Seagate NAS 8TB (ST8000VN0002) Hard Disk Drive Review

Introduction


Just as you wouldn’t use a low-end graphics card for high-end usage, you shouldn’t use the wrong hard disk drive in your storage system either. There is a reason for every product and you should always pick the one suited for the task at hand, especially when you deal with your storage. Today I’m taking a closer look at Seagate’s impressive 8TB NAS HDD and we will take a look at how well it performs.

As said, when you pick your storage, you need to pick the right one for the task and not just grab anything you can find. This is particularly important when we talk about systems that have to run continuously and in environments with a lot of drives closely packed together. The Seagate NAS HDD goes beyond the standard desktop drives in this regards as it is built exactly for these scenarios.

Vibrations can damage your drives and the can also have a direct impact on your drives speed, and the more drives you install close to each other, the more vibrations you’ll get. The Seagate NAS HDDs are rated for usage in systems with up to 8 bays which gives you an impressive raw capacity of 64TB. The Dual-plane balance system enhances drive performance in aggressive NAS workloads for better vibration tolerance.

The Seagate NAS 8TB drive comes packed with 256MB cache, which is double that of the 6TB model. It uses the default SATA3 6GB/s interface that makes it compatible with pretty much any NAS system. The performance isn’t without either as it comes with a rating of 150 IOPS and above and a sustained sequential read performance up to 230MB/s, an exceptional performance for a mechanical drive. The pure capacity is pretty nice too considering the default 3.5-inch form factor and it has an areal density of 1333Gb per square inch. The average seek read and write latencies are rated to be 8.5ms and 9.5ms, or lower. The whole thing is rounded off with an 180TB per year workload rating, a 1 million hour mean time before failure, and a 3-year warranty.

The great performance comes from Seagate’s years of experience that the put into the hardware and also the firmware that controls the drive. NASWorks is optimized for use as storage drives and it has been tuned to deliver higher performance, a better reliability and interoperability with popular NAS enclosures, and it has the RAID Recovery feature that prevents the NAS from a full RAID rebuild if the RAID degrades. Extended error recovery controls correct data without the need for full drive rebuilds.

Performance isn’t everything, but as we’ve seen above, that part is well covered. There are two further factors that need to be considered before you decide which drives to use: Acoustics and power consumption. A drive that consumes a lot of power can quickly drive up the total cost of ownership and it’s also bad for the environment. The Seagate NAS 8TB drive has an average power consumption of 9W during active operations and an idle power consumption of 7.2W. When in sleep or standby mode, the drives will consume as little as 0.6W. The 8TB NAS HDD doesn’t make much noise either and is rated for just 2.6 bels during operation and 2.5 bels when idle.

Seagate also offers the optional +Rescue Data Recovery Services for extra peace of mind. With this extra service, Seagate has your back and can recover the data from a possible failed drive. Whether the error is due to mechanical failure or accidental damage, most data can be recovered when done right. It is a fast and easy recovery process where your data can be restored in 15 days or less. This is also a field that Seagate is very successful in with an approximately 90% success rate in data recovery.

So if you need drives for backup and disaster recovery, multimedia server and storage, file and print server sharing, archival, remote access, virtualization, or a private cloud storage, then this might be just the right drive for you.

Feature Highlights

  • 8, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1TB capacity options
  • Seagate NAS HDDs are built and tested to provide industry-leading performance for small NAS systems.
  • NASWorks technology supports customised error recovery controls, power management and vibration tolerance for optimal performance and reliability with workloads up to 180TB/year workload rate limit (WRL).
  • NAS error recovery controls optimise drive health by helping to ensure drives are not dropped from the NAS and sent into a RAID rebuild.
  • Improved vibration tolerance and emission in multi-drive systems with dual plane balance.
  • Advanced power management supports multiple power profiles for lowpower, 24×7 performance.
  • Quiet drive operation enhances the customer experience in living room or office environments.
  • Optional 3-year Rescue recovery service plan protects against data loss from viruses, software issues, or mechanical and electrical breakdowns in a NAS or RAID environment.

