Tuesday, 18 July 2017 20:31

WD launches 10TB WD RED and WD RED Pro drives in Australia

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Although WD’s RED range launched in the US in May, official Australian availability for the NAS-optimised, 5400 RPM WD Red and 7200 RPM WD Red Pro has finally arrived.

Earlier today, I received news of WD’s Red and Red Pro 10TB Helium-based HelioSeal drives having launched.

I was a little surprised, thinking I had already read about WD’s Red already being launched ealier this year, but it turned out that I’d read about overseas availability, which didn’t as yet include Australia at the time.

Well, get ready for this, and I don’t mean 2 Unlimited, because your magic friend that is the 10TB WD Red range is now available down under.

I was also wondering about 10TB drive availability, because I’d remembered WD and HGST talking about having shipped the world’s first 10TB helium-filled drive back in December 2015, which had happened.

The thing is, that’s well over a year and a half ago now, with the new 10TB drives under the WD Red and Red Pro banners, specifically optimised “for use in personal, home and small to medium business NAS systems".

And, seeing as WD had launched helium-filled drives back in 2015, it should come as no surprise to discover that WD “has shipped more than 15 million helium-based high capacity drives into multiple applications, including for NAS systems, to date, and is continuing to support customers with higher capacities and outstanding reliability".

Indeed, explains WD, its Red line of NAS hard drives “allow customers to scale up or down to meet their changing NAS storage needs".

Brendan Collins, vice-president of devices business unit at Western Digital, said back in May for the overseas launch, and earlier today for the Australian launch: “In July 2012, we introduced the WD Red line to address the unique performance, compatibility and scalability challenges facing home and small business NAS customers.

“Five years and over 16 million WD Red family hard drives later, we continue to advance the platform, bringing our innovative HelioSeal platform and other advanced technologies that allow customers to meet their evolving private cloud needs.”

WD’s HelioSeal helium-technology allows drives that prodvide higher capacity and performance to meet the increasing storage needs of always-on, single-to-8-bay NAS systems.

We’re told that the helium-based design “enables a 25% capacity increase from the WD Red 8TB NAS storage drive. With support for up to 16 bays in tower- and rack-based systems, the WD Red Pro 10TB hard drive delivers the same high performance, reliability and capacity to systems operating in up to 16 bay NAS systems".

So, what are the headline features and specifications for both Red and Red Pro?

  • HelioSeal: Bringing Western Digital’s fourth generation, exclusive HelioSeal technology in 10TB capacity to the NAS storage market.
  • 3D Active Balance Plus, an enhanced balance control technology that improves overall drive performance and reliability.
  • NASware 3.0, an enhanced version of WD’s original NASware technology, designed to improve reliability and system performance, reduce customer downtime and to simplify the integration process.
  • Optimised performance class – 5400 RPM class for SOHO environments, 7200 RPM class for up to 16 bay NAS systems.

WD says the WD Red and WD Red Pro 10TB drives are “finalising compatibility testing with a number of leading NAS system providers”, with a compatibility list of WD Red-qualified products and manufacturers available here.

And what of pricing and availability?

WD tells us that Red and Red Pro 10TB hard drives are now available at “selected Australian retailers and distributors.”

The WD Red 10TB NAS hard drives feature a three-year limited warranty with an RRP of $669.

The WD Red Pro 10TB drives feature a five-year limited warranty with RRP of $699.

This leads one to ask the obvious question – if the Red Pro drive is faster at 7200RPM and comes with an extra two years of warranty, why wouldn’t you pay the extra $30?

I suppose if you’re buying hundreds of them it might make a difference, and perhaps you want less energy usage and heat than 8 x 7200 RPM drives would deliver, but at only $30 the difference, going Pro may well be the way you want to go – if you’re ready, that is.

More information here.

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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