Video Introduction to WD RED Drives
Western Digital, as you know is a specialist in data storage systems. WD RED hard drives (1 TB, 2 TB, 3 TB models) are made exclusively for 1-5 Bay NAS storage systems used at homes, home offices and SMB’s. Basically, these are not your external desktop hard drives and you cannot use USB cables to connect them. Instead, they can be directly inserted into small NAS (Network Attached Storage) systems that have 1 to 5 bay drives (recommended) and connect to the motherboard via high-speed SATA (6 GB/s) connectivity. These drives have 3.5″ form factor and most NAS systems will be able to work with such drives.
Since WD Red series hard drives are made for NAS systems, they can work with RAID. RAID is a technique used to recover data from a failed disk drive, when multiple hard-drives connect to the same system. Of course, if you use RAID, a considerable amount of storage space is used for it, but you can sleep peacefully knowing that a hard drive failure will not affect your system or data. This drive also features built-in NASware that handles intelligent error recovery controls (among other things) to increase the reliability of the NAS system.
Since these drives are available in 1 TB, 2 TB & 3 TB configurations, and multiple such disk drives can be inserted into the same NAS (depending on the number of disk-drives supported), you will be able to realize a lot of storage space. Buying more storage space than what is required currently is very important because you never know when you’ll need additional space. It is for this reason, SSD’s are not currently the favorable storage medium for high-capacity storage. The cost of SSD drives will simply blow your roof! With an MTBF of 1,000,000 hours and RAID protection, you can be confident that your data is in secure hands. Without having to spend a fortune for the same, that is.
The SATA interface and 6 GB/s transfer rates of WD RED can easily exceed/match your NAS capacity. A full disk transfer/backup will always take some time (a few hours) and that is inevitable with any NAS/hard-drive system. But you may need to do a full disk transfer only occasionally. Besides, the fact that NAS systems are expected to work 24×7 and this drive has been optimized to offer continuous performance, means a lot. Desktop-grade drives are not meant for 24×7 and there is only a small price difference between both of them.
Western Digital says that the heat dissipation is quite less, which is quite important in situations where the NAS box is kept in living rooms or near to work-areas, in an office. Less heat also means longer life. It’s active balance plus feature minimizes vibration and noise. The low electricity consumption of these hard drives is another important consideration (Read/Write: 4.4 W, Standby: 0.6 W). These days, everyone claims green credentials and if it actually translates into lower electricity consumption, it’s a healthy trend!
It is possible to view/measure drive performance parameters like thermal profiles, drive access statistics, etc. using SMART command set offered by WD. Along with WD RED, users can also download the Acronic True Image software that can enable users to copy/clone entire WD hard-drive into another similar device, perform hard-drive image backups/recovery, etc.
Since WD RED hard-drives come with 3-year warranty and premium telephonic support, and since the company has a good reputation for support, you need not worry about the longevity of your storage investment. Support is an important consideration, particularly with storage devices.
List of supported NAS systems (compatibility) /Specifications /Technical Support /FAQ: Manufacturer’s web-page.
Price (USD)/ Buy from (USA): Amazon Links for,
WD Red 1 TB NAS Hard Drive: 3.5 Inch, SATA III, 64 MB Cache – WD10EFRX
WD Red 2 TB NAS Hard Drive: 3.5 Inch, SATA III, 64 MB Cache – WD20EFRX
WD Red 3 TB NAS Hard Drive: 3.5 Inch, SATA III, 64 MB Cache – WD30EFRX
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