Specifications

Package and Accessories

SilverStone Releases TS11-C USB 3.1 Docking Station

SilverStone has quite a few external docking solutions for both SSDs and HDDs, but they newest of them that’s just been released is the fastest of them all. This is at least the case when we exclude the external RAID solutions. The new external docking station from SilverStone is called the TS11-C (SST-TS11G-C) and it comes with a USB 3.1 Type-C Gen2 connector with up to 10Gb/s super speed transfer rates.

Besides the connection options, the TS11-C is a pretty ordinary desktop styled docking station for hard disk drives and solid state drives. It can take SATA drives with a 2.5-inch form factor of any height as well as 3.5-inch drives. Just plug them in from the top and turn the docking station on. The docking station supports plug-and-play as well as hot-swapping of the drives for even easier usage.

The body of the TS11-C itself is made of aluminium while the top cover is made of plastic-ABS. The top is black while the rest of the unit has been gold coloured. A fitting colour for a premium docking station like the TS11-C is. While it comes with the newest standards in both USB and SATA, it is backwards compatible on both to previous generations. The operating system support is specified to Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1, Windows 10, and future releases of Mac OS 10.5 or above.

SilverStone made sure to use a controller chip, the ASM1351, that supports UASP (USB Attached SCSI Protocol) for the fastest possible transfer speeds and prevent bottlenecks on the USB connection.

A 2.5-inch SSD will easily get enough power through a USB connection, but a 3.5-inch hard disk drive will draw too much power. For this, the TS11-C comes with a 12V DC adapter and it also has a very convenient power button that allows you to have it connected all the time without actually using it.

SilverStone’s new TS11-C will be available on January the 28th for a recommended end user price of $53.35 USD (excl. VAT). We will also have a review ready for you on just this docking station very soon, so stay tuned for more.

SilverStone Releases New FS-Series Drive Cages

It can be a troublesome job to find a chassis with enough room for all the drives you might want to add to the build you are making, and this is especially the case when you build server and storage oriented systems. SilverStone is aware of this issue and released a whole list of new drive cages to solve this problem. The new SilverStone drive cages either support plenty of 2.5-inch drives in the FS2xx series or plenty of 3.5-inch drives with the FS3xx series.

Let us start out with the 2.5-inch models where there will be three new drive cages. The first is the FS202 with room for two drives in one 3.5-inch bay, then there is the FS208 with room for eight 2.5-inch drives in two 5.25-inch device bays and finally the impressive FS212 with room for twelve 2.5-inch drives in just three 5.25-inch device bays. The SilverStone FS3xx series can fit either three, four, or five 3.5-inch drives in respectively two, three, and three device bays with the FS303, FS304, and FS305.

All the new FS drive cages are made with an all aluminium body with a beautiful hairline brushed finish. The loading is trayless and screwless and all of them support hot swapping too. They come with adjustable drive status LED and the 5.25-inch device bay models also feature fan control system and built-in cooling fan. For safety, you can lock each drive tray individually to prevent sticky fingers from running away with your drives as well as preventing accidental ejection.

Another added bonus with drive cages as these, besides the easy setup and better cooling, you also require a lot fewer power cables which reduce the overall clutter in your case, improves the airflow, and brings you past the limitations based on available PSU connections.

 

SilverStone’s new FS drive cages will be available on December the 18th for a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $25 for the FS202, $94.80 for the FS208, $115.80 for the DS212. The DS303 will cost you $62.40, the FS304 $80.60, and the FS305 will cost you $98.00.

Icy Dock Announces ToughArmor MB992SKR-B Enclosure

We are living in a world where storage capacities grow while the physical size of the drives shrinks more and more, which makes space optimization a vital scenario for a lot of people and companies. Solid state drives mostly come in the 2.5-inch form factor and the mechanical hard disk drives in this category keep growing in available capacity too. With that in mind, it is great to see ICY DOCK announcing a new mobile rack that allows you to do that and more.

The new ToughArmor MB992SKR-B Enclosure can take two 2.5-inch drives and connect them to a single SATA3 connector while it only takes up a single 3.5-inch drive slot. It comes with built-in hardware RAID support for RAID 0 and RAID 1 as well as BIG where the capacity of the two installed drives is simply added to each other. While this isn’t the first enclosure to feature such a thing, it is one of the few that also allows you to present the drives individually to the system in the JBOD mode (Just a Bunch Of Disks).

