WD Purple 6TB Surveillance Hard Drive Review

Introduction


In today’s review, I am taking a look at a mechanical hard disk, but it isn’t one that is intended for your desktop system. Western Digital created their Purple line of hard disk drives to be the perfect choice for digital video recording, network video recording, and surveillance systems. On the test bench today is the 6TB version of this WD Purple surveillance hard disk.

All hard disk drives may look the same on the outside, but there is a big difference in what is inside and how it works. That is also the main reason that you should pick a drive suited for the task at hand and not just any random drive of the shelve. As WD puts it: “You wouldn’t use a bicycle to transport cargo across the country because it is not the right tool for the job.”

 

Whether you want to protect your personal assets and loved ones or monitor the business you worked hard to build, you’ll want surveillance-class storage to rely on. Not only are these drives built for 24/7 usage in environments up to 8 disks, they also come with enhanced firmware built just for this kind of operation. When it comes to surveillance, every frame counts, and every frame has to be perfect. This is especially noticeable when many cameras are using the drives simultaneously. WD’s Purple series has no trouble here and it is designed to work with up to 32 HD cameras.

The drives don’t just have to be perfect for the scenario that they are to be used in, they also need to be compatible with the systems themselves. WD made sure that this was the case by working closely with industry leading chassis and chipset manufacturers. If you got an NVR system, you’ll most likely find the WD Purple on the official list of supported drives.

The entire line of WD Purple drives, from 1TB up to 6TB, all feature 64MB cache and come in the same 3.5-inch form factor. WD also used their IntelliPower system that we know from such drives as the RED series, that uses variable speeds to bring the performance that is needed without excessive noise from the motors. But that is where the similarities of the drives end. The 6TB version that I’m taking a closer look at today is the best performing of them all with a sustained speed rating of 175MB/s where the 1TB model for example only is rated for 110MB/s. The drives naturally also differentiate in power consumption. The bigger the drive, the bigger the power draw, that is if the word big even applies here. The WD Purple 6TB draws 5.3W during read and write operations, 4.9W when idle, and 0.4W when in standby or sleep mode.

The noise level is almost identical on all the models, but there are differences. The largest drives are also the loudest with a dBA rating of 25 when idle and 26 when seeking. With a weight of 750grams, the 6TB model is also the heaviest of them all.

I’ve previously mentioned the firmware and that this was an important factor, and it is. One of the things that make the WD Purple series so great is the exclusive AllFrame technology that works with ATA streaming to reduce error pixelation and video interruptions that easily occur when desktop drives are incorrectly used in security systems. Missed frames and lost footage is a serious problem when an event occurs and surveillance footage needs to be retrieved. WD Purple with AllFrame provides the confidence you should expect when it’s time to play back and review critical surveillance footage.

AllFrame Features:

  • Reduces video frame loss with surveillance-class storage.
  • Specifically tuned for surveillance security systems.
  • Caching algorithms are tuned for write-intensive, low bit rate, high stream count applications that are typical of surveillance applications.
  • Priority change for write allocations and preemptive caching policies.
  • TLER & ATA streaming support.
  • Supports up to eight drives.

Next to being designed for 24/7 always-on scenarios, the WD Purple series is also designed for high-temperature environments. The temperature rating of the WD Purple, on the base casting, ranges from zero to 65 degrees Celcius when operating and -40 to 70 when non-operating.

Western Digital is backing the Purple series of surveillance drives with a three-year limited warranty worldwide. However, it is unlikely that you’ll ever need that warranty as the drives are rated for a mean time before failure of 1 million hours and can withstand 300,000 load/unload cycles.

Specifications

The specifications are taken directly from the manufacturers homepage at the time of the review and might as such be subject to possible future changes.

ASRock Rack Unveiled Three Greenlow Based Workstation Motherboards

Intel released the new Greenlow platform with Skylake chips and chipset. ASRockRack is ready with three new motherboards based on the new architecture and the three motherboards also come in three different sizes. The C236WS is a full-sized ATX motherboard, the C236MWS is a Micro-ATX sized motherboard, and the last one is called the C236WSI and it is also the smallest being an mITX sized motherboard.

The C236 chipset brings a better memory speed, more SATA3 ports, more PCIe 3.0 lanes, and USB3.0. All this should be a big up over the old processors and the motherboards are ready to provide it all.

