back to article THUD! WD plonks down SIX TERABYTE 'consumer NAS' fatboy

In a move that will get well-heeled Drobo owners salivating WD has announced a 6TB Red drive costing just $299, setting the industry a new high water mark in the areal density stakes. This is a 5-platter drive, with 1.2TB/platter areal density, intended for NAS use, and coming in both 5TB and 6TB versions. It spins, we …

  1. WonkoTheSane
    Thumb Up

    Reds are OK for any size NAS

    I've been running 16X 3TB Reds in my home server for nearly 2 years now without any trouble whatsoever.

    I'll probably start swapping to 6TB drives when they eventually start dying.

    1. El_Fev

      Re: Reds are OK for any size NAS

      Dude that's a lot of pron!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Reds are OK for any size NAS

        You need to keep things organised like me

        NAS00001 - A to Aardvark

        1. Nasty Nick

          Re: Reds are OK for any size NAS

          Aardvark - surely that's illegal :O You'll have the RSPCA on your case in no time..

          And only for NAS00001 - that sounds like a lot of aardvark movies..

    2. Annihilator Silver badge

      Re: Reds are OK for any size NAS

      Heck of a rebuild time!

    3. Gareth Perch

      Re: Reds are OK for any size NAS

      What's your mobo / chassis / PSU? I managed to squeeze 12 (plus an SSD) into an Antec 1200.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is there a reason QNAP and Synology or another manufacturer's NAS owners wouldn't be interested in these drives?

    1. Ben Rose

      Are you implying...

      ...that perhaps the article author is a Drobo fan? I hear they work in ReadyNAS too.

      1. Steven Raith

        Re: Are you implying...

        Ben, I've got a pair of 2TB reds in my DS214+, they seem to work fine. Fine enough to delivery porn to my desktop at gigabit wire speeds, anyway, and that's good enough for me.

        Performance on the DS214+ is fine for my current needs - I may upgrade from 2TB to 5/6TB later in the year, and then replace the NAS with something beefier (and sort out a link aggregating switch etc) - probably from Synology again - that supports SSD caching, and then I should be set until 10gbe becomes a desktop standard.

        Mind you this is all dependant on me, you know, having money. Which is short at the moment...

        1. -v(o.o)v-

          Re: Are you implying...

          It should be noted that Link aggregation (LAG, Portchannel, etc.) does not usually increase speed between two hosts because the decision on which bundle member is used is usually based on hash of L3 (IP) or L2 (MAC, not good in routed network) addresses of the peers. So it would generally be beneficial only when multiple clients are transferring data at the same time. And of course for redundancy.

          You did not say you expect this but I see often the misconception that a single client would get faster speed with a LAG so I wanted to make it clear.

          There are other ways to load-balance such as round-robin but those are usually not used because it may cause packets arriving out of order. I am not sure if that happens often on a simple network with a single switch but I'd still avoid it.

          1. Steven Raith

            Re: Are you implying...

            TBH it's a tickbox I'd like to enable to make myself seem more impressive than I actually am to people on the internet. :-)

            I think what I mean in NIC teaming (IE getting 2/4GB links talking at the same time) so that iSCSI stuff has more bandwidth for VMing on a 'thin client' VMWare/KVM/Whatever server.

            1. Tom 38 Silver badge

              Re: Are you implying...

              I'm thinking of just saying "fuck it" and upgrading to 10 GigE at home. Pushing data around at gigabit speed when the source and sink will both read/write at least 4 times quicker is tedious.

              1. Steven Raith

                Re: Are you implying...

                I can't really justify 10Gb till I get a proper virtualisation environment set up - which needs money, which as noted, I ain't got at the moment - although hopefully an interview I have on Friday may help with that.

                I suspect when SSD cost/capacity starts to get closer to spinning rust, we'll see consumer 10Gb gear drop like a stone in price as more SMBs start using it, chipsets design starts ramping up, volumes increase, etc.

                Until then, I'll stick to CAT5e methinks. It's a tad more affordable and I don't need long runs...

              2. Alan Brown Silver badge

                Re: Are you implying...

                "I'm thinking of just saying "fuck it" and upgrading to 10 GigE at home"

                You're more well-heeled than most of us then. Even low end 10GbaseT interfaces are £ouch! and switches with more than 1 10Gb SFP+ interface are £ouch!ouch! (let alone ones with 10GbaseT interfaces)

                1. -v(o.o)v-

                  Re: Are you implying...