Another really nice touch on the ToughArmor MB992SKR-B and one that’s often forgotten in this category is the front positioned rebuild LED that will let you know once the hardware has set up and initialized your RAID configuration.

The entire mobile rack is made of metal which helps with both the heat dissipation as well as the overall durability of the enclosure. Multi-Flow Technology (MFT) will effectively route air flow correctly for excellent passive cooling via ventilation slots on the front, rear, top, and bottom, providing an even better protection for your installed drives. Lastly, Anti-Vibration Technology and EMI Grounding are used to provide a stable environment, allowing the hard drives or SSD’s used to perform at their best.


ICY DOCK didn’t just name their series of enclosures ToughArmor for fun or because it sounds great, they named them that way because the really are tough. A clear demonstration of this is shown in the video below where they put them up against the full weight of a Lexus SUV.

ICY DOCK didn’t reveal any pricing or availability of the ToughArmor MB992SKR-B at this time, but you can check out the full specification chart below.

Key Features

  • Built-in hardware RAID controller allows four different configurations: RAID 0 (FAST), RAID 1 (SAFE), JBOD, & BIG.
  • Supports SATA 6Gbps and hot swap.
  • Removable tray system for easy maintenance.
  • Front LED indicator lights for drive power, access, fail and RAID 1 rebuilds status.
  • Full metal construction, perfect for rugged applications and complies with flammability requirements.
  • Fits 2 x 7mm to 9.5mm 2.5” SATA HDD or SSD in a 3.5” front device bay.
  • Multi-Flow Technology (MFT) – provides excellent passive cooling.
  • Anti-Vibration Technology (AVT) – creates a safe environment for hard drives or SSDs.
  • Active Power Technology (APT) – individual led only powers up if there is drive installed in each bay.
  • EMI Grounding – protects hard drives from electrical damage.
  • Eagle-hook lock system & 2-segment safeguard key lock keeps drives secure within the enclosure.
  • Single SATA 15 Pin to power entire device & single SATA connector to operate.
  • Suggested applications in medical & military systems, government agencies, Industrial PC, SMB workstation, VM workstation, mobile DVR system, aerospace computer, automation system and embedded system.
  • Limited 3-year warranty to complement the typical warranty of a hard drive.
  • Supports SATA and SATA power cables with locking latch design

SilverStone MS08 Mobile Rack 3.5-inch RAID Enclosure Review

Introduction


Today I am taking a look at something a little different from my usual drive and NAS reviews, today I’m taking a closer look at the SilverStone MS08 mobile rack that converts a single 3.5-inch drive bay into a two-bay 2.5-inch RAID unit with hot-swap abilities.

The SilverStone MS08 mobile rack can be a very useful tool to have at your disposal in several different scenarios. First of all, it allows you to connect two drives as a single one to your motherboard or host controller. You have three modes that you can connect the drives as, whether you want performance, redundancy, or capacity. All the basics are covered RAID 0, 1, and JBOD at your disposal.

The RAID feature is set by the hardware itself. You got two small switches on the rear of the unit that lets you select the mode and a little button that needs to be pressed in order to change the configuration. SilverStone included an SATA cable and a power adapter from MOLEX to SATA, allowing you to connect it to your setup without the need for anything that isn’t in the box. Even the four screws to mount it into the chassis are included.

The SilverStone MS08 connects to a single SATA connector and it supports up to SATA3 6Gbps. Mechanical hard drives, and especially 2.5-inch, aren’t fast enough to saturate such a connection, but with an enclosure like the MS08, you can get very close. The added bonus of being able to hot-swap the drives by simply ejecting them to the front make the enclosure even more useful.

Even people who want to take their drives on the go can benefit from the SilverStone MS08. Thanks to the standard 3.5-inch form factor, the MS08 fits into any docking station and enclosure that is built for 3.5-inch drives. Where you’d normally take a single 3.5-inch drive with your data, you can now take a RAID setup of 2.5-inch drives instead and you don’t need to worry about the order of them. You also don’t need to worry about drivers or complicated setups when you’re on the go, the unit is fully plug-and-play the same way a normal drive is.

