WD Red and WD Red Pro Added to the WD Internal Drive Lineup

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When looking into storage options, everyone knows that bigger is better. As storage solutions grow from desktop internal drives to external portable, right on up to network attached storage solutions, WD always has a drive that’s perfectly suited for each and every tier. But knowing which drive to purchase and making the right decision based on cost per byte is tricky. Savvy consumers don’t want to purchase too much or too little storage. When you ramp that up to a small business storage solution and include NAS servers, the due diligence you perform when purchasing a drive can mean a significant savings—or loss for you if done wrong.

Take, for instance, the WD family of Red drives. WD just updated this series of all-purpose NAS drives so that end-users can now enjoy a more enveloping range, spanning 1- to 16-bay servers, with capacities up to 6TB. They now offer sizes and configurations in their enterprise level 24/7 drives that fit all sorts of needs, from the home enthusiast to the large IT department.

WD also updated its proprietary NASware system to NASware 3.0, delivering support for smaller NAS servers from 1 to 8 bays. This will further improve not only the compatibility of drives, but add reliability to the drives contained within your server environment.

So, when purchasing or laying out a budget for drives, what should you know about the differences between WD Red and WD Red Pro drives? The difference, as always, will depend on what you need your NAS for, and what you need it to do for you.

The Personal Cloud and Home NAS User

If you need a reliable drive for your home setup and network, then the WD Red line is for you. Traditionally sold in as low as 750GB capacity (with a 16MB buffer and a 2.5" form factor), they now reach as high as 5TB and 6TB (with a 64MB buffer and a 3.5" form factor). The 6TB model uses five 1.2TB platters, and the speed, which WD cleverly markets as Intellipower, means that the drive could run anywhere from 4000 rpm to 7200 rpm, depending on factors like program application, types of files you’re loading or accessing, and the disk activity levels needed to read or write information. It will still perform as intelligently and efficiently as any other hard drive, but Intellipower drives power down when not in use, and depends heavily on the generous buffer to maintain the appearance that the drive is running at optimal speed. With information stored in the buffer, by the time the drive reaches the lower end of the spectrum, the information has already been accessed—you won’t know the difference unless you perform your own speed test on the drive—and as always, your experience and run times will vary. The pro side of Intellipower is that it reduces heat signatures for the drive, which can greatly reduce the drive’s life. They don’t call it “frying a drive” because of how cool a drive gets.

All WD Red and Red Pro drives use a 6 GB/s SATA III interface, so connectivity should never be an issue when using the drives in your NAS enclosure. Another plus is that WD makes every effort to ensure that its drives are compatible in the widest array of enclosures; you will rarely find an enclosure that does not accept a WD drive.

The Red drives are perfect for smaller settings, like desktop tower placement. They’re not really scaled for rackmount systems (for that kind of configuration, you should look into Red Pro drives, which we’ll discuss in a moment). Again, these are perfect for someone setting up a home NAS for archiving or sharing videos, music, and photos, or a small business with IT concerns for about 10-25 users. When looking at 6TB configurations, you’re talking about almost 1.5 million songs, 1.2 million photos or 461 hours of high-definition video. Dual 6TB drives will allow you to mirror the data for safekeeping so that you never lose it.

The Red line also delivers a high reliability rate, since these are engineered for 24/7 usage. They perform 35% better than standard hard drives when considering the MTBF rate (mean time between failures), which WD pegs at 1,000,000 hours. They also include WD 3D Active Balance Plus technology, which reduces the amount of noise and vibration that is common to multi-drive systems, and which can reduce the life and efficiency of your drives.

Also a bonus for Red consumers, WD offers a limited 3-year warranty that includes premium dedicated 24/7 phone support (in English—other regional support hours vary) because they know that if your drive is running 24/7, so should their support.

Medium to Large Business and the Red Pro

The Red Pro diverges from the standard Red line by offering more to the storage mix. The Red Pro line is specifically made for larger server systems, more along the lines of 8- to 16-bay servers. This means the Red pro line would be more at home in a connected multi-workstation scenario or a rackmount system for a medium to large office. They are available in 2TB, 3TB, and 4TB models, with 7200 rpm speed, 6 GB/s SATA III interface and 3.5" form factor, and all include a 64MB buffer.