                  Very large part of the high cost is caused by the very high cost of licensing per port. Which is one of the reasons why there is the "new" 25Gb consortium (see recent Reg article).

    2. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      "Is there a reason QNAP and Synology or another manufacturer's NAS owners wouldn't be interested in these drives?"

      A) Migration is a bitch.

      B) 6TB drives cost $virgins, so the chances you'll just march on out and buy 8 shiny new ones to refurb your extant Synology are basically zilch for a couple years yet.

      Though this does mean the 3TB disks should start hitting "sweet spot" pricing, displacing the 2TB drives...

      1. Tom 38 Silver badge

        I'd say 3TB has already been the sweet spot for at least a year.

        1. jaime

          Yup you can get two 4TB drives now for the price of a single 6TB drive!

          So $300 gets you either 2 x4TB for 8TB total or a single overpriced 6TB drive.

          1. Danny 14

            why do you need 10gb? I run a small business with a two host cluster. I use HBA SAS as an interlink for my CSV. Much cheaper than 10GB and since I only have 2 hosts then I can still have failover. In time I can add other cards so that I can add other hosts, still it is far cheaper than a 10gb solution.

            Old servers with buckets of bays are great for openfiler too (or readynas etc).

  3. Chris McFaul

    Bays

    "are for up to 5-bay enclosures"

    actually with the new Red (still non-pro), with NASWare 3.0, they are now for up to 8 bay enclosures (but non-rackmount).

    1. Shady
      Trollface

      Re: Bays

      How does the hard drive know how many bay-siblings it has? Is it somehow self-aware?

      1. Lee D Silver badge

        Re: Bays

        "Urgh.. a Seagate... well, I'm not going to work with HIM..."

      2. Anthony 13
        Coat

        Re: Bays

        Open the drive bay doors, HAL.

        Dave, I know you are planning to insert more drives - I'm afraid that's something I cannot allow to happen.

      3. -v(o.o)v-

        Re: Bays

        Good question - here, have an upvote. I would also be interested in knowing the answer.

      4. bri

        Re: Bays (siblings question)

        I'd say it has to do with superposition of vibration modes and resonance you get in an enclosure and getting (and maintaining) head over the track as well as meeting average seek times they claim (ie getting lock...).

        The more vibration the slower performance due to rereads etc. it has followup impact on buffers/caches etc.

        In other words it makes it slower under these conditions. And in some particularly badly engineered enclosures, it may shorten lifetime.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Now that's a LOT of porn or pirated movies.

    Or a full install of the Witcher 3 - I'd imagine.

  5. Jim 59

    6TB Red drive costing just $299

    That's 21 Gb per dollar, or 210 Mb for 1 cent.

    Or 1 Mb for about 0.005 cents. Or .0000000048 cents per byte. 48 pico dollars per byte. 48 p$

    1. Ted Treen

      Re: 6TB Red drive costing just $299

      Sheesh...

      And I remember selling 120MB (yes, MB) drives for £180.00. (That's around US$310)...

      And even earlier, a free-standing 650MB Winchester drive, in an enclosure almost the size of a dishwasher, for £30,000.

      Damn, I feel old...

  6. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Reg unit?

    Come on, we really need a Reg-standard unit for such storage capacities?

    How about measuring them by the number of copies of Paris' (or your personal favourite indiscrete z-list celeb) home movie or torrented box set of Game of Thrones it can store?

    1. El_Fev

      Re: Reg unit?

      A Game of Thrones DVD season 1 Box set is 5 DVD's at 4.7GB each so that 23.5GB.

      I propose 1GoT as a suitable acronym

      1. MrT

        Re: Reg unit?

        So, 1 BD has approx 2GoT storage? Sounds okay to me...

        But what about the BD version of GoT? If BD GoT-S1 comes on 3 BDs, then 1 GoT takes 6GoT to store.

        Meep. Bzzzt. Maybe that's why we need 6TB drives to store more of the same? ;-)

      2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: Reg unit?

        5 DVD's at 4.7GB each

        Sure they aren't dual-layer?