The tool-less tray design is a great feature and it allows for true hot-swapping of drives. The enclosure itself is both durable and beautiful thanks to being constructed from premium aluminum that also aids in cooling the drives as well as their protection. There are a few plastic parts, but the majority of the enclosure is made of aluminum. You can load the MS08 with 2.5-inch drives that have a height of up to 9.5mm, making it compatible with most 2-5inch hard drives and solid state drives.

The front of the MS08 enclosure has two blue LEDs, one for each drive, allowing you to keep an eye on what drive is active and not. The drive tray isn’t lockable, but the ledge is secure and there is little risk that you could end up opening it by accident. Even if you should end up opening it when you didn’t want to, you don’t need to worry. The door has to be opened fully and then pressed in to eject the drives. Both drives will be ejected at the same time.

Pulling the rear of the enclosure off and having a look inside, we see that SilverStone added the SATA connectors on an independent PCB. It doesn’t feature much besides the two SATA connectors and a little power stabilization.

The main PCBB has the external connections and buttons. To the right we see the two LEDs mounted that then are passed on to the front of the enclosure. We can also see the connector for the sub PCB here.

Turning the main PCB over and we find the brain in this enclosure, a JMicron JMS562 bridge chip. The JMicron JMS562 is a Super Speed & eSATA GEN III to Dual SATA Gen III Ports bridge chip with four independent SATA channels and a microprocessor integrated.

Features

  • Premium aluminum construction for durability and protection
  • Supports for two 9.5mm 2.5” drives
  • Supports RAID 0, 1, and JBOD
  • Offer great performance of up to SATA 6Gb/s
  • Tool-less tray design for quick hot-swaps
  • Fits into any 3.5” drive bay

Packaging and Accessories

SilverStone wrapped the MS08 Mobile Rack in a colorful orange themed box that makes it stand out. The front of the box shows the enclosure itself as well as its features. There’s also a handy QR-Code to scan in order to check the official product page online.

The rear and the sides once again feature the features of the MS08 enclosures and you’ll find it in multiple languages on the rear of it.

Inside the box is everything that you need to connect the MS08 and get started. You get an SATA data cable, an MOLEX to SATA power adapter, four screws to mount the enclosure, and a manual that explains how to install and use it.

QNAP Launches Intel Xeon Quad-Core Powered TVS-ECx80U-SAS-RP Series NAS

QNAP announced a new series of NAS devices for businesses that need nothing but the best, the new TVS-ECx80-SAS-RP series. The new NAS units are built around an Intel Xeon E3-1246 v3 quad core 3.5 GHz processor and come with either 16GB DDR3 RAM or 8GB DDR3 ECC RAM.

A great CPU and plenty of memory is just a small part of what makes this new series so great. QNAP releases four units in this series: The TVS-EC2480U-SAS-RP 24 x 3.5-inch 4U, TVS-EC1680U-SAS-RP 16 x 3.5-inch 3U, TVS-EC1280U-SAS-RP: 12 x 3.5-inch 2U, and the TVS-EC1580MU-SAS-RP with 9 x 3.5-inch and 6 x 2.5-inch bays in a 2U rackmount unit. All four units come with 4 x Gigabit LAN port and are 10GbE ready with optional add-in cards via two PCIe expansion slots. They supports 3.5-inch SAS 12Gbps, SAS/SATA 6Gbps hard drives and SSD, or 2.5-inch SAS/SATA SSD. The hard drives are, of course, hot-swappable and the untis also come with built-in 256GB mSATA modules for SSD caching. USB 3.0, USB 2.0, and HDMI ports are also part of each of these units.

All that hardware I’ve just mentioned is able to deliver an impressive performance with up to 3,800+ MB/s throughput and 268,100+ IOPS. If you should run out of space at some point, QNAP has you covered with their REXP-1620U-RP and REXP-1220U-RP RAID expansion enclosures of which you can attach up to eight of. That in return allows you over 1 Petabyte of raw capcity which is managed from a single unit.

Having a lot of data is one thing, you also need to be able to access it in a proper fashion. The TVS-ECx80U-SAS-RP series is an industry-leading unified NAS that supports Auto Tiering to deliver constant optimization of data across high-performance SSD, 12Gbps SAS drives and high-capacity SATA disks.