Besides the enhanced and consistent speed and support for larger bay arrays, they also include the WD NASware 3.0 upgrade so that you can manage and maintain your drive, and more easily integrate it into your system.

WD also adds another level of security with its shock protection for large systems—each drive is equipped with a multi-axis shock sensor that automatically detects subtle shock events and adds dynamic fly-height technology to adjust read-write functions and protect the data. This is in addition to the dual-plane 3D Active Balance Plus protection that all WD Red series drives contain. Excessive heat and vibration are two of the deadliest factors when protecting data, and the two biggest root causes of drive failures. This is another security measure that WD offers so that your 24/7 usage is not interrupted.

The company also includes a new technology called StableTrac that enhances the accuracy of your WD Red Pro hard drive: dual actuator technology that improves the positional accuracy over the data tracks and head positioning. It secures the motor shaft at both ends to reduce vibration from your system and adds stabilization to your larger NAS systems. Imagine putting the needle on a vinyl record by hand; no one can do it without scratching the disk just a tiny bit. StableTrac uses its proprietary technology to put the needle on the record, and never misses the groove. It’s a mechanical hand that never jitters or wavers, and it keeps your data safe.

Add to that extensive thermal-cycle burn in testing, error recovery controls built into NASware 3.0, and the same reduction in MTBF rate, along with an extended five-year limited warranty, and you can see how serious WD takes your storage concerns. Which Red fits your needs you depends on what you plan to do with it – but whether that’s archiving and home entertainment or serious business-minded 24/7 operation, they’ll have you seeing Red, and that’s a good thing.

WD RED INTERNAL NAS DRIVES
SPECIFICATIONS 6TB 5TB 4TB 3TB 2TB 1TB 1TB 750GB
Model number WD60EFRX WD50EFRX WD40EFRX WD30EFRX WD20EFRX WD10EFRX WD10JFCX WD7500BFCX
Interface SATA 6 Gb/s SATA 6 Gb/s SATA 6 Gb/s SATA 6 Gb/s SATA 6 Gb/s SATA 6 Gb/s SATA 6 Gb/s SATA 6 Gb/s
Form Factor 3.5-inch 3.5-inch 3.5-inch 3.5-inch 3.5-inch 3.5-inch 2.5-inch 2.5-inch
Advanced Format (AF) Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Native command queuing Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
RoHS compliant Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Performance
Data transfer rate (max.)                
Interface speed
Internal transfer rate
6 Gb/s
175 MB/s
6 Gb/s
170 MB/s
6 Gb/s
150 MB/s
6 Gb/s
147 MB/s
6 Gb/s
147 MB/s
6 Gb/s
150 MB/s
6 Gb/s
144 MB/s
6 Gb/s
144 MB/s
Cache 64MB 64MB 64MB 64MB 64MB 64MB 16MB 16MB
Rotational Speed (RPM) Intellipower Intellipower Intellipower Intellipower Intellipower Intellipower Intellipower Intellipower
Reliability/Data Integrity
Load/unload cycles 600,000 600,000 600,000 600,000 600,000 600,000 600,000 600,000
Non-recoverable read errors per bits read <1 in 1014 < 1 in 1014 <1 in 1014 <1 in 1014 <1 in 1014 <1 in 1014 <1 in 1014 <1 in 1014
MTBF (hours) 1,000,000 1,000,000 1,000,000 1,000,000 1,000,000 1,000,000 1,000,000 1,000,000
Limited warranty (years) 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3
Power Management
12VDC ±10% (A, peak)  1.75 1.75 1.75 1.73 1.73 1.2 - -
5VDC ±10% (A, peak)  - - - - - - 1.00 1.00
Average power requirements (W)                
Read/Write
Idle
Standby/Sleep
5.3
3.4
0.4
5.3
3.4
0.4
4.5
3.3
0.4
4.1
2.7
0.4
4.1
2.7
0.4
3.3
2.3
0.4
1.4
0.6
0.2
1.4
0.6
0.2
Environmental Specifications
Temperature (°C)                
Operating
Non-operating
0 to 65
-40 to 70
0 to 65
-40 to 70
0 to 65
-40 to 70
0 to 65
-40 to 70
0 to 65
-40 to 70
0 to 65
-40 to 70
0 to 65
-40 to 70
0 to 65
-40 to 70
Shock (Gs)                
Operating (2 ms, read/write)
Operating (2 ms, read)
Non-operating (2 ms)
30
65
250
30
65
250
30
65
250
30
65
250
30
65
250
30
65
250
400
-
1000
400
-
1000
Acoustics (dBA)                
Idle
Seek (average)
25
28
25
28
25
28
23
24
23
24
21
22
24
25
24
25
Physical Dimensions
Height (in./mm)  1.028/26.1 1.028/26.1 1.028/26.1 1.028/26.1 1.028/26.1 1.028/26.1 0.374/9.5 0.374/9.5
Length (in./mm) 5.787/147 5.787/147 5.787/147 5.787/147 5.787/147 5.787/147 3.94/100.2 3.94/100.2
Width (in./mm, ± .01 in.) 4/101.6 4/101.6 4/101.6 4/101.6 4/101.6 4/101.6 2.75/69.85 2.75/69.85
Weight (lb./kg, ± 10%)  1.65/0.75 1.65/0.75 1.50/0.68 1.40/0.64 1.32/0.60 0.99/0.45 0.25/0.115 0.25/0.115


