Western Digital announces WD Gold series 4TB, 6TB and 8TB drives – low endurance?

WD Gold 8TB WD8002FRYZ
WD Gold 8TB WD8002FRYZ

Western Digital launched a new data center drive, the WD Gold series. The lineup comes in three capacities 4TB, 6TB and 8TB. From what we understand, the WD Gold line is supposed to be a replacement for the WD Re series or held just above the WD Re in the Western Digital data center series. The most interesting footnote about this lineup is that this is not a coherent line-up. The 8TB drive is Helium sealed whereas the smaller capacity 6TB and 4TB models are not. The 8TB model also does not have an onboard NAND cache. The WD Gold 8TB seems very similar to the HGST/ WD He8 8TB data center drive (and looks like it as well.)

All three capacities have 128MB cache and a 7200rpm spindle rate. They also feature a 5 year warranty and 2.5MTBF. They are rated at 550TB/ year or 2.7PB. Here is the product page citing that figure and a screenshot/ highlight:

WD Gold 550TB per year
WD Gold 550TB per year

That is well below many modern data center SSDs. 1.6TB capacity SSDs, for example, that have mid-level write endurance are rated for 3 full drive writes per day * 365 days per year = 584TB/ year of write endurance. Up to 550TB/ year is equivalent to about 1.5TB / day or around 18.3MB/s continuous workload.

Here is Western Digital’s Description of the features:

With ten times the workload capacity of desktop drives, WD Gold hard drives feature advanced technology that delivers industry leading reliability, capacity, power efficiency and performance. Designed for a multitude of Datacenter-specific applications, WD Gold hard drives are perfect for high-availability server and storage arrays that demand the most robust storage device available with 24/7 premium customer support.

Full range of near line capacities – From boot servers to high end enterprise storage systems, WD Gold hard drives offer the capacities required for the most demanding datacenter environments.

Highest workload capability – Delivering both performance and reliability to any data center environment, WD Gold hard drives are designed to handle up to 550TB per year which is the highest workload capability of any 3.5-inch hard drive.

Highest level of reliability – With up to 2.5 million hours MTBF, WD Gold hard drives deliver the highest level of reliability and durability for yearly operation (24x7x365) within the most demanding storage environments.

Vibration Protection – Enhanced RAFF™ technology includes sophisticated electronics to monitor the drive and correct both linear and rotational vibration in real time. The result is a significant performance improvement in high vibration environments over other desktop hard drives.

RAID-specific, time-limited error recovery (TLER) – Prevents drive fallout caused by the extended hard drive error-recovery processes common to desktop drives.

Extended thermal burn-in test – Each drive is put through extended burn-in testing with thermal cycling to ensure reliable operation.

Dynamic fly height technology – Each read-write head’s fly height is adjusted in real time for optimum reliability.

Dual actuator technology – A head positioning system with two actuators that improves positional accuracy over the data track(s). The primary actuator provides coarse displacement using conventional electromagnetic actuator principles. The secondary actuator uses piezoelectric motion to fine tune the head positioning to a higher degree of accuracy.

Compatibility testing – All WD Gold hard drives are extensively tested across a variety of popular OEM storage systems, SATA controllers, and host bus adapters, to ensure ease of integration for a plug and play solution.Premium support
Dedicated 24×7 over the phone support is included with every WD Gold hard drive.
• Specifically designed for use in enterprise servers, datacenter servers, and storage systems
• Tested for 24x7x365 reliability at workloads up to 550TB per year
• Highest level of reliability up to 2.5 million hours MTBF
• Performance-optimized for heavy application workloads
• 5-year limited warranty

WD Gold 8TB WD8002FRYZ
WD Gold 8TB WD8002FRYZ


While actual street pricing will vary, we hear that the following pricing will form a MSRP baseline:

  • 8TB WD Gold high-capacity data center hard drive – $629
  • 6TB WD Gold high-capacity data center hard drive – $499
  • 4TB WD Gold high-capacity data center hard drive – $309

These are priced similarly to previous WD Re drives.

WD Gold 6TB WD6002FRYZ
WD Gold 6TB WD6002FRYZ


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