WD Raids NAS Market With Fast New 6TB Drive

Written by Alex Zaharov-Reutt      01/08/2014 | 01:02 | Category: IPTV

Western Digital has launched two new 5TB and 6TB "WD Red" HDDs and new "WD Red Pro" HDDs specifically designed for NAS storage devices, offering big improvements to overall drive performance and reliability consumer HDDs can never match.

WD Raids NAS Market With Fast New 6TB Drive
The NAS (Network Attached Storage) market is booming for drives and NAS devices, with homes and businesses of all sizes collecting more documents, and digital media and other content than ever before, needing storage, and needing to access from anywhere on almost any device. 

WD's new Red and Red Pro drives are specifically designed to tackle that market, with the capacity flagship WD Red 6TB model the first 5-platter drive with 1.2TB of capacity on each to hit the 6TB target. 


                 Click to enlarge
                 WD Red in 6TB and 4TB sizes,
                 available now.

These drives have also been tested as working flawlessly with 20 top NAS boxes on the market for the widest NAS device compatibility, and come at a time when analyst firms like Technavio are predicting 14.3pc CAGR growth from 2014-2018 in the NAS market.  

Competing 6TB drives either use 6 or 7 platters to reach the 6TB total, and end up forcing more platters and technology into a tight space, giving WD a clear technological advantage. 

The WD Red 6TB whopper is the WD60EFRX, and it retails for AUD $399. Its smaller brother is the 5TB WD Red WD50EFRX model selling for $329. Both come with a 3-year warranty. 

The even more reliable WD Red Pro is for medium to larger businesses, has a longer five-year warranty, and comes in sizes of 4TB for $349, 3TB for $269 and 2TB for $219, with model numbers of WD4001DDSX, WD3001DDSX and WD2001DDSX respectively.

Both Red and Red Pro also feature "3D Active Balance Plus, an enhanced balance control technology, which significantly improves overall drive performance and reliability", alongside 24x7 support and the new NASware 3.0 management interface to support up to 8 drives in a NAS device without performance degradation. 

Red Pro drives go one further an add additional hardware vibration compensation, which helps eliminate the issue of vibrations from multiple working drives, fans and anything else that moves that could otherwise negatively impact a consumer-level hard drive if used in NAS devices. 


                     Click to enlarge
                     Two advanced Asustor NAS devices
                     with TV and speakers in the      
                     background.

The NAS devices these NAS specific drives go into have been rapidly evolving as well. They now come with ever more powerful processors, from ARM CPUs to Atoms, Celerons, Core i3 and even Xeon CPUs to keep your NAS performance at in top gear.

Other NAS device features local web-based management interface, app installation for various online services including Dropbox, free availability of iOS and Android apps for remote data access and management, a built-in download manager and Mac OS X Time Machine support in various models. 

NAS boxes also have local web-based interfaces that offer configuration, app installation for linkage to Dropbox, and can come with an inbuilt Media Centre like XBMC.

Matt Rutledge, WD's senior Veep and GM of Storage Technology said: "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. WD continues to listen to its customers and bring exciting innovation to the category they helped to create."

"WD first introduced its "Red" brand of NAS drives back in 2012, and now come in NASware 3.0, which is "an enhanced version of WD's original NASware technology, designed to improve reliability and system performance, reduce customer downtime and to simplify the integration process."

The company says it now has "a full portfolio NAS storage solution with the WD Red family (WD Red and WD Red Pro) for both consumer and business NAS solutions."

WD has also updated its WD Green line of drives for consumer use with new 5TB and 6TB versions, too.  

Naturally, WD sells its own NAS devices, from the My Cloud, My Cloud EX2, EX4 and to My Cloud Mirror, but at a launch event in Sydney yesterday, WD had a range of creative users and NAS device partners including Asustor, I-O Data Device, QNAP Systems, Sinology and Thecus full of praise for WD's new Red and Red Pro models. 

More information on WD's new Red and Red Pro drives here