The ASRock Rack C236WS is a full-sized ATX motherboard with a single LGA 1151 H4 socket with support for Intel’s Xeon E3-1200 v5 series processors. It offers dual-channel DDR4 memory support with speeds up to 2133MHz and support for both ECC and non-ECC UDIMM in its four slots. The motherboard comes with 8 SATA3.0 ports and dual Intel LAN (i210 and i219). Users get two PCIe 3.0 x 16 slots, one PCIe 3.0 x8 slot, and two PCIe 3.0 x4 slots on this motherboard. There are also two legacy PCI slots available. The IO features four USB3.0, one HDMI, one DVI and one VGA connector.

The Micro-ATX C236MWS motherboard features almost the same things as the full-sized ATX version, just on a more compact PCB. The biggest difference is the PCI slot layout and you get two PCIe 3.0 (x16/x0 or x8/x8), one PCIe 3.0 x4, and one M.2 slot/PCIex1 Co-Layout.

 

The C236WSI takes the whole thing down another notch and we have arrived at the Mini-ITX form factor. We only get two memory slots here and we are also down to a single PCIe 3.0 x16 slot.

ASUSTOR Adds Compatibility for All PLANET’s IP Cameras

ASUSTOR partnered up with PLANET to Create an even better cloud surveillance solution. ASUSTOR added compatibility for all of PLANET’s IP camera models, giving users that utilize the Surveillance Station functionality to turn their NAS into an NVR even more choices when it comes to cameras that they can use. All ASUSTOR NAS devices are now compatible with world renowned PLANET IP cameras. Traditional surveillance systems are a thing of the past thanks to the increased network bandwidth that has become available, both wired and wireless, making IP cameras the optimal choice.

ASUSTOR NAS not only provides a highly stable network storage system but also allows users to easily setup and install a surveillance management system. This is the first time that PLANET teams up with ASUSTOR, so it is quite nice to see that all their high-quality IP camera products now are compatible with ASUSTOR’s network storage servers.

Users that require a complete network surveillance solutions can get their high-quality surveillance feeds transferred and stored on ASUSTOR NAS via PLANET’s smart energy-saving PoE switches and related equipment. Furthermore, smart system functions help administrators with remote management while maintaining high-quality surveillance and productivity in any usage environment.

ASUSTOR’s Surveillance Center is a free, but you may need to purchase additional camera licenses, and it can be installed on all ASUSTOR NAS devices, instantly turning the NAS into a Network Video Recorder. Surveillance Center features a simple 5 step quick installation wizard that can complete camera additions within 90 seconds and configure recording, viewing and management settings.

A full list of compatible cameras can be found here.

QNAP Launches New QVR 5.1 Firmware for VioStor NVR Series

QNAP is mostly known for the Turbo NAS lineup, but they also have a very impressive NVR lineup with their NVR series and that series just got a firmware upgrade to QVR 5.1, reinforcing the QVR client and featuring Qdewarp, virtual camera, region-of-interest, view Management, and more.

On of the first things that you have to do when you get a new device like the QNAP VioStor NVR devices is to install it and that just got a whole lot easier with this new firmware. There is no need for a PC anymore as you can use the built-in USB and HDMI ports to connect a keyboard, mouse, and monitor and install it directly. QVR 5.1 brings a truly PC-less surveillance solution not only for video live-view and playback but also for system configuration and surveillance settings.

“Designed with users in mind, QVR 5.1 offers numerous highly-anticipated features that are essential to meet the growing needs for 4K cameras and more complex surveillance environments,” said Alan Kuo, product manager of QNAP. “We especially spread the idea of ‘flexible monitoring view’ into many of the new features, allowing users to have customized surveillance tools for their daily, important surveillance tasks.”

An endless task for both the manufacturers of these devices, but certainly also the users, is to keep up with the ever-changing browser plug-ins and their rights of usage. Many mainstream web browsers stop supporting plug-ins that video monitoring depend on. QNAP allows real-time monitoring and video playback on PC without using a web browser thus eliminating the problem and the experience should now be smoother than ever.

Not limited to vendor-specific dewarping modes, Qdewarp technology provides 11 dewarping modes for various monitoring applications. The advanced virtual camera setting allows users to attain 4 more monitored areas cropped from higher resolution footages. No additional camera licenses are required, and users can view the virtual camera as an independent channel with other camera channels in the same view. In remote monitoring, the ROI feature allows users to select 5 or 7 split regions in a single stream to focus on while eliminating unnecessary space. All of the monitoring views can be displayed in a layout customized by the users, providing more flexibility and comfort to surveillance management. Dual recording allows storing both higher and lower resolution video streams for further use. Users who have lower or restricted bandwidth availability can conveniently select suitable videos for playback using the multi-channel display mode.