        1. Danny 14

          Re: Reg unit?

          nah, he has poor internet so only gets DVD5s

  7. Jim 59

    Storage cost

    With these disks, 1 petabyte would cost $50830. The average person (with savings) can now afford 1 petabyte of storage. Several petabytes if they have a house to sell.

    An Exabyte would still set you back 1024 times that, about $52 million. Moore's law says that will fall back to about $50,000 by 2034.

    20 years after that, the average person will be able to afford 1 zettabyte of storage, more than all of the data in the world today.

    1. Ben Rose
      Megaphone

      Re: Storage cost

      Given the current economic climate, I'd say that the average person doesn't have savings.

      1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
        Megaphone

        Re: Storage cost

        Or a house to sell let alone a Flat

        1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

          Re: Storage cost

          @HMB - and I bet you didn't expect to be able to get that sort of capacity in something the size of a fag packet...

          It still strikes me as mad that today I have more storage capacity on my keyring than the whole department had back in my university PhD days...

      2. Jim 59

        Re: Storage cost

        Given the current economic climate, I'd say that the average person doesn't have savings.

        Average assets of UK adult March 2014 = £147,000 (source: AOL), of which £20,000 savings

        Also, I said "the average person (with savings)" and not "the average person". Hope this helps.

        1. Ben Rose

          Re: Storage cost

          So the average person (with savings) can't afford $50,000 of storage? Unless £1=$2.5

          1. Jim 59

            Re: Storage cost

            So the average person (with savings) can't afford $50,000 of storage? Unless £1=$2.5

            The post was a wild conjecture on the next 40 years' storage prices, designed primarily for amusement. The figures in it are hugely approximated and not designed as financial advice. But yes, I was aware of the small disparity. Welsh football pitches.

        2. Mark 65

          Re: Storage cost

          "Average assets of UK adult March 2014 = £147,000 (source: AOL), of which £20,000 savings"

          Yep and there's quite a few people in the UK with hundreds of millions in savings (they probably use cash or 'cash equivalents' in the metric), wonder how this affects that "average"? What you want is the median assets. Always. The mean is then useful for comparison to show the skew. This is irrespective of with savings or without savings as it then gives an idea of the inequality we all know to be present.

    2. HMB

      Re: Storage cost

      Around 12 years ago I had a dream of a crazy RAID setup at home that would give me 2TB of storage. I'm going loosely off memory here, but I think it would have been around 8-10 250 Gb drives.

      The advantage it offered me was to allow me to erm... record many more TV shows from my TV Capture card.

      I thought about the prospect of spending around £1,500 on the exciting and exotic setup before realising that actually, I really didn't need that much data storage and it was a really expensive way of saving TV shows. I also reasoned that it wouldn't be all that long before that sort of capacity was available in one drive.

      I'm glad I spent my money in more useful ways now.

    3. Steve Knox
      Facepalm

      Re: Storage cost

      Moore's law says that will fall back to about $50,000 by 2034.

      No, it doesn't. Moore's law is about transistor density on silicon chips. It says nothing about storage prices.

      1. Jim 59

        Re: Storage cost

        Hi Steve, we all know Moore's law refers originally to IC manufacture. However, many other quantities in the technology biz follow a similar curve, eg. data density on disks, mag tapes, you name it.

      2. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Storage cost

        Through the 90s density increases on disk platters exceeded Moore's law by a wide margin.

        Since 2001, density increases have been hard-won.

        Will _anyone_ (other than the foolish) buy shingled drives? I'd prefer to HAVE shingles.

        1. Jim 59

          Re: Storage cost

          @Alan Brown One thing that has failed to track Moore's law is network speeds, I think. It took roughly 20 years to go from 10 mb/s to 1000mb/s, an increase of only a hundred fold. Over 20 years, Moore's law should increase a quantity 1024 times, very roughly.

          All of which has not made backing up these large disks very easy.

          1. Danny 14

            Re: Storage cost

            network speed has increased just not at the cat6 consumer end.

  8. David Austin

    Red or Black.

    Very nice, but I'll wait for the black version, which will probably be my next internal drive to pair with my Samsung 840 pro.

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Red or Black.

      Given the price/density of SSDs these days, I wouldn't be surprised if the next generation of Evos are 6Tb for $500

  9. Graham Jordan

    Fuck me with a broomstick backwards

    Running a HP ProLiant N54L with 4 x 4TB WD Red drives.

