WD Red drives will let you add storage 10TB at a time


— 3:30 PM on May 18, 2017

We all love solid-state storage. Modern SSDs are fast, dense, and not too expensive, relatively speaking. That is, relative to what they used to cost. SSDs are still pretty expensive compared to hard drives, so if you need to cram tons of terabytes of data into a server somewhere (and you don't work for a national laboratory), you probably want spinning rust. WD can actually let you do it ten terabytes at a time now with its new 10TB Red and Red Pro hard drives.

Western Digital's Red series of hard drives is intended for use in consumer and small business RAID arrays. The drives have less aggressive head parking than the company's other disks, and NAS-tuned firmware with support Time-Limited Error Recovery. Instead of spending up to two minutes trying to recover data from a bad sector, the disks will time out in just seven seconds (although the period is configurable).

The Red drives aren't new, of course—they've been around for some five years. We reviewed the 4TB model back when it debuted and had some pretty nice things to say about it. Last year, WD bumped its maximum capacity up to 8TB. The standard Red drives use a 5400-RPM spindle speed, while the Red Pros spin their disks at 7200 RPM. There are also a couple Red 2.5" drives in 750GB or 1TB capacities, both spinning at 5,400 RPM.

Of course, you'll pay a premium for packing that many platters into one place. Newegg asks $400 for a standard Red disk with 10TB capacity. The Red Pro is just a bit more at $460. Those prices come out to about 4.0¢-per-gigabyte and 4.6¢-per-gigabyte, for the mathematically impaired. While those prices might seem high compared to other mechanical drives, that's still just a sixth of the cost-per-gigabyte of even the cheapest SSDs. The new 10TB Reds will be available June 17.

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