You can check the compatibility with your QNAP VioStor NVR and download the new firmware on the official website.

Synology Officially Announce VisualStation VS360HD

We already had a sneak peek at the VS360HD during Computex earlier this month and now it is official, Synology officially announced the VisualStation VS360HD. It is a compact, durable, and high-performance surveillance companion that supports showing video feeds from up to 36 network cameras within a network when each camera is configured at 720p/10FPS, and also comes with dual Full HD mirrored display output via HDMI and VGA.

If one device shouldn’t satisfy the needs, you just set up more. You can connect multiple VS360HD to a KVM switch and provide a cost-efficient and easy scalable TV wall. Thanks to its fan-less design, VS360HD is completely silent and requires only 4.76W when operating with 36 channels and even lowers power usage down to only 3.61W when idle.

 

The palm-sized system is VESA mount compliant, so finding a way to mount it shouldn’t be any problem, that is if you don’t want it on your desk. It comes with an easy to use interface thanks to the Surveillance Station and has both USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports.

The three USB ports on the VS360HD allows users to connect a mouse, keyboard, and even a joystick to easily operate specific IP cameras with PTZ (Pan-TiltZoom) control.

Synology’s new VisualStation VS360HD is backed with a 3-year limited warranty and comes with a recommended retail price of £360 including VAT.

QNAP VioStor NVR and TurboNAS Now Compatible With All Dahua’s Network Cameras

Personal security is an every growing concern and thanks to NVR and NAS devices that is something that everyone can tackle on a fairly decent budget. QNAP has a big line-up of both network attached storage (NAS) and network video recorders (NVR) and they’ve just announced that they now are compatible with Dahua’s full portfolio of network cameras.

“This is our second integration since cooperation, we tested 25 IPC models, the most representable ones,” said Peter Pan, Product Manager at Dahua Technology, “this integration once again satisfies the demand from our mutual clients, presenting them more choices in model selection while enjoying QNAP robust storage solutions.”

QNAP and Dahua together thoroughly tested the IP cameras for video and audio recording, motion detection, fisheye dewarping, PTZ control, preset positions and auto-cruising for PTZ cameras, and more. Dahua Technology’s IP cameras have passed all these tests without trouble and have proven to integrate well with QNAP surveillance solutions.

This is great news as it opens a world up for you with a lot more cameras to choose from when you design or upgrade your surveillance system for real-time video and audio monitoring and as well as recording for playback and control at a later time.

Synology Shows off NVR Devices and Surveillance Station 7.0 at Computex

Computex 2015 – Synology released their new Surveillance Station back in February and you can’t just use it on their NAS devices. Synology also has a long list of NVR devices specialized for network video recording and surveillance and they brought them all long too.

Among the devices is the NVR716, a two-bay unit for small and midsize business. Ther NVR716 features 1080p local display capabilities as well as a CMS designed for retail businesses. The two bays can be extended up to 7 with Synology’s optional expansion unit.

The VisualStation VS360HD is a compact unit for PC-less monitoring for surveillance of all scales. With dual output over HDMI and VGA, it is as easy to hook up as it is to use and allows for easy monitoring of up to 36 channels of simultaneous HD viewing in 720p.

The durable, compact and last but not least fanless design allows for easy deployment and you can hook up as pretty much as many as you want.

Surveillance Station 7.0 is Synology’s new and revamped centre for monitoring and recording your video surveillance with easy multi-tasking and efficient task automation with action rules.

As you can see on the photos we’ve taken, there is barely any limit on how many cameras you can hook up to your security system, allowing you to monitor everything from small offices with a single room to full complexes and manufacturing plants.

QNAP Launches Cost-Efficient VioStor NVR VS-2200 Pro+ Series

QNAP already has an impressive lineup in their VioStor NVR series and they’ve just expanded with a new unit, the VS-2200 Pro+ series, available i a 2-bay tower form factor with 4, 8, and 10 channels. The new network video recorder is built around an Intel quad-core processor with 2GHz and comes equipped with 4GB RAM.