    Added an ICY Dock 5.25" -> 6x 2.5" drives and been itching for 2TB WD Red 2.5" drives for some time.

    I'll give it 6 months to see how they bed out but this is incredible.

    1. phil dude
      Thumb Up

      Re: Fuck me with a broomstick backwards

      I look forward to hearing about it!

      I only have 4x2TB RE4-GP... I like that idea though! Do you have heat problems?

      As for migration, using linux MD and RAID 1(UUUU) and RAID6(UUUU), since the new drive is so much larger for previous upgrades, I have always put full copies at the "end" of the new disks, so that they get a stress test, as well as a way of keeping copies of the data. Of course, adjust the encryption level of the "temp" to accommodate the highest level of your data...

      Failing a drive on purpose is always a bit nerve racking. So I hook up the external SATA (!) to give the drive the dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdN bs=1M and pre-write the entire drive, generate the bulk copies, and then fail one drive in the dock, change for new drive, then allow MD sync. This can take a while...

      So far , Linux MD has been very good.

      P.

      1. -v(o.o)v-

        Re: Fuck me with a broomstick backwards

        Linux sw RAID makes me want to start rack the wrecks, my nerves are so racked (48 U high ones baby!)

        1. phil dude
          Coat

          Re: Fuck me with a broomstick backwards

          I suspect you will need a bigger boat....

          P.

  10. Novex

    Apparently Synology units are compatible with WD60EFRX (at least, the DS412+ is) according to their compatibility checker.

    https://www.synology.com/en-uk/support/hd/model/DS412+

    1. Steven Raith

      Same for the DS214+

      That's two seperate platforms (412 is Atom, 214 is Marvell Armada XP) so that covers most of their range, I think - most of them either run Armada XP of varying grades, or low end Intel platforms.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Upgrade, use old one as backup, rinse, repeat.

    I did that for my father... Buy him a new PC with a 20Gb drive, inserting the old one of 10Gb as backup. In the end he had a machine with a 160Gb, a 80Gb, a 40Gb, and a 20Gb drive. All working perfectly.

    With this one, I hope he never finds out it exists before getting rid of his old rig.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Upgrade, use old one as backup, rinse, repeat.

      I do the same on a house scale. Old drives from the house main server RAID set are first re-purposed as MAID for media, then as backups, then as desktops (going all the way back to the days when the server was a K6 with 2 40GB Maxtors).

      The current set is due for a change soon. I will probably not put WD though (my luck with them has been terrible).

  12. xeroks

    Re: Reg unit acronym

    Or perhaps give the unit a name that celebrates a significant point in the series (without giving anything away of course)

    1GoT = 1MoD = 0.345 RW

    There are other obvious choices, say around the 0.9GoT mark, or the 3.2GoT point, but the names would be serious spoilers.

    1. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Reg unit acronym

      But you could come up with less spoilery names like "A Sharpe Ending".

  13. edge_e
    Coat

    How much?

    £199 for WD 4T ?????

    1. Trainee grumpy old ****
      Joke

      Re: How much?

      >> £199 for WD 4T ?????

      It must be a VERY big can.

  14. roger stillick
    Go

    6TB Red Drive ? Cool, it lasts 3 yrs...

    So you get to move all your data 3 yrs from now into yet again, something new....Yum !

    20 days ago= in a Reg article: New Research - Flash is Dead, it was made apparent that no matter what you use, your data degrades in 3 to 5 years... What to do ? their white paper suggested a Sci-Fi solution that might happen someday...

    IMHO= Until then embrace this new thing, realizing you get to move stuff continuously until no longer needed...

    caveiat= the old IBM 386 SX-20 desktop boxes running MS DOS-5 had no way to actually backup data... needed larger hard drives to continue daily work...many fixed B/U problem.. just keep buying new machines as old ones filled up n let Corporate IT worry about data retention...( my solution was to build a greybox workstation using a gaming motherboard n 3 CD Rom storage drives )RS.

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: 6TB Red Drive ? Cool, it lasts 3 yrs...

      "20 days ago= in a Reg article: New Research - Flash is Dead, it was made apparent that no matter what you use, your data degrades in 3 to 5 years... What to do ? "

      Raid, data scrubs, backups.

      This isn't new territory.

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