“QNAP’s Qtier Technology triggers storage auto-tiering for the TVS-ECx80U-SAS-RP series, allowing the right data to be placed in the right disks at the right time according to the access frequency of stored data,” said Alan Lin, product manager of QNAP. “The new NAS series realizes the optimal storage efficiency and boosts performance, making it the best storage solution especially for environments like virtualization that contain dynamically-changing workloads.”

There isn’t much that you can’t achieve with this new series, may it be your own cloud system or something completely different. You get all the usual features of a NAS unit of this caliber including QNAP’s great Qsirch for efficient searching of data in that giant storage pool.

The new TVS-ECx80U-SAS-RP QNAP NAS models and REXP-x20U-RP RAID expansion enclosures are now available and come with up to 5-years warranty where the first three years are default and included.

 

SilverStone Introduces the MS08 Mobile RAID Rack

SilverStone has no shortage of add-ons for our systems and they’ve added one more to the list, the MS08 mobile RAID rack. The MS08 allows you to take your RAID setup with you on the go as it is hardware based and packed into a convenient little unit.

The MS08 will fit into any 3.5-inch drive bay while it holds up to two 2.5-inch SSDs or HDDs with a height of up to 9.5mm. The mobile RAID rack supports both JBOD (Just a Bunch Of Disks) as well as RAID 1 and RAID zero, depending on if you want maximum capacity, speed, or redundancy.

The connection is handled through a single SATA3 6Gbps port and as such the array won’t be able to perform better than that, but that doesn’t take much away from the usefulness of the device. Adding a second port would create incompatibilities with a lot of bays and prevent the easy and convenient hot-swap abilities that the SilverStone MS08 comes with.

The mobile rack is made from a plastic and aluminium construction that should provide both durability and protection for your drives. It offers easy swap of drives too as it has a tool-less design and supports hot swapping. It also comes with dual-LEDS so you know what drive is accessed when.

SilverStone did not reveal any pricing or availability at this time, but I’d expect it to come in around the £35-40 area and be available very soon.

WD Turns Their Blue Series Into SSHD Drives

Western Digital has a colourful range of hard drives which is kinda fitting right now with everyone turning their Facebook profile into a rainbow. We know the RED NAS drives very well from our review section and WD also has their Purple series for NVR, Black series for performance, Green series for the environment, and the Blue series that is kinda of the normal desktop series.

It has been a while since we’ve seen any new drives in the Blue series, but that has just changed as WD released the newest evolution of this drive series. The WD Blue series has turned into a SSHD series and gotten a NAND boost.

The new WD Blue series initially comes in two version, a 3.5-inch 4TB version (WD40E31X) and a 2.5-inch 1TB version (WD10J31X). Both of them have 64MB cache and 8GB MLC NAND.

The 4TB drive has a speed rating of 150MB/s while the 2.5-inch 1TB drive only performs up to 100MB/s. The NAND should however boost up the hot file access a lot and improve boot times as well as overall load times of frequently accessed data.

The two new WD Blue drives are expected to launch on July 2nd and come backed by a three-year limited warranty. As for the prices, the new WD Blue 4TB is currently listed starting from €189.90 and the 1TB is listed from €94.90.

Enermax’ New 5.25-Inch Drive Racks Start Selling

Enermax has started to sell a row of new products and among them are the three backplane modules EMK5301, EMK5401 and EMK5501. Enermax has a lot of experience in this area and we’ve also recently checked out several of their other docking solutions from the EMK series in our review section.

The backplane modules EMK5301, EMK5401, and EMK5501 are specially designed for data servers or home built storage systems. The modules occupy two or three 5.25-inch bays and accommodate up to five 3.5-inch hard disk drives with SATA or SAS interface. Due to the high-quality manufacturing and the sturdy aluminium case, the new EMK models are a safe storage for your valuable data.

Each HDD slot is equipped with an individual power switch so you can turn off single drives when needed or only turn on the ones you need. A power switch on each drive is an awesome function to have, I speak from experience there.

