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 - 08:00 AM | 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: Storage | August 3, 2012 - 02:25 PM | Allyn Malventano
Tagged: western digital, WD, TLER, red, raid, hdd
This morning I received a tweet about WD Red drives not supporting Time Limited Error Recovery. TLER is the feature which allows a RAID comprised of Reds to much more gracefully handle drive failures and/or read errors. It's carried down from enterprise drives like the RE4 and RE4-GP.
I'm posting this quick note here to let the masses know that the Red drives *do* in fact support TLER. It's a primary component of NASware - the NAS aware firmware that drives the Reds. Here's the official reply I received from Western Digital:
WD does enable intelligent error recovery controls, which is not the same as a desktop drive. WD's exclusive NASware technology is built in each WD Red drive, which reduces the concern with using desktop drives in a RAID environment.
More info on details of NASware can be found here: http://www.wd.com/en/products/
Western Digital has assured me they are tracking down where the miscommunication occurred.
Podcast #209 - Thunderbolt on Windows, Western Digital Red Drives, a passively cooled GTX 680 and more!
Subject: General Tech | July 12, 2012 - 01:35 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: WD, ThunderFX, thunderbolt, ssd, red, podcast, Intel, gtx 680, gpu, amd
PC Perspective Podcast #209 - 07/12/2012
Join us this week as we talk about Thunderbolt Performance on Windows, the new Western Digital Red Hard Drives, a passively cooled GTX 680 and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
- iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the Store
- RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
- MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file
Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath and Allyn Malvantano
This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!
Program length: 1:15:06
- 1-888-38-PCPER or firstname.lastname@example.org
- http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
- Quakecon - we need Tshirt ideas!!
- 00:05:45 Thunderbolt Performance on Windows with ASUS P8Z77-V Premium
- 00:17 Gigabyte G1.Sniper M3 Motherboard Review
- 00:18:30 AMD, Vishera and Beyond!
- 00:26:45 HP Envy 14 Spectre Review
- 00:28:30 Western Digital Red 3TB NAS HDD Review
- 00:41:51 This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!
- 00:42:45 Passively cooled GTX 680 anyone?
- 00:45:45 Windows 8 Pro will run you $39
- 00:50:00 Overclocking makes your system less stable...duhhh
- 00:57:00 ASUS and Gigabyte raise warranty times
- 00:58:30 Mid-range Kepler rumors
- 01:03:03 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
- 1-888-38-PCPER or email@example.com
- http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
For those of you that prefer the video version, see below:
Introduction and Internals
I'm going to let the cat out of the bag right here and now. Everyone's home RAID is likely an accident waiting to happen. If you're using regular consumer drives in a large array, there are some very simple (and likely) scenarios that can cause it to completely fail. I'm guilty of operating under this same false hope - I have an 8-drive array of 3TB WD Caviar Greens in a RAID-5. For those uninitiated, RAID-5 is where one drive worth of capacity is volunteered for use as parity data, which is distributed amongst all drives in the array. This trick allows for no data loss in the case where a single drive fails. The RAID controller can simply figure out the missing data by running the extra parity through the same formula that created it. This is called redundancy, but I propose that it's not.
Subject: Storage | July 10, 2012 - 08:04 AM | Allyn Malventano
Tagged: western digital, wdc, red, NAS, hdd, Hard Drive
** Note ** - Full review has been posted HERE!
Today Western Digital launches their Red series of hard drives. These are basically Caviar Greens that are specificially tuned to operate in small RAID configurations - namely home and small business NAS solutions containing up to 5 drives. These drives carry over some of the features present on Western Digital's Enterprise lines while adding a few of their own.
We got samples of the Red in yesterday evening, so instead of going on with conjecture derived from the news post, I'll hit you with the new features and a bit of my initial impressions from our early benching:
- Extremely quiet operation thanks to a new dynamic balancing mechanism built into the spindle motor hub. The drive essentially re-balances itself on-the-fly as temperatures change, etc.
- Seeks are equally quiet - quiet enough that a bunch of these doing random access outside of an enclosure would barely be audible from only a few feet away.
- Great sequential throughput (~150MB/sec at start of disk, ramping down to ~65MB/sec at the end).
- Random access times in the 20ms range - likely due to the very quiet seeking mechanism.
- Red Series drives will all be advanced format (i.e. internally addressed by 4k sectors).
- Reds will all be 1TB/platter, available in 1, 2, and 3TB capacities. This gives similar throughput figures regardless of capacity purchased.
- 3-year warranty, with a 24/7 support hotline specifically for Red owners.
- Red drives feature a QR code on the label to assist with any support issues down the road.
I'm not kidding about the quiet operation. The only sound the Red makes is reminiscent of a DVD spinning at low speed, in a sound deadening enclosure. There is no motor whine whatsoever and the head actuator is nearly inaudible. I have to almost lay my head on the drive to tell it is seeking at all.
A full review with all of the gory details will be up later today. For now I leave you with the WD press release after the break, along with this nifty QR to get you more info on the Red Series:
*note - the QR page may not yet be live.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | April 22, 2011 - 03:44 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: red, full tower
If you want a case that will stand out no matter where you stick it, the Sentey GS-6400R Arvina Extreme Division Computer Case is going to please you. A screaming bright red exterior, with several LED fans as well and a reflective black interior mark this case as very unique. Inside you will find strategically placed fans to keep air moving around your GPU and nicely implemented tool-less installation show that this case is not just about looks. Put on some sunglasses and head over to ProClockers to see this thing!
"Sentey is a manufacturer who happens to offer a range of cases aimed at doing just that, winning your choice through design and features. If that name isn't familiar to you however, don't feel bad as they were an unknown to us as well. While they've been in the case scene for awhile now, it was mostly outside North America and less focused on the type of computing enthusiast that me and you are. As of more recently is it that Sentey has decided to expand their horizons, and seem to have made a decent impression in the short time. We have a couple models to show you from them, but today's focus is on their GS-6400R Arvina model, which comes from their Extreme Division line of cases. It offers a bold look, plenty of features and is hoping to win you over by offering them all in one case. So lets find out what it comes packing and if it managed to win us over!"
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Cooler Master Centurion 5 II Limited Edition "Red" Case Review @Hi Tech Legion
- CM Storm Enforcer Case Review @ Hardware Secrets
- Zalman Z9 Plus Mid-Tower Chassis Review @ Techgage
- In Win Buc Review @ OCC
- Xigmatek Elysium Super Tower Chassis @ Modders-Inc
- Cubitek Mini Tank @ XSReviews
- Cubitek Mini-Tank Case @ TechwareLabs
- Thermaltake Level 10 GT Full Tower Gaming Chassis @ TweakTown
- Xigmatek Elysium Super Tower @ TweakTown
- Coolermaster CM 690 II Advanced Review @ Madshrimps
- IN WIN - Dragon Rider Full Tower @ TechwareLabs
- Thermaltake Level 10 GT Review @ Neoseeker
- InWin Dragon Rider ATX Computer Case @ Modders-Inc
- Thermaltake V9 BlacX Mid-Tower Case @ Bjorn3D
- Evercool Transformer 4 Heatsink @ Overclockers.com
- Noctua NH-C14 CPU Cooler @ iXBT Labs
- Xigmatek Elysium Video Review @ OC3D
- Noctua NH-D14 CPU "Monster" Cooler Review @ Madshrimps
- Noctua NH-C14 @ techPowerUp
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