More than hot air for NAS drives
WESTERN DIGITAL has announced two products from its converging portfolio today. After earlier announcing a new SAS drive from HGST, the flagship WD brand has also launched a new version of its long-running WD Red and WD Red Pro drives for NAS drives. The updated versions introduce a 10TB capacity for the first time, giving the SOHO and SMB user even more capacity on-premise before even populating the cloud. “In July 2012, we introduced the WD Red line to address the unique performance, compatibility and scalability challenges facing home and small business NAS customers,” said Brendan Collins, vice president of Western Digital’s devices business unit. “Five years and over 16 million WD Red family hard drives later, we continue to advance the platform, bringing our innovative HelioSeal platform and other advanced technologies that allow customers to meet their evolving private cloud needs.” WD Red drives are aimed at up-to 8-bay arrays and are common in many popular pre-populated NAS products, from WD and other OEMs. The Red Pro range can support up to 16-bay NAS drives in tower and rack formations. The 10TB version uses a helium based environment to add capacity. The Helioseal environment means that smaller gaps between tracks on the platter and a lighter touch on the disc can still achieve similar results. The new version also adds 3D Active Balance Plus, to improve overall drive performance and reliability. NASware 3.0 is WD’s flagship middleware incorporated into the disc, designed for easy integration and offering seamless integration with the MyCloud Pro and MyCloud Expert range of NAS drives. 1Currently in compatibility testing with a number of leading NAS vendors, the new drive is available in the US already at selected retailers, clocking in at $494 for the Red and $533 for the Red Pro. Which rather begs the question, given the extra two-year (five in total) warranty and enhanced speed, is it not worth considering the extra $50 anyway?