Why bother with a NAS drive in the first place?
People often wonder why they should get a NAS specific hard drive for a NAS when they can get standard desktop and laptop hard drives. To answer it simply, this is because each usage scenario for any hardware deserves attention to the environment and performance parameters. For example, a desktop drive works best with desktop hardware since that is what it is designed to do. Years and years of research led to its current iteration. In a similar fashion, the WD Red NAS drives are most optimised for NAS hardware since years of R&D have gone into its inception.
The WD NAS drives are designed for use in NAS devices and thanks to their features, they are commonly found in NAS devices around the world. That’s right, of all the environments surveyed that includes small businesses and home users, most of the NAS devices make use of the WD Red Drives. Now that’s what you’d call trusting the brand that is WD and you simply can’t go wrong when there are a lot more people opting for the Red Drive advantage.
The Red Drive Advantage
NASware 2.0 is an amalgamation of different technologies that culminate in a better performing, more reliable hard drive and thus a better overall NAS user experience. The result of these technologies is that the drive heats up a lot less due to the reduced power consumption and hence, the cooling fans on the NAS device don’t have to be ramped up. A fan running at a lower RPM results in lower noise levels and thus a better experience for the end user. So to summarise, we can expect a WD Red drive to offer:
- Low power consumption
- Low heat generation
- Reduced NAS cooling system noise
- Higher 24/7 reliability
- Overall you have a highly reliable drive whose MTBF (Mean Time Between Failure), exceeds normal desktop drives by 35% i.e. that means roughly 1,000,000 hours.
Let’s take a look at a WD Red drive (on the right) while operating and compare it with a desktop drive (on the left). You can see that most of the heat on the Red Drive is focussed around the Actuator while the section with the platters and read/write head is quite cool. The same area on a competitor’s drive is hotter by 3-5 degrees celsius.
WD has worked with a large number of NAS manufacturers globally to qualify its Red drives with their NAS enclosures, so whichever NAS device you opt for, you can be pretty sure that the WD Red drives will work seamlessly with your choice of purchase. This means you can forget about shortlisting models based on WD Red support because it is bound to be supported by most of the NAS manufacturers.
The drive supports SMART monitoring as well, so you’ll know exactly how your drive is operating and the status of its health.
Every user has different needs and with that in mind WD Red drives are available in two form factors (2.5-inch & 3.5-inch) and with capacities as high as 4TB (3.5-inch model). Although, NAS devices can be expensive the benefits of having a RAID 1 setup completely justifies the investment. It enables a SOHO to have a centralised storage with redundancy. At the end of the day, you understand the value that your data has and this investment gives you peace of mind.
|Model||Interface||Form factor||RPM||Capacity / Cache|
|WD40EFRX||SATA III - 6 Gb/s||3.5 Inch||IntelliPower||4 TB / 64 MB|
|WD30EFRX||SATA III - 6 Gb/s||3.5 Inch||IntelliPower||3 TB / 64 MB|
|WD20EFRX||SATA III - 6 Gb/s||3.5 Inch||IntelliPower||2 TB / 64 MB|
|WD10EFRX||SATA III - 6 Gb/s||3.5 Inch||IntelliPower||1 TB / 64 MB|
|WD10JFCX||SATA III - 6 Gb/s||2.5 Inch||IntelliPower||1 TB / 64 MB|
|WD7500BFCX||SATA III - 6 Gb/s||2.5 Inch||IntelliPower||750 GB / 64 MB|
Each WD Red drive comes with a 3 year limited warranty and a much lauded support.
WD Red – The right choice
WD Red isn’t the only NAS drive available in the market but it sure is one of the best you can have. And with NASware 2.0 you simply can’t go wrong. It’s the safer option given the reliability of the product, the several advantages it offers against normal desktop drives and the plethora of technology that is built into the hard drive.
This was part two of a four part series on NAS devices so stay tuned for our next article in which we’ll be putting together a NAS device to show you what makes the WD Red drive stand out against the rest. The previous article can be read here.