Western Digital Red 5TB 6TB and Red Pro Drives Released

Western Digital Red 5TB 6TB Launch
Western Digital Red 5TB 6TB Launch

Today Western Digital announced the Red 5TB and 6TB drives, along with a Red Pro series. The Western Digital Red series is designed for Network Attached Storage (NAS) systems with firmware that better tolerates “herioc recovery” efforts. Since their introduction, they have become the defacto standard recommendation for NAS enclosures, especially those made by Synology, QNAP, Thecus and others. As recently as a few weeks ago we started seeing great deals on the 4TB WD Red drives, and even evidence of a new WD Red series in the forums a few weeks ago. 

Today, Western Digital adds 5TB and 6TB models to the lineup. The WD Red 5TB drive has a MSRP of $249.99 and the WD Red 6TB drive has a MSRP of $299.99. These are fairly standard starting MSRP figures and we would expect street pricing to come down within a month. One major note on the WD Red series drives is that they reach up to 1.2TB/ platter using PMR technology. There have been interesting performance experiences with 6TB SMR drives so the use of mature technology makes performance more predictable.

Update: the 6TB WD Red drives are available on Amazon.com for $299.99 with prime shipping.

The WD Red Pro line is intended for NAS applications up to 16 drives. The drives have a 7200rpm spindle speed for better performance. At launch the WD Red Pro line will consist of 2TB, 3TB and 4TB drives with the 4TB drive hitting a $249.99 MSRP. Interestingly enough, these drives look fairly similar to the WD Raid Edition (WD RE) drives previously meant for SATA RAID arrays. One does wonder if this is largely a preposition of the drives towards a new brand name.

Here is a video on the new drives:

From the press release:

[toggle_box title=”WD Red and Red Pro Press Release” width=”Width of toggle box”]WD Red
A storage industry innovation first introduced in 2012, WD Red hard drives address the unique environment of NAS and the growing demand for affordable, reliable and compatible storage that reduces customer total cost of ownership. With the release of 5 TB and 6 TB models, the WD Red line of hard drives is now further enriched with greater storage capacity and increased performance with 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. 

WD Red hard drives also feature 3D Active Balance Plus, an enhanced balance control technology, which significantly improves overall drive performance and reliability. Exclusive for WD Red customers, WD offers free premium 24×7 dedicated support.

By increasing NASware 3.0 capability, the WD Red 1–6 TB capacity drives are capable of supporting up to eight bay NAS systems with no negative impact to performance. 

WD Red Pro
Ideal for medium to large business environments, the new WD Red Pro line of NAS hard drives supports eight to 16 bay NAS systems. The enhanced design offers reliable, high performance storage powered by NASware 3.0. By introducing the WD Red Pro, WD now has a full portfolio NAS storage solution with the WD Red family (WD Red and WD Red Pro) for both consumer and business NAS solutions. [/toggle_box]


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