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Western Digital RED 6TB 3.5″ NAS HDD Four Disk RAID Review

Introduction


We have recently taken a look at the WD RED 6TB hard disk drive designed for NAS usage, and today it is time to see how these drives perform in a 4-disk RAID setup. Western Digital was so nice to provide us with all these wonderful drives for our NAS testing, so it will be great to have a baseline performance directly on our test bench. I’ve been wanting to do this review for quite some time, but had some trouble with my old motherboard. Actually it was a BIOS issue where it had forgotten about its RAID feature, but that’s an old story by now and I have since got a brand new and working motherboard.

WD Red drives are designed specifically for home and small office NAS systems and PCs with RAID. The last one is our queue and is what I will be doing, testing these drives on an Intel RAID controller in various configurations.

The WD Red drives are built primarily for a NAS (Network Attached Storage) environment, but are equally suited for small offices and home users who just want drives that deliver an enterprise level of performance and reliability without the hefty price tag that used to come along.

Network Attached Storage is making a bigger entry than ever before, and not just for businesses. Home users are investing in NAS devices like never before, and with good reason. We have more and more smart devices capable of using our files and we collect more and more data with the increasing resolution advances. Conclusion, we need more storage capacity.

Small and medium businesses, just as home users, will benefit greatly from using the new 6TB WD RED drives. They come with the latest firmware optimized for use in NAS environments and NASware 3.0 supports the use of enclosures with up to 8 bays.

Some people still think a hard disk is a hard disk and that there isn’t any real difference. They are wrong, there are huge differences between drives. Every type of hard disk is optimized for one type of usage and will both perform best and live longest when operated within the given specs.

What you might save in the short run by buying desktop drives, will cost you a lot more in the end. Not only will you need to buy new drives when they fail on you, you also risk losing your data. It is a bit like using an SUV as a tractor, it might work well for some time but you’ll eventually ruin the fine machinery. And since the WD RED drives don’t cost much more than most desktop drives, there really isn’t any need to comprise, get the right drives for the job.

Western Digital is backing the drives with a three-year warranty. It has 64MB onboard cache and that is a relevant factor that severely increases the transfer rates. Speaking of which, the WD RED 6TB can achieve up to 175MB/s internal transfer rates.

The drives are rated to handle a workload of 120-150TB of data per year, well over the data throughput that most small businesses will ever put their drives through.

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Bohs Hansen

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