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WD came up with a newer line-up of hard drives “Red” suitable for 24/7 for NAS drives.
Since a lot of personal and SOHO NAS was featured in this year’s Computex, storage drives made specifically for NAS operations was something that was present in Enterprise Series. Consumer? Well, they had Blue, Green and Black. If you’re reading this and you are using for NAS, it is a no-brainer that you have used one of these drives for NAS.
To refresh one’s memory, a few years ago WD reorganized their branding by using Blue, Green and Black. The black colour is noted for performance, Green is usually for low power consumption and being cool (although in the ambient temperature of 28-32 degrees, WD Greens do touch 40 degrees as a norm for very long time) and Blue is in the middle, pitched towards mainstream users. Red is NAS optimized.
One of the key differences is that one would/should/could/will bother is NASware, the firmware that WD says is optimized for NAS.
WD has this error recovery feature that’s usually present in enterprise storage optimized for 24/7 operation (along with multiple features in Enterprise Storage that has no use for end users unless you’re doing a lot of hot-swapping while under operation) called TLER- Time Limited Error Recovery (other brands uses a different terminology). TLER corrects the corrupted data while still in RAID mode.One point to keep in mind is that, depending on the NAS drive that you use if TLER is unable to repair very complex errors within few seconds to the RAID system where the NAS controllers take care of it (I think pretty much all personal NAS use software level RAID to keep the cost low, maybe some SOHO use Hardware level RAID). If the RAID system is unable to correct it, you get an error message in your NAS OS. When you press Retry, the Hard drive’s TLER gives it the first drive and if cannot work out, the controller on the NAS kicks in. In any case, WD’s TLER runs in Software Level RAID and Hardware Level RAID.
As WD pointed out, Hard drives with TLER tries to correct a complex error on its own since it assumes that there is a redundant storage array running in the background. Difference between does some level of error correction in the background of the drive and TLER is that TLER is more optimized for the RAID. There’s also a chance that RAID systems with NON-TLER drives interpret an error when HDD is not able to hand over the error correction to the RAID controller. In this scenario and in this day of age, it is not very practical to mix and match hard drives with non TLER support with NAS, NAS controllers with Rev versions varying from time to time. With this, you save the headache of doing that- or that’s how it should be for NAS optimized drives.
Another feature to note is the ATA streaming command that optimizes video streaming performance- for example, if there’s a bad block and you’re streaming video from the NAS storage with these drives, it continues to stream the video to you rather than spending the time to correct the bad block.
I was told that Seagate’s SV35 does have ATA Streaming command support (not sure if it has Error correction support) but as of now- and as far what I’ve been told- SV35 is not available in India officially.
What I am curious is that how will it differentiate the files and videos of any format. What I am also curious is that the playback you would get if the bad block is in the video- but I guess it depends on the bad block rather than on the Drive or the NAS.
They are also made to stay cool and they do stay cool.
During one of the shorter Stress Testing that I do with HDD and SSD (SSD is a lot quicker than it makes me squeal when stress testing with HDD) with Anvil Endurance Test which basically writes the Data multiple times, depending on how you’ve set. In an ambient temperature of 29 degrees, the drive inside the closed system (Corsair C 70 Gaming Chassis) with WD Velociraptor on top and A single 320gigs WD Blue 320GB drive and 3 WD Green drives that I use (Yeah, it stays on most of the time, but I usually use it to read data rather than Write- I know, I know- I “should” really think of switching something like WD Red does). The lowest temperature on WD Red is 32 – 33 Degrees Celsius on idle, and highest it touch during write is 35 during a host write done by Anvil Endurance Testing.
Remember, this is a 3TB drive with a 1TB per platter. While other drives do have a knack for staying above 35 even on idle, This stays well below that.
The best way to test this would be to connect to a NAS drive and do series of other tests, especially via Ethernet connection. I really try to prevent saying it, but since I do not have a NAS drive and couple of more system (to stress testing playback in one system during read/write access to/from multiple systems would be perhaps one of the best ways to test such drives).
As it turns out that Digit- one of the magazines in India for reviews and many stuff (I never read it read one of those magazines since the late 90s- whoops!) would be sending a Synology DS112J – and I’ll be keeping it after review (maybe get a DS112J+ if things go well). Once I get it, NAS performance on a personal NAS is also going to be one of the tests that I will include- even maybe for USB 3.0 drives. I would really like to test the Synology unit with NAS, although I have to be honest and say that while I do know some stuff about NAS and RAID, I’ll get to learn things better only when I get to spend time with it, provided I have my game face on!
Much appreciated from Digit and Synology.