Hard Drive Question – WD Red

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I see a really good price, and better for quantity, for 3TB drives. Now, I’ve been down on WD for a couple of years, since I found that they’d protected certain h/d parms from being changed (like TLER). The ones I’m looking at are the Red, which seems to be a new color (at least to me), and one technical review I’ve read says that they’re intended for NAS, etc, and you can adjust those parms. They’re *not* supposed to be
“enterprise” or server grade, but it sounds like they’d work with RAID.

Anyone know anything about them?

mark, checking before I buy

12 thoughts on - Hard Drive Question – WD Red

  • They are made more for the soho environment, not sure I would even use them there. If its critical enough for RAID environment then I would use the enterprise class drives WD-RE or the Seagate equiv. IIRC they were not even spinning those at 7200rpm, i just pony up for the good ones, and I’m cheap ;)

  • Tom Bishop wrote:

    use the

    Yeah, well, I work for a federal contractor, so this is your and my tax dollars (and when someone starts spouting that all feds spend money like water, I’m going give them a cluex4…).

    But, after reading your comments, and looking and seeing a similar comment on Tom’s Hardware, I called their support – they even have a tech support
    24×7 specifically for red, and the tech, when I asked, didn’t even blink when he told me it was 7200 full speed….

    And have you looked at the price for server grade anything? They want 2-3
    times the base price.

    Thanks, though, for such a quick response… and helping push me to call.


  • Sure but if you read WD on documentation on at least parity RAID
    requirements, that specify URE 10^15, and these list out to 10^14. If you are going to run RAID 5 or 6 with the 3gb disks, sounds like that might not be the best situation but something to think about.

  • dont put more than 10-12 disks in a single raid stripe and allow at least 10% hot spares. my monster raids built from 3TB SATA drives rebuild from a single drive failure in about 12 hours, and have 2 spares online, so it would take 3 drive failures in less than 12 hours to take the file system down. never rely on cold spares in storage, they won’t be there 3 years from now when you need them, and every hour the spare isn’t replaced, is another hour added to the rebuild time leaving you open to more fail.

  • Tom

    Please don’t top post.

    Tom Bishop wrote:
    Ah – good catch. Still, I don’t think we’ll be using them in RAID 6;
    mostly, either for backups, or for just holding honkin’ large datasets. One issue, for example, are the Penguin servers that we have, with bloody Supermicro m/bs (see that thread), and they demand the short TLER that WD
    Greens and Blues don’t do – they will keep trying for something like 2
    *minutes*, not six seconds. These seem as though they might work, even with those picky servers.


  • John R Pierce wrote:

    That’s not a problem the Big Honkin’ RAID boxes we have, we bought with drives. As I said to Tom, these will be used for backups, or honkin’ big datasets, or maybe home directories (which are sometimes the same as HBDs).


  • I was concerned since we’ve been using Reds in our newer servers.

    However, the conclusion of that thread seems to put that particular issue firmly on an odd incompatibility with the Asrock motherboard used and the WD Red drives. One of the posters pointed out he has 12
    Reds on a single Adaptec.

    Somebody suggests possibly an issue with 6 drives being spread over 2
    different controllers. I couldn’t help wonder if it’s just a Windows driver thing.

  • Surely. A HDD only knows about sectors, reads and writes…. it knows nothing about RAID. RAID is a controller thing.

    In fact, if I use an ARCO RAID1 device (my favorite raid solution), it masks two drives as a single one while doing RAID1 at the hardware level, the OS and software side think it’s ‘talking to’ a single drive.



    During times of Universal Deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act Durante épocas de Engaño Universal, decir la verdad se convierte en un Acto Revolucionario
    – George Orwell

  • those forum threads are full of people who have setup raids and not dealt with error recovery. I wouldn’t put much faith in them.

  • Emmanuel Noobadmin wrote:

    Oh, good, someone actually running Reds. How long have you had them, and have you had any issues? I’m not actually worried about RAID – we have a very few servers with RAID 1, and I think they’re all software RAID. The big RAIDs, we bought the boxes with drives. We’d be using them for servers, and backups.


  • Sadly I don’t think we have enough of them or long enough to provide any really useful experience. Our servers are generally lightweight systems meant to support custom apps so no hardware raid, all md RAID
    1 with a pair of WD Reds on Supermicro X9SCM-F boards. 3 of them and the oldest is only about 2 months old, no problems so far.