WD RED 2.5″ Hard-drives for NAS

While 3.5″ Hard-drives dominate the NAS storage market today, will the 2.5″ Form Factor for NAS systems, catch up soon? Western Digital thinks so and has introduced two new hard-drives – 750 GB & 1TB models – with the 2.5″ Small Form Factor (SFF) design. Should you buy it yet?

Certain compact NAS systems (Like Drobo Mini, for example) can take 2.5″ SFF HDDs. Many NAS systems/Servers take both 2.5″ or 3.5″ SFF HDDs. Servers, gaming systems, media players, etc. also support these smaller hard-drives. While a considerable no. of systems support these Small Form Factor HDDs, is reduced size, their only advantage?

Frankly – at least at this point of time – 2.5″ drives do not seem to have any other advantage over 3.5″ drives. Even though speed/performance is comparable for both of them, 3.5″ hard-drives are established, cost competitive, compatible with most devices out there and offers higher storage capacity (3.5″ disks offer 4 TB per disk, versus 1 TB for 2.5″ disks – max capacity). If reliability is your concern, probably SSDs (Solid State Drives) might be a better option. But they come in lower capacities and cost more.

So, where do 2.5″ hard-drives fit in the matrix for NAS drives? Nowhere! At least not until new NAS systems that can take advantage of the small form factor are brought in by manufacturers. Will they do it? Of course. Smaller anything is always exciting in the world of technology and with the increasing real estate costs, saving space will always be a priority for administrators. But, that may not be at the cost of sacrificing capacity or paying more.

Look at it this way – if your NAS set-up demands a 2.5″ hard-drive, you now have an option to buy a hard-drive optimized for NAS (that’s what the WD RED series drives are). In future, when smaller NAS systems appear and you want it so much, you can buy them and use these hard-drives with them, too. But would you want to do that or buy higher capacity 2.5″ SFF drives that maybe available then?

If 1 TB sounds a lot of data for you, 2.5″ HDDs may offer excellent value, even today.

The same NAS-specific features of WD Red drives like NASware 2.0, TLER, Dynamic spindle balancing and others to increase the reliability are available across the WD RED series drives, including this one. Even the 3-year warranty and 24×7 phone support is included.

Have a look at the technical specification sheet for more information on Western Digital RED 2.5″ Hard-drives. It’s available to buy now at major retail outlets.


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