The new VS2200 Pro+ series brings a lot of features in a compact size, and it’s a highly cost-effective unit for Small and Medium Businesses as well as Home offices. With support for dual Full-HD 1080P Local Display, built-in alarm GPIO for enhancing security management, QSCM Lite as a free app for centrally managing multiple NVRs, and more, the VS2200 has it all.

The HDMI output allows you to quickly set up and manage the NVR by simply plugging in a mouse, keyboard, and HDMI monitor. Once you have set it up, you can easily monitor multiple IP cameras and play back recordings directly from the NAS without the need for an extra PC. It also features dual Gigabit Ethernet and three USB 3.0 ports.

With the built-in GPIO (6in/2out) terminal blocks, the VS-2200 Pro+ series supports alarm-system linkage between alarm equipment such as emergency push buttons and IR sensors. Once the GPIO interface receives signals, the VS-2200 Pro+ will switch to high frame rate video recording, send an event notification via email or SMS to the control center, and trigger the alarm system at the same time to help administrators respond to events in a timely manner to achieve better security.

With the free QSCM Lite app, you can centrally monitor, playback, and manage up to 256 IP cameras from up to 16 VioStor NVRs are different locations.

You don’t have to splurge for the large model with a lot of monitor channels right away as you can purchase additional license as you got along and your needs grow. The expandable license management provides a flexible and cost-effective way of scaling various surveillance needs.

The VS-2200 Pro+ series is now shipping and will become available at your local reseller shortly. GPIO support will be available from the next newer firmware update.

Western Digital Introduced the Purple NV 4TB and 6TB NVR HDDs

Western Digital introduced the new WD Purple NV hard disk, a purpose-built line of 3.5-inch high-capacity drives for the greater demands of scalable network video recorder (NVR) surveillance systems. The new Purple NV drives will be available as 4 TB and 6 TB hard drives to suit the ever growing need for video storage.

Compared with the standard WD Purple drives, the new member of the WD’s surveillance video recording family is designed for larger-scale network surveillance systems utilizing higher hard drive bay counts and greater numbers of attached cameras, which demand increased storage capacity and durability. The new drives’ high capacities also enable long video retention periods for analysis and reference.

“The global video surveillance market is expanding with the increased accessibility to easy-to-use systems for small businesses and municipalities,” said Matt Rutledge, senior vice president of HDD marketing at WD. “WD optimized the WD Purple NV line of hard drives for NVR digital surveillance systems to improve high-definition video playback for high-camera-count applications. NVR surveillance systems can produce incredible amounts of data which makes the WD Purple NV hard drives a perfect solution for NVR systems needing high quality recording and playback and high capacity storage.”

WD Purple NV is designed to withstand the demands of always-on digital NVR recording environments and at the same time it offers a low power consumption and many advanced performance features typically reserved for higher end surveillance storage. Among the features are the WD AllFrame technology that helps to reduce footage loss with a proprietary cache policy, the premium protection through tarnish-resistant components, and support for even the highest camera-count systems.

The new hard drives are covered by a three-year limited warranty and the drives will be available later this quarter, so before July sometime.

ASUSTOR Launched Surveillance Center Version 2.2

ASUSTOR has been busy updating a long row of their apps with new features and improved functionality and the Surveillance Center is the latest to get the overhaul. The improved ASUSTOR NVR software for NAS devices includes support for the ONVIF Profile S (2.4.1) standard protocol, interactive electronic maps, the newest version of Safari (8.0.2) for Mac, and comes with an 30% increased display performance on Mac system.

The system supports any Profile S certified camera products and the Surveillance Center 2.2 upgrade also further expands compatibility for cameras from AXIS, AVTECH, Samsung, TRENDnet and Zavio for more choice and flexibility.

The new electronic maps can provide administrators with a quick view of all the IP cameras deployed and ASUSTOR’s Surveillance Center also supports direct HDMI output.

It comes with four free camera channels and more can be bought as addition, but four should be enough for most home users. Couple that with the cross-platform monitoring via Windows and Mac Web browsers, HDMI local output and the AiSecure mobile app, users can stay on track of every action at any time.

Surveillance Center 2.2 is suitable for use on all ASUSTOR NAS devices and it can be downloaded from the App Central.