Further, they come with an 80mm fan and smart thermal fan control that allows for an effective HDD cooling. Users will be warned by blinking status LEDs and a buzzing sound if the temperature exceeds a critical level (55/60/65°C) and all HDD slots are protected with a security lock against unauthorized access.

Thanks to Enermax for providing us with this information

Enermax 2.5 and 3.5-Inch Mobile Drive Rack Roundup Review

Introduction


Being able to quickly eject drives can not only be an extra convenience but also a great bonus in many situations. Enermax has created a very long list of amazing docking bays and mobile racks for just this and today I’m taking a closer look at three of them in different form factors and with different capabilities – one for every usage scenario.

We will need to go up a drive size when we have a docking station around the drive, that’s a given. The three mobile racks that I’m taking a closer look at today are the EMK3101 for a 2.5-inch drive in 3.5-inch bay, EMK5102 for a 3.5-inch drive in a 5.25-inch bay, and the EMK5201U3 that combines the two previous into one smart unit. It has both a 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch bay as well as two front USB 3.0 ports in the spare area.

The EMK3101 allows you to easy swap, plug-in, and swap out 2.5-inch drives in this 3.5-inch sized mobile rack. A simple mechanic lever will eject the drive when you need it and it comes with a lock when you want to make sure that it stays in there. The connection is a direct pass-through and one that won’t affect performance. A simple solution that works every time.

SSD or 2.5-inch HDDs might not be all you would like to hot-swap with easy front access, 3.5-inch drives are still king of the storage area and that is where the EMK5102 comes into play. The 5.25-inch sized mobile rack allows you to hot-swap a 3.5-inch drive, in the same way the EMK3101 does with a 2.5-inch drive.

Combining the two enclosures above and adding two USB 3.0 ports and we get the Enermax EMK5201U3 mobile rack. It can hold both a 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch drive as well as having two USB 3.0 ports with direct header connection.

All three enclosures come with the patented Non-Scratch SATA connectors that guarantee a maximum life span with up to 50,000 drive insertion and ejections. The SATA connectors are gold-plated for better grip and protection from corrosion and the steel clip on the included SATA cable to avoid accidental cable removable.

The mobile racks support the latest SATA III and SAS drives as well as USB 3.0 5Gb/s connectivity for the EMK5201U3 model. The enclosures are built from with sturdy stainless steel frames to keep everything living for as long as possible and have LED indicators to show when the drives are being accessed.

Enermax EMK3203 3.5″ Mobile RAID Rack with 2x 2.5″ Drive Bays Review

Introduction


Taking a RAID setup on the road can be a tricky thing and one that is destined to fail most of the time, unless you have a dedicated enclosure. When it has to be portable, it also has to be small, light, and universally usable and Enermax has created such a solution with the 3.5-inch to dual 2.5-inch SATA HDD converter with built-in hardware RAID.

The mobile rack has a default 3.5-inch HDD format with default connector placement and that makes it universally usable. You can just plug it directly into any SATA bay and your RAID setup is seen as a single virtual drive. It further has a hardware switch on the back to select either of the drive modes depending on what you need.

The rack has a solid build all the way around. The aluminium plate on the top helps the drives to dissipate heat faster while the bottom plate has ventilation cutouts to let the drives breath. Whether you use SATA or SAS drives, the EMK3203 supports it all.

Gold plated SATA connectors ensure a perfect connection and prevent corrosion. The EMK3203 utilizes the patented non-scratch SATA connectors that ensure 50.000 drive inserts and ejects for even the most demanding drive swappers.

Just plug your drives right into the enclosure and close the door, chose your mode and your set to go. That is really all there is to this great piece of engineering. The Enermax EMK3203 supports RAID 0, RAID 1, JBOD and Nor (No-Raid) modes.

Enermax has included everything you need in the box, which isn’t much. You get screws to mount it in non-swap positions as well as a SATA cable to connect it. Thanks to the hot-swap system you don’t anything else.

The EMK3203 is using a JMicron JMS562 Super Speed & eSATA GEN III to Dual SATA Gen III Ports bridge chip in the heart of the enclosure. It combines four independent SATA channels and a microprocessor into a tiny chip. The chip can be configured as 1 to 2- ports Serial ATA III Port Multiplier or hardware striping & mirror, where the last one is the one used in this mobile rack.

