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Red Gets A Recommendation In NAS Appliances

Western Digital Red: NAS-Specific SATA 6Gb/s Drives, Reviewed
By , Achim Roos

Western Digital's Red family is a well-rounded offering aimed at home- and SOHO-based NAS appliances. The hard drives’ strengths include low operating temperatures, conservative power consumption, and modest acoustics at a 5400 RPM spindle speed. If you're running a pedestal-based server in the same room you work and need to keep storage- and cooling-related noise to a minimum, these drives are definitely ideal. Not only are the drives themselves quiet, but their low operating temperature allows the NAS to operate for longer without spinning its own fans up.

The Red drives aren’t as attractive once you step outside of Western Digital's target usage model of small business network-attached storage and into more demanding professional applications. A slow spindle speed and the lack of a rotational vibration sensor are evidence that these disks weren't intended for use in larger servers. Also, relatively modest performance in Iometer’s database, file server, Web server, and workstation metrics, as well as our 4 KB random read and write benchmarks, make it clear that these drives aren't meant for environments where I/O performance is important.

We can wholeheartedly recommend the Western Digital Red drives in their intended application: small business NAS appliances. I/O generally isn't emphasized in that scenario, and the drives do demonstrate good streaming and sequential read/write performance (at 110 MB/s). This leads to fast transfers of large files, a common task in network-attached workloads.

The drives run cool, are quiet, and exhibit low operating power consumption. In addition, they come with some of the features usually found on enterprise-class hard drives, such as 24x7 availability and high reliability (an MTBF of 1 000 000 hours). We're only disappointed that Western Digital's warranty isn't as enterprise-oriented, limited to just three years.

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  • 16 Hide
    EzioAs , July 24, 2012 5:30 AM
    Quote:
    the reviews say these drives aren't very good, they are prone to high failure rates similar to the 1TB 7200 rpm 64mb cache caviar black drives they make. i thought maybe it was just me, but the reviews say other wise.


    Where did you read that? I just finished reading Tom's review and found out that these are excellent in terms of power, temperature and price for SOHO NAS use. Not sure about the reliability just yet though since they are pretty new on the market.
  • 15 Hide
    epsiloneri , July 24, 2012 8:16 AM
    Thanks for the review, these kind of articles are the reason I keep check in on Tom's now and then (I'm not interested in buyer's guides, hardware is what interests me). These kind of drives have really been missing from the market, the enterprise ones are just too expensive for home users.
    Quote:
    Read some reviews with people experiencing their drives catching on fire.

    Eh, can you provide a source for that spectacular claim, or are you just trolling?
  • 12 Hide
    EDVINASM , July 24, 2012 8:21 AM
    epsiloneriThanks for the review, these kind of articles are the reason I keep check in on Tom's now and then (I'm not interested in buyer's guides, hardware is what interests me). These kind of drives have really been missing from the market, the enterprise ones are just too expensive for home users. Eh, can you provide a source for that spectacular claim, or are you just trolling?


    I second that. Nothing on Google regarding WD Red issues or fire hazards. I have ordered 2 of these and I am going to enjoy them, never mind few trolls around - I have hater blocking glasses :) 
Other Comments
  • 16 Hide
    EzioAs , July 24, 2012 5:30 AM
    Quote:
    the reviews say these drives aren't very good, they are prone to high failure rates similar to the 1TB 7200 rpm 64mb cache caviar black drives they make. i thought maybe it was just me, but the reviews say other wise.


    Where did you read that? I just finished reading Tom's review and found out that these are excellent in terms of power, temperature and price for SOHO NAS use. Not sure about the reliability just yet though since they are pretty new on the market.
  • 7 Hide
    enewmen , July 24, 2012 6:17 AM
    I think this class of drives are needed. I hope to read more about these and some long-term tests.
    I personally only read good things about the Red drives - the low heat, low noise, low vibration, and low power consumption, low idle power consumption, and of course reliability are more important to me than maximum performance in its intended environment (even if some faster spinning drives have slightly more performance per watt).
    Now I can't wait to put these drives in a Synology DS413 when they are released.
  • 5 Hide
    mocchan , July 24, 2012 7:06 AM
    I definitely need to pick up a few of these drives, they're looking pretty sweet to be honest.
  • 15 Hide
    epsiloneri , July 24, 2012 8:16 AM
    Thanks for the review, these kind of articles are the reason I keep check in on Tom's now and then (I'm not interested in buyer's guides, hardware is what interests me). These kind of drives have really been missing from the market, the enterprise ones are just too expensive for home users.
    Quote:
    Read some reviews with people experiencing their drives catching on fire.

    Eh, can you provide a source for that spectacular claim, or are you just trolling?
  • 12 Hide
    EDVINASM , July 24, 2012 8:21 AM
    epsiloneriThanks for the review, these kind of articles are the reason I keep check in on Tom's now and then (I'm not interested in buyer's guides, hardware is what interests me). These kind of drives have really been missing from the market, the enterprise ones are just too expensive for home users. Eh, can you provide a source for that spectacular claim, or are you just trolling?