Thanks to ASUSTOR for providing us with this information

ASUSTOR and DIGIEVER Create Optimal Surveillance Storage Solution

ASUSTOR has announced that all their Network Attached Storage solutions now are compatible with all DIGIEVER Network Video Recorders, providing a stable backup and storage solution for digital surveillance.

DIGIEVER might not be known by as many as ASUSTOR is, but they are a leading company dedicated to integrating IP video surveillance solutions and providing world-class network video recorder (NVR).

“DIGIEVER NVR’s exceptional surveillance management platform combined with ASUSTOR’s innovative network storage devices, allow us to provide an optimal solution for professional management and storage expansion,” said Allen Tseng, Product Manager at DIGIEVER. “No matter if for personal or business use, this solution offers a lot of added value for both ASUSTOR and DIGIEVER users with video surveillance and backup needs. Users will be able to complete configurations and setup in just a few easy steps. We are delighted to be cooperating with ASUSTOR and are looking forward to providing even more surveillance and storage solutions for the market.”

The new cooperation allows for comparable high-quality and large-scale surveillance NVR solutions at a tremendous price to performance ratio.

Thanks to ASUSTOR for providing us with this information

TRENDnet Launches 4-Channel HD PoE NVR Kit

Security is more relevant than ever and digital video recording solutions are a great way to deal with this. TRENDnet has announced their new standalone 4-channel HD PoE NVR Kit (TV-NVR104K) for just this situation and comes bundled with both two outdoor cameras and a pre-installed 1TB hard drive.

“The TV-NVR104K is a plug and play surveillance solution for SMB and retail environments,” stated Sonny Su, technology director of TRENDnet. “The TV-NVR104 powers the included PoE cameras, thereby simplifying the installation process. Users can add two additional PoE cameras to this PoE NVR kit.”

The NVR connects and powers up to four PoE cameras, auto-recognizes TRENDnet cameras, records over 8.5 days of continuous 720p video with four installed cameras, and supports advanced video playback.

TV-NVR104 Hardware

  • 4-Channel 1080p HD PoE NVR
  • Pre-installed 1 TB SATA hard drive
  • Plug and play PoE network cameras to the four PoE (IEEE 802.3af) ports with a total PoE budget of 35 Watts
  • Ethernet network port
  • HDMI and VGA display ports
  • Optional analog audio in and out ports
  • USB port for the included USB mouse
  • USB port for configuration backup and firmware upgrade

TV-NVR104 Management

  • 4-Channel 1080p HD PoE NVR
  • Access the NVR over the internet
  • Auto-recognizes compatible TRENDnet PoE cameras
  • Single camera and quad view modes with variable-time auto-scan function
  • For each camera manage: on-screen display, image settings, PTZ functionality, motion detection, privacy masks, tamper detection, and video loss
  • Record up to Full 1080p HD video at 30 fps in H.264 compression (included TV-IP320PI cameras record up to 1280 x 960)
  • Recording Time: 6.5 days of recording per camera: 4x cameras with continuous recording at 1280 x 960 at 30 fps; 8.5 days of recording per camera: 4x cameras with continuous recording at 720p at 30 fps.
  • Create weekly continuous and motion detection recording schedules for each camera with video overwrite when storage is full
  • Advanced archived video playback with a quick reference timeline and calendar
  • Quickly export specific video types over a specified time
  • Support for dyn.com and NO-IP.org
  • IPv6 support
  • ONVIF compliant

TV-IP320PI Hardware (two cameras included in the kit)

  • Outdoor 1.3 MP HD PoE IR Network Camera
  • The TV-NVR104 auto recognizes the TV-IP320PI
  • Fully adjustable integrated mounting bracket provides installation flexibility
  • Save installation costs with Power over Ethernet (IEEE 802.3af)
  • Outdoor IP66 weather rated
  • Operating temperature range of -30 – 60 °C (-22 – 140 °F)
  • 1.3 Megapixel: Record 1280 x 960 pixel and/or 720p HD video at 30 fps in H.264 compression
  • Night vision up to 30 meters (100 ft.) in complete darkness
  • Dynamic IR adjustment optimizes night visibility
  • Digital Wide Dynamic Range improves video quality in high contrast light environments
  • IPv6 support
  • ONVIF compliant

The TV-NVR104K will be available throughout January 2015 for a $629.99 MSRP. The DVR box has a 2-year warranty, the cameras have a 3-year warranty and the included HDD is up to the manufacturer of same.

Thanks to TRENDnet for providing us with this information