Last July, I went on a bit of a mini-rant about how using a bunch of drives not meant to be in a RAID could potentially lead to loss of the entire array from only a few bad sectors spread across several disks. Western Digital solved this problem by their introduction of the WD Red series. That series capped out at 3TB, and users were pushing for larger storage capacities for their NAS devices. In addition to the need for larger disks came the need for *smaller* disks as well, as there are some manufacturers that wish to create NAS / HTPC type devices that house multiple 2.5" HDD's. One such device is the Drobo Mini - a 4x2.5" device which has not really had a 'proper' NAS storage element available - until now:
Today Western Digital has announced a twofold expansion to their Red Series. First is a 4TB capacity in their 3.5" series, and second is a 2.5" iteration of the Red, available in both 750GB and 1TB capacities.
As a recap of what can potentially happen if you have a large RAID with 'normal' consumer grade HDD's (and by consumer grade I mean those without any form of Time Limited Error Recovery, or TLER for short):
- Array starts off operating as normal, but drive 3 has a bad sector that cropped up a few months back. This has gone unnoticed because the bad sector was part of a rarely accessed file.
- During operation, drive 1 encounters a new bad sector.
- Since drive 1 is a consumer drive it goes into a retry loop, repeatedly attempting to read and correct the bad sector.
- The RAID controller exceeds its timeout threshold waiting on drive 1 and marks it offline.
- Array is now in degraded status with drive 1 marked as failed.
- User replaces drive 1. RAID controller initiates rebuild using parity data from the other drives.
- During rebuild, RAID controller encounters the bad sector on drive 3.
- Since drive 3 is a consumer drive it goes into a retry loop, repeatedly attempting to read and correct the bad sector.
- The RAID controller exceeds its timeout threshold waiting on drive 3 and marks it offline.
- Rebuild fails.
- Blamo, your data is now (mostly) inaccessible.
I went into much further detail on this back in the intro to the WD 3TB Red piece, but the short of it is that you absolutely should use a HDD intended for RAID when building one, and Western Digital is removing that last excuse for not doing so by introducing a flagship 4TB capacity to the Red Series.
Subject: Storage | September 3, 2013 - 12:00 PM | Allyn Malventano
Tagged: western digital, wdc, WD, red, NAS, hdd
Today Western Digital launched both a 4TB 3.5" Red, as well as a new 2.5" form factor available in both 750GB and 1TB:
Subject: General Tech | August 8, 2013 - 05:58 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: HAMR, SMR, cache, hdd, Seagate, western digital, hgst, helium
Enthusiasts are wholeheartedly adopting SSDs for their storage media of choice with HDDs relegated to long term storage of infrequently accessed storage. For SMB and enterprise it is not such an easy choice as the expense to move to a purely SSD infrastructure is daunting and often not the most cost effective way to run their business. That is why HDD makers continue to develop new technology for platter based storage such as HAMR and shingled magnetic media in an attempt to speed up platter drives as well as increasing the storage density. Today at The Register you can read about a variety of technologies that will keep the platter alive, from Seagate's cached Enterprise Turbo SSHD, HGST's helium filled drives and the latest predictions on when HAMR and SMR drives could arrive on the market.
"At a briefing session for tech journos yesterday, Seagate dropped hints of new solid-state hybrid drives (SSHDs) - which combine a non-volatile NAND cache with spinning platters - and a general session about Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR) and Heat-Assisted Magnetic Recording (HAMR)."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- NVIDIA Open Sources SHIELD's Operating System @ Slashdot
- Top 10 Open Source Linux Boards Under $200 @ Linux.com
- Kingston reportedly cuts DRAM module prices amid sluggish demand @ DigiTimes
- Netgear A6200 802.11ac USB Wi-Fi Adapter Review @ Legit Reviews
- Chrome web browser password feature slammed as 'security flaw' @ The Inquirer
- AMD confirms Kaveri will be in the hands of enthusiasts in 2014 @ VR-Zone
Subject: General Tech | June 26, 2013 - 04:56 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: HAMR, western digital, ssd, hdd, Areal Density
Western Digital, along with Seagate, Toshiba, and Hitachi are working on the next step in increasing the storage density of platter based drives while HAMR is still in the works. They will be adding overlapping tracks to their platters, which they are referring to as shingles (as in the roof, not the pox). There will be two types implemented, with the first type having the shingling hidden to ensure compatibility with existing applications which might take exception to overlapping data tracks. Type two will not hide its light under a bushel and will require applications to be aware of the shingling and hopefully take full advantage of the new type of magnetic recording. According to the presentation that The Register attended we will see shingles in the near future, with HAMR due in 2016.