The chip also supports USB 3.0 and it looks like Enermax also thought about including this. It is mentioned on the label, but the port isn’t there. This could either just be to keep the costs low, the enclosure stable, or simply because there wasn’t room to cram more hardware into the enclosure. My guess is the last one, as it is pretty tight in there with the two PCB boards

Western Digital 3.5″ Red 6TB NAS HDD Review

Introduction


The Western Digital RED family of NAS drives has been on the market for a while, and it keeps growing. There are 2.5-inch 750GB and 1TB drives just as there are 1TB to 6TB 3.5-inch drives in the WD RED series.

The 6TB RED HDD was released last year and Western Digital provided us with samples to use for our storage reviews. So it is about time that I take one of them for a stand alone spin on the test bench. After all, there are a lot of other factors in play than just the hard disks themselves when we’re testing NAS devices and enclosures and it will be great to get some baseline figures for these drives.

The WD Red drives are built primarily for a NAS (Network Attached Storage) environment, but are equally suited for small offices and home users who just want drives that deliver an enterprise level of performance and reliability without the hefty price tag that used to come along.

Network Attached Storage is making a bigger entry than ever before, and not just for businesses. Home users are investing in NAS devices like never before, and with good reason. We have more and more smart devices capable of using our files and we collect more and more data with the increasing resolution advances. Conclusion, we need more storage capacity.

Small and medium businesses, just as home users, will benefit greatly from using the new 6TB WD RED drives. They come with the latest firmware optimized for use in NAS environments and NASware 3.0 supports the use of enclosures with up to 8 bays.

Some people still think a hard disk is a hard disk and that there isn’t any real difference. They are wrong, there are huge differences between drives. Every type of hard disk is optimized for one type of usage and will both perform best and live longest when operated within the given specs.

What you might save in the short run by buying desktop drives, will cost you a lot more in the end. Not only will you need to buy new drives when they fail on you, you also risk losing your data. It is a bit like using an SUV as a tractor, it might work well for some time but you’ll eventually ruin the fine machinery. And since the WD RED drives don’t cost much more than most desktop drives, there really isn’t any need to comprise, get the right drives for the job.

The WD 6TB Red drive uses the Intellipower spindle speed for better acoustic levels as well as lower power consumption. The drive is rated for 25 to 28 dBa noise generation and consumes 5.3w under load, 3.4w when idle, and 0.4w in standby and sleep modes. Lower power consumption means a lower electrics bill, something that is relevant when having the drive running 24/7 and rarely single.

Western Digital is backing the drives with a three-year warranty. It has 64MB onboard cache and that is a relevant factor that severely increases the transfer rates. Speaking of which, the WD RED 6TB can achieve up to 175MB/s internal transfer rates.

The drives are rated to handle a workload of 120-150TB of data per year, well over the data throughput that most small businesses will ever put their drives through.

Western Digital Announces Surveillance-Class Production Line, the WD Purple

Western Digital has announced a new hard disk production line, the WD Purple, a 3.5-inch HDD specially designed for surveillance applications. The new production line is said to be targeting homes and small business environments having up to eight hard drives and up to 32 high-definition video cameras.

“By expanding our ‘Power of Choice’ product portfolio with WD Purple, we make it simple for our VARs, integrators and consumers to select the right drive engineered for their application and validated with our industry leading surveillance partners,” said Matt Rutledge, senior vice president and general manager of WD’s Storage Technology group. “WD optimised the WD Purple line of hard drives for surveillance applications to improve high-definition video playback, and operate in 24×7 workloads of surveillance environments.”

The WD Purple lineup is made up of four hard drives, spanning from storage spaces of 1 TB all the way up to 4 TB. The lineup is also equipped with a couple of WD technologies, one being AllFrame which helps reduce video footage loss with a propriety cache policy management technology when combined with ATA, and the other being Advanced Format Technology which is a more efficient media format that enables increased areal density.

The WD Purple production line hard drives is available for purchase with a three-year warranty , having the 1 TB hard drive sold at a price of £54.99 / $92, the 2 TB model coming in at £74.99 / $125, while the 3 TB is available for £99.99 / $167 and the 4 TB at £139.99 / $234.

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