WD this week, release its new WD Red Pro 20TB drives. Cliff had an interesting take and one that we have mentioned previously. Still, on this particular release, it is borderline shocking. The new WD Red Pro 20TB drive has an annual workload rating, over its five years, of only 300TB per year. If you read the footnotes, the practical impact is that that workload rating is much closer to consumer QLC SSDs than one may otherwise think just by looking at the figure.
You may look at the low-cost consumer SSD and typically we see anywhere from maybe 300TBW-900TBW as the workload rating on 1TB-2TB drives. Generally, with SSDs, endurance ratings increase with capacity because there is more NAND flash to wear out. Every major advancement in storing more in the same number of cells, such as SLC to MLC, MLC to TLC, and TLC to QLC has come with a decrease in endurance ratings, but most have not noticed since drive capacities have increased steadily. In the data center, I remember 40GB and 80GB SSDs being big, but now it is hard to get a data center SSD under 1TB. Endurance ratings on the consumer and NAS side are often not PBW, but there are many that get into that space.
So for many years, folks have said, hey hard drives, unlike SSDs, have higher endurance. That is not really the case anymore, and that even includes the high-end NAS drives from Western Digital.
We also have a video version of this that you can see here:
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