"Over the coming years the remaining players will be pushing traditional technology to its limits to extend the life of hard disk technology. While the industry is pretty much standardised on perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) at present, in a couple of years there will be more fundamental hard drive technologies co-existing in the market than there are hard drive vendors."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Running Ubuntu Linux Is Messy On The 2013 MacBook Air @ Phoronix
- Rise of the ARM Clones @ Slashdot
- Intel demos real-time code compression for die shrinkage, power saving @ The Register
- HP StoreOnce has undocumented backdoor @ The Register
- Oregon Scientific SE833 Heart Rate Monitor with PC Download Review @ Madshrimps
Subject: Storage | May 28, 2013 - 12:15 PM | Allyn Malventano
Tagged: Xe, western digital, wdc, se, RE, hdd
Today Western Digital did a slight rearranging of their enterprise product lineup:
Starting from the top down, the Xe series is essentially a SAS version of their 2.5" 10k RPM VelociRaptor form factor, available in 300GB, 600GB, and 900GB capacities. The Re series is the same 'RE' we are all familiar with, and is now available in both SAS and SATA. That bottom block, however, is something new:
The Se series is Western Digital's attempt at a lower cost Re series drive, and will be available in capacities up to 4TB.
So the Se is an Advanced Format version of the Re, designed for reduced workloads. Throughput is slightly reduced due to differences in track geometry, though WD let me know they expect final shipping Se's may be closer to the Re spec than the slide indicates. The Se carries the same RPM as well as StableTrac (where the spindle is supported at both ends), RAFF (where accelerometers compensate for chassis vibration), and TLER (where IO request timeouts are adjusted to play nicely with hardware RAID).
The key to the success of the Se will be just what sort of reduced cost Western Digital is able to price the drive at. That information, as well as a full review of an Se, will be coming later today, just as soon as our next batch of samples arrives.
Today Western Digital launched their new 5mm 2.5" Blue. This model will only come in 500GB. Capacity options are limited presumably due to a single 500GB platter, which is about all you can fit into a housing that's only 5mm thick.
The drive launches at an MSRP of $89.00, but don't rush out to buy one just yet. The new drive will require a purpose-built installation, as it uses a new SFF-8784 edge connector to receive data and power from the host system. You're basically going to need a laptop that has a bay designed for just this drive, which may take a while.
Today Western Digital launched a new line of Hard Disk Drives. The Xe is very similar to their VelociRaptor, with the same 2.5"-3.5" heat sink adapter plate. The primary difference, however, is these units feature Dual Port SAS connectivity.
The new drives feature a 5-year warranty and will come in 300, 600, and 900GB capacities. With SAS HDD's becoming scarce lately, there is a definite gap developing in existing legacy SAS systems. We're glad to see a lower power SAS-connected 10,000 RPM offering to help bridge that gap.
Subject: Storage | April 9, 2013 - 10:58 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: western digital, wd black, hdd, 4TB
SSDs may be the speed kings but when you need a lot of storage space they quickly become quite expensive which is where the new WD Black 4TB HDD shines as it is only
$85 $300. It spins at 7200RPM and has a 64MB cache which ought to make it a bit faster than other high density HDDs which are on the market though the 800GB platters could slow that expected performance somewhat. It also comes with a 5 year warranty which is much better than the usual 2 year warranty many companies have adopted as standard for their platter based drives. Check out the full review at The Tech Report.
