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: General Tech | August 8, 2013 - 01:58 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, Storage | June 28, 2013 - 01:24 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: western digital, Arkeia, backup
IRVINE, Calif. – June 27, 2013 – WD®, a Western Digital (NASDAQ: WDC) company and world leader in digital storage solutions, today unveiled the fourth generation of WD Arkeia™ network backup appliances, delivering an all-in-one backup and disaster recovery solution for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).
The new line up consists of four rack-mount appliance models with larger internal disk capacities, faster processors, increased memory, and integrated solid state drives (SSDs) to shorten backup time and accelerate data recovery. The bundled WD Arkeia v10.1 software delivers new support for “seed and feed” technology to support hybrid cloud backups. This allows companies to move backups offsite via network replication rather than shipment of tapes.
“In announcing their fourth generation of purpose-built network backup appliances, WD Arkeia is delivering comprehensive SMB backup solutions that go beyond simple raw capacity increases,” said Liz Conner, senior research analyst, IDC. “WD Arkeia offers easy- to-use data protection that takes the guess work out of purchasing, configuring and managing data backup and recovery, while also embedding features such as deduplication and hybrid cloud backup for small- and medium-sized businesses or remote offices." “WD is committed to providing the growing SMB marketplace with a comprehensive suite of storage solutions,” said Jim Welsh, executive vice president and general manager of WD’s branded business unit. With unique features, these next-generation WD Arkeia network backup appliances offer solutions providers and their customers a simple, smart way to protect their data.
Fourth-Generation Performance and Ease-of-Use
Fourth-generation WD Arkeia backup appliances deliver performance and ease-of-use at an affordable price for SMBs. These new appliances extend the upper range of WD Arkeia appliances and complement available lower-range appliances. WD Arkeia R120s and R220s, both with optional LTO4 tape drives, integrate dual-core Atom and quad-core Xeon processors, respectively. Existing appliances deliver disk capacities from 2TB to 12TB and will also bundle WD Arkeia v10.1. The new fourth-generation appliances offer: o Increased Backup and Recovery Speed: New features include integrated LTO5 tape drives, processor upgrades to a maximum of 2 hex-core Intel® Xeon®, integrated SSDs on select models, and memory up to 96 GB to allow for increased data backup and recovery speeds of both files and disk images. WD Arkeia’s patented Progressive Deduplication™ technology accelerates backups by compressing data at source computers before transfer over local area networks (LANs) or wide area networks (WANs).
- Higher Storage Capacity: Storage capacity doubles from the third generation, with raw capacity now ranging up to 48 TB, configured in RAID-6.
- Improved Ease of Use: Version 10.1 of WD Arkeia software, delivered with the new generation, includes an on-boarding wizard to streamline the appliance setup process.
- Storage Reliability: All new WD Arkeia appliances feature WD enterprise-class WD RE™ hard drives for maximum data integrity.
- Simplified Tape-free, Offsite Storage: Version 10.1 of WD Arkeia software extends support for hybrid cloud backup capabilities to the full line of WD Arkeia appliances. “Seed and feed” capabilities allow administrators to supplement network replication of backup sets offsite by using USB-connected hard drives to transfer initial and large backup sets and also to size WAN bandwidth for the replication of nightly incremental backups.
Pricing and Availability
WD Arkeia fourth generation network backup appliances – models RA4300, RA4300T, RA5300, RA6300 – will be available in July 2013 through select DMR’s and WD-authorized value-added resellers (VARs) in the US, Canada, and Europe. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price, including hardware and software, begins at $9,990 USD. WD Arkeia network backup appliances are covered by one year of unlimited access to technical support, one year of software updates, and a one-year limited hardware warranty.
Subject: General Tech | June 26, 2013 - 12:56 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 | June 3, 2013 - 08:15 AM | Allyn Malventano
Tagged: western digital, wdc, Blue, 7mm, 1TB
Looking at the new spec sheet, the new 1TB Blue carries increased cache (16MB) and reduced Drive Ready time (2.8 sec) as compared to their previous 9.5mm 1TB models.
Press blast after the break.
Subject: Storage | May 28, 2013 - 08:15 AM | 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.
Subject: Storage | May 21, 2013 - 10:01 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: hgst, western digital, 500GB platter, 1.5tb drive, mobile hard drive
Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (HGST, which is now owned by Western Digital) has developed a new 2.5” mobile hard drive called the Travelstar 5K1500. The hard drive uses three 500GB platter drives for a total capacity of 1.5TB. HGST claims that the drive is the highest capacity 9.5mm mobile drive on the market. Additionally, the company has stated that the new drive is faster than its existing two-platter hard drives according to the PCMark Vantage and PCMark 7 benchmark suites.
The 1.5TB Travelstar 5K1500 is a 5400 RPM hard drive with 32MB of on-board cache, a 6Gbps SATA III interface, and shock protection features.
The new mobile drive will be used in external hard drives, all-in-one systems, and notebooks where storage space is valued more than pure performance. It will be available sometime in June for an as-yet-unannounced price point. Another version of the Travelstar 5K1500 that offers automatic encryption of data will be available in Q3 2013.
Subject: Storage | May 14, 2013 - 05:53 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: sshd, cache, western digital, Black SSHD, Hybrid Drive
The Tech Report sat down with Matt Rutledge, Vice President of Western Digital's client computing group to discuss the software behind their new HDDs with an SSD cache. Sandisk will be providing the hardware and WD who will be providing the custom caching software which will not be coded into the hardware but will function at the driver level. Matt mentioned that this software can also make use of the system's memory and incorporate it into the cache as well though it was not completely clear if there will be many user editable settings. Check the interview out.
"WD revealed that its hybrid drives will use SanDisk iSSD flash components. The announcement was devoid of details on how the caching system works, but we can now shed new light on the software-managed scheme."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- Seagate SSHD Thin 500GB Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Seagate Desktop HDD.15 4TB vs WD Black 4TB Hard Drive Review @ Legit Reviews
- Toshiba MK3001GRRB 300GB SAS 6Gb/s HDD @ NikKTech
- Intel 525 Series 120GB & 180GB mSATA SSD @ Hardware Canucks
- PNY Prevail Elite 240GB SSD @ Tweaktown
- Crucial M500 480 GB @ techPowerUp
- 120GB OCZ Vertex 3.20 Solid State Drive @ Benchmark Reviews
- Seagate Desktop HDD.15 4TB Review @ Techgage
- Crucial M4 256GB SATA III SSD Review @ PCSTATS
- Corsair Neutron 128GB and 256GB (2013 Hynix Edition) @ TweakTown
- Kingston Wi-Drive 64GB @ Kitguru
- Western Digital My Book Live 1TB Personal Cloud Storage @ Tweaktown
- OWC Envoy Pro EX USB 3.0 Bus-Powered Portable SSD @ SSD Review
- PQI Tiffany 32GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive @ Tweaktown
- 64 GB Kingston DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 G3 Flash Drive @ TechARP
- Kingston DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 G3 32GB Flash Drive Review @ Legit Review
- Patriot Supersonic Magnum 256GB USB 3 Flash Drive @ SSD Review
- PQI i-mini USB 3.0 32GB @ techPowerUp
- LSI MegaRAID 9271-8i PCIe Raid Controller @ Funky Kit
- Icy Dock FlexCage MB975SP-B Tray-Less 5 x 3.5" HDD Dock @ Tweaktown
- SilverStone DS322 Dual-Bay RAID Enclosure @ Tweaktown
- Western Digital My Passport Enterprise 500GB USB3.0 External Hard Drive @ eTeknix
Subject: Storage | April 9, 2013 - 06:58 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