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Western Digital Gets NAS-ty with New Red Pro HDDs

By Pedro Hernandez

The hard drive maker releases new drives for enterprise NAS systems and 6 TB model for SMB networked file storage environments.

Solid-state drives (SSDs) may be monopolizing the spotlight, but Western Digital continues to make the case for traditional hard disk drives (HDDs) in today's storage infrastructures.

The Irvine, Calif.-based hard drive manufacturer has launched a new line of 3.5-inch SATA HDDs for network-attached storage (NAS) systems called Red Pro. The drives, which spin at 7,200 RPM, are best suited for 8 to 16 bay NAS systems, according to the company. Red Pro drives ship in capacities of 2 TB, 3 TB and 4 TB and feature 64 MB of built-in cache.

To help those systems store and serve up files reliably, Western Digital ships each drive with "extended thermal cycle burn-in testing" to ensure that the drives stand up to the rigors of always-on NAS environments. In addition, Red Pro drives have a mean time between failure (MBTF) rating that is a 35 percent improvement over most drives and feature a 5-year warranty.

NASware 3.0, Western Digital's firmware, offers power loss protection, optimized power management and RAID-friendly intelligent error recovery. The drives feature SMART Command Transport (SCT) support, enabling storage performance monitoring and temperature accuracy within a degree Celsius in the new release. Noise, vibration and heat levels have been reduced compared to typical desktop drives.

Western Digital also expanded its no-Pro Red line of SATA HDDs for SMB NAS systems with a 5 TB model (WD50EFRX) and a new, high-capacity 6 TB model (WD60EFRX). The IntelliPower drives, Western Digital's way of saying that the 3.5-inch HDDs spins at roughly 5,400 RPM, have 64 MB of cache.

Also powered by the NASware 3.0 firmware, Red HDDs support small NAS systems (1 to 8 bays), providing up to a total of 48 TB of storage capacity in an 8-bay system. Red HDDs ship with a 3-year warranty.

Scott Vouri, vice president of marketing for the company's content solutions group, added in a statement that the drives offer "ideal attributes for small NAS systems, including My Cloud, in which customers will benefit from those attributes in the future." My Cloud is Western Digital's line of Internet-connected external drives that provide automatic file backup services, remote access and Dropbox support.

Western Digital's Red Pro drives are available now. Prices top out at $259 USD for the 4 TB model (WD4001FFSX). Red (non-Pro) HDDs, also currently shipping, are priced at $249 for the 5 TB model (WD50EFRX) and $299 for 6 TB of capacity ($299).

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InfoStor. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

  This article was originally published on Tuesday Jul 22nd 2014
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