"Western Digital's Black 4TB the only desktop hard drive to combine that top-of-the-line capacity with a 7,200-RPM spindle speed and five years of warranty coverage. We take a closer look."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- Toshiba THNSNH 512 GB SSD @ techPowerUp
- Crucial M500 SSD Review (960GB) @ SSD Review
- Crucial M500 960GB SSD @ Tweaktown
- Crucial M500 480GB @ Hardware.info
- 480GB Crucial M500 Solid State Drive @ Benchmark Reviews
- Crucial M500 480GB @ SSD Review
- OCZ Vertex 3.20 120GB @ Kitguru
- Intel 335 Series 180GB SSD @ Tweaktown
- OCZ Vertex 3.20 20nm 240GB SSD Review @ Legit Reviews
- HighPoint RocketStor 5322 Dual eSATA 6Gbps Dock Review - True SSD Speed through an External Dock @ SSD Review
- INEO I-NA321U PLUS Docking Station @ Benchmark Reviews
- Plextor M5 Pro 128GB with Xtreme Firmware SSD @ Tweaktown
- Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD Review @ Hi Tech Legion
- Ineo NA216U2 Plus External USB 3.0 Enclosure @ Tweaktown
- Synology DiskStation DS213+ NAS Server Review @ NikKTech
- SuperTalent USB 3.0 Express RC4 64GB Flash Drive @ SSD Review
- Synology DiskStation DS2413+ NAS @ Techspot
- HGST Travelstar 7K1000 2.5-inch Mobile Hard Drive Review @ Madshrimps
- ADATA 500GB USB 3.0 DashDrive Elite Review @ OCIA
Subject: Storage | November 20, 2012 - 03:35 PM | Allyn Malventano
Tagged: WD, western digital, Black, 4TB, hdd
Today Western Digital announced their new 4TB Black Series HDD. This new drive boasts some features normally reserved for their RE (enterprise) series drives, such as dual processors and dual stage actuator tech. This 7200 RPM unit comes with the now standard 64MB cache and SATA 6Gb/sec interface. We will be reviewing a sample upon its arrival, but I suspect performance will be close to the RE series, albeit without the additional enterprise-specific features.
The 4TB Black kicks off at an MSRP of $339. Hopefully we see some 4TB Greens and Reds out of Western Digital shortly - as those should be at a lower cost and be more suited to the typical mass-storage applications of such a high capacity drive.
Press blast after the break:
Subject: General Tech | August 9, 2012 - 05:12 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: hdd, toshiba, western digital, 3tb, Warranty, sad
As has been mentioned previously on PC Perspective the current trend of HDD manufacturers reducing the length of warranty is not being well received, though with only three manufacturers left consumers have little choice in the matter. At least with Western Digital, you are more likely to get a 3 to 5 year warranty than you are a single year. That negative feedback obviously hasn't fazed Toshiba, who are using the WD plants they purchased earlier this year to manufacture 1.5, 2 and 3TB HDDs, 3.5" in size and available in both 7200 and 5400RPM models and offering 1 year of warranty. In short, a factory which was previously capable of providing a 5 year warranty on spinning disks for your long term storage now offers a shorter warranty than the SSD manufacturers who are poised to replace them. The Inquirer offers more on this depressing topic here.
"Toshiba, the distant third vendor in the storage industry, was given the chance to buy part of Western Digital's hard drive business when it wanted to appease regulatory bodies to approve its purchase of Hitachi. With some of Western Digital's plants, Toshiba is now set to launch a range of 3.5in hard drives topping out at 3TB."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Kaspersky spots Zeus for BlackBerry @ The Register
- Kaspersky Lab warns of noxious ‘Gauss’ financial trojan @ The Inquirer
- Intel to try out wireless charging technology in ultrabooks and smartphones in 2H13 @ DigiTimes
- NASA's $2.5bn Curiosity rover: An Apple PowerBook on wheels @ The Register
- Buffalo Air Station AC1300 N900 802.11ac Wireless Router Review @ Legit Reviews
- How to Make Your Own Cat5e Network Cable @ Techgage
- NO!SE: The Game of Silence – win awesome prizes! @ Kitguru
- Win a Patriot Viper 3 Memory Kit @ Hi Tech Legion