Western Digital's family of consumer hard drives has a new member after Blue (balanced), Green (low power), and Black (high performance); the WD Red. The new line of consumer SATA hard drives are designed to fill the vaccum between WD's cost-effective consumer hard drives, and expensive enterprise hard drives. 

Western Digital's family of consumer hard drives has a new member after Blue (balanced), Green (low power), and Black (high performance); the WD Red. The new line of consumer SATA hard drives are designed to fill the vaccum between WD's cost-effective consumer hard drives, and expensive enterprise hard drives. Western Digital is specifically targeting SOHO (small/home office) NAS (network-attached storage) systems, with up to five drive bays. Such NAS devices are usually in the desktop form-factor, while those with more bays are usually in the rack-mount form-factors, and target larger businesses. 

The WD Red is designed to offer durability comparable to enterprise segment SATA hard drives. For starters, they are designed for 24×7 operation, with energy efficiency. Think of them as a refined, durable version of WD Green. Since performance of NAS devices, particularly SOHO NAS, are limited by local network bandwidth (usually 1 GbE), the design focus of WD Red appears to be reliability, more than performance. 

The WD Red hard drives are built in the 3.5-inch form-factor, with SATA 6 Gb/s interface. The lineup initially includes three models, the 1 TB WD10EFRX, 2 TB WD20EFRX, and 3 TB WD30EFRX. All three models feature 64 MB caches. Western Digital did not mention a specific spindle speed, and marked it as "IntelliPower." One would find a similar rating for WD Green, which have sub-5900 RPM spindle speeds that vary between 5400-5900 RPM, depending on the disk activity.

A USP of the WD Red is NASware, a combination of technologies that make the drives fit for NAS. These include improved durability for 24×7 operation, error-recovery controls that make the drives better suited for RAID, improved technical support from WD, and tested support for NAS devices. Western Digital will be working with a variety of NAS device manufacturers to ensure compatibility with their upcoming products. 

Available through select distribution channels, the 1 TB, 2 TB, and 3 TB variants of WD Red hard drives will be priced at US $109, US $139, and US $189, respectively.

 

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