    I second that. Nothing on Google regarding WD Red issues or fire hazards. I have ordered 2 of these and I am going to enjoy them, never mind few trolls around - I have hater blocking glasses :) 
  • -3 Hide
    rantoc , July 24, 2012 10:43 AM
    Caviar Green's in raid 5 or 6 depending on how much fault tolerance you need for a home nas - ftw!
  • 6 Hide
    vipervoid1 , July 24, 2012 10:48 AM
    f-14the reviews say these drives aren't very good, they are prone to high failure rates similar to the 1TB 7200 rpm 64mb cache caviar black drives they make. i thought maybe it was just me, but the reviews say other wise.


    my Black 1TB 7200rpm 32MB cache
    Used for about 4 years long ~
    nvr gt any problem ~
  • 8 Hide
    ZakTheEvil , July 24, 2012 11:00 AM
    rantocCaviar Green's in raid 5 or 6 depending on how much fault tolerance you need for a home nas - ftw!


    Except that most RAID manufacturers specifically warn against using Caviar Green drives in RAID arrays due to IntelliPower technology causing problems with RAID due to their firmware not being optimized for RAID.
  • 1 Hide
    hannibal , July 24, 2012 11:04 AM
    Good for fast video streaming in home usage. So guite usefull in video and music server... Low power and low heat... I can see that there is a plase for HD like this!

    There is allso a raid test of this HD: http://www.storagereview.com/western_digital_red_nas_hard_drive_review_wd30efrx
  • 6 Hide
    Saxie81 , July 24, 2012 11:16 AM
    Why wasn't TLER mentioned in the review?? Being that it's one of the huge benefits while using these drives in a RAID config....
  • 1 Hide
    boiler1990 , July 24, 2012 12:59 PM
    Defintely going to buy a pair for my home server. I was looking at enterprise drives, but they're quite expensive. Power consumption numbers for therse are fantastic - I'm looking at an always-on server drawing under 50W :D 
  • 0 Hide
    serendipiti , July 24, 2012 1:24 PM
    I think this is, in fact, the scenario for HDDs in the future, as SSDs will eventually replace them in other segments.
    This kind of product line will replace desktop oriented lines as top sales HDD...
  • 0 Hide
    rdc85 , July 24, 2012 1:32 PM
    I can use this for cctv storage's, if it's 24x7 and reability is true and the price is in right spot....
  • 2 Hide
    CaedenV , July 24, 2012 1:40 PM
    I am curious about RAID performance of these drives as that is what they are intended for. Do they scale better in RAID performance compared to (let's just say) an F4? Could we have a RAID roundup? See performance in RAID 0, 1 and 5 for some of these popular Home/Office storage drives?


    At some point in the next year I am finally going to get my little home server up and running, and I am looking at a 9-10TB RAID5, which would be ~$800 with 4 3TB Red drives (or ~$600 with normal drives). But then you look at things like hybrid drives, or even SSDs if they continue their insane price drops and can up the size limits on more civilian units, and I begin to wonder if this next year is simply the wrong time to jump on such an investment with HDD tech going out the window, but SSDs not quite ready for prime time yet.
  • 1 Hide
    penguintech , July 24, 2012 3:14 PM
    Would love to upgrade to one of these drives, one day... when I can upgrade one of my older systems to run as a server.
  • -4 Hide
    rantoc , July 24, 2012 3:49 PM
    ZakTheEvilExcept that most RAID manufacturers specifically warn against using Caviar Green drives in RAID arrays due to IntelliPower technology causing problems with RAID due to their firmware not being optimized for RAID.


    The raid chips/card manufacturers that can't get them to work well with their hardware/drivers then yes - they recommend you stay clear of them for their product shortcomings. Not all manufacturers however have those issues so its fully possible to build a huge fault tolerant NAS with very low power consumption and descent sequential transfers for unsurpassed bang for the buck... That is however requiring the consumer know what components to choose, apparently some here don't know such things and rather blindly follow their favorite brands recommendation and spend loads of extra cash for nothing, if that is what you consider clever then by all means - Go ahead and recommend people from being clever and at the same time help the environment! For me that choice is very simple. Several years running 24/7 with no issues at all on a 8 drive raid 6 proves what i need to know!
  • 0 Hide
    Luscious , July 24, 2012 4:02 PM
    These would be sweet inside those compact QNAP NAS boxes and wouldn't cost a lot to set up either. I like the idea of a small 2-drive RAID0 setup running 24/7 as a network backup solution and DLNA media server.
  • 3 Hide
    nforce4max , July 24, 2012 5:29 PM
    I trust consumer reviews a lot more than reviews on sites such as this when it comes to reliability. A lot of companies over the years are well known that once in a while they will cherry pick before sending ANY thing off to any review site such as this while providing vastly different quality to consumers. I learned my lesson when it came to power supplies (bought into NZXT).
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