higher seek times due to various mechanisms to reduce noise and prolong life.

    I'm still iffy over the reduced warranty, but hey, at least I know what it's good for now (not just a price war).
     

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