WD RED PRO INTERNAL NAS DRIVES
SPECIFICATIONS 4TB 3TB 2TB
Model number WD4001FFSX WD3001FFSX WD2001FFSX
Interface SATA 6 Gb/s SATA 6 Gb/s SATA 6 Gb/s
Form Factor 3.5-inch 3.5-inch 3.5-inch
Advanced Format (AF) Yes Yes Yes
Native command queuing Yes Yes Yes
RoHS compliant Yes Yes Yes
Performance
Data transfer rate (max.)      
Interface speed
Internal transfer rate
6 Gb/s
171 MB/s
6 Gb/s
168 MB/s
6 Gb/s
164 MB/s
Cache 64MB 64MB 64MB
Rotational Speed (RPM) 7200 7200 7200
Reliability/Data Integrity
Load/unload cycles 600,000 600,000 600,000
Non-recoverable read errors per bits read <1 in 1015 <1 in 1015 <1 in 1015
MTBF (hours) 1,000,000 1,000,000 1,000,000
Limited warranty (years) 5 5 5
Power Management
12VDC ±10% (A, peak)  1.9 1.9 1.9
Average power requirements (W)      
Read/Write
Idle
Standby/Sleep
8.6
6.5
0.6
8.6
6.5
0.6
6.5
4.9
0.4
Environmental Specifications
Temperature (°C)      
Operating
Non-operating
5 to 60
-40 to 70
5 to 60
-40 to 70
5 to 60
-40 to 70
Shock (Gs)      
Operating (2 ms, read/write)
Operating (2 ms, read)
Non-operating (2 ms)
30
65
300
30
65
300
30
65
300
Acoustics (dBA)      
Idle
Seek (average)
31
34
31
34
31
34
Physical Dimensions
Height (in./mm)  1.028/26.1 1.028/26.1 1.028/26.1
Length (in./mm) 5.787/147 5.787/147 5.787/147
Width (in./mm, ± .01 in.) 4/101.6 4/101.6 4/101.6
Weight (lb./kg, ± 10%)  1.66/0.75 1.66/0.75 1.55/0.70

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If the MBTF is 1 million hours on the 4TB WD Red, that equals an average lifespan of 114 years. Is this accurate? How come the warranty is only 3 years?

MTBF for drives is a little misleading in my opinion. No drive has been tested for that length of time. The number comes from computer simulated tests. Western Digital does not specify the reason they set the duration of the warranty to 3 years for this drive.

WD Red & Red Pro drives