Western Digital Unveils 4 TB SAS and Enterprise SATA Drives

Western Digital is paving the way for higher capacity storage arrays with a new line of 3.5-inch, 7200 RPM serial-attached SCSI (SAS) and serial ATA (SATA) drives.

With capacities of up to 4 TB, the company’s WD RE hard drives have all the makings of a cloud storage foundation, says Western Digital’s Doug Pickford, senior director of business marketing for hard drive maker’s enterprise business unit. “Given the insatiable need for storage capacity across all market segments, WD is offering both SAS and SATA interfaces for the WD 4 TB RE hard drives to best support both private and public clouds,” he said in a statement.

And as with any hard drive capacity bump, expect storage infrastructures to be able to enable higher storage densities per rack. Pickford adds that “WD RE SAS and SATA 4 TB drives are designed, tested and optimized for enterprise storage and applications, enabling 33% greater capacity than previously available drives and up to 2.4 PB of raw capacity in a single enterprise rack.”

Denser Dell Storage Arrays

One big IT company is already making Western Digital’s 4 TB drives an option in some of its arrays — and will surely be followed by several other storage systems providers.

Dell’s Brett Roscoe, general manager and executive director of PowerVault and data management solutions, said, “With the new 4 TB 7,200 hard disk drives from WD, the Dell PowerVault MD3 Array series will offer customers more storage capacity than ever before.” The company’s compact storage system can handle “up to 240 TB of data storage in a single dense array and up to a maximum of 720 TB, utilizing a single MD3 Dense array and two 60 disk MD3 expansion enclosures.”

The new WD RE SAS drives feature a 6 gigabit per second (Gb/s) interface, spin at 7200 RPM and have 32 MB of on-board cache. Available capacities include 1, 2, 3 and 4 TB. Power consumption ranges from 9.00 watts (6.9 watts idle) for the 1 TB model to 11.5 watts (9.2 watts idle) for the 4 TB version.

A total of seven drives make up the WD RE SATA line. These include four drives, with 3 Gb/s interfaces, ranging in size from 250 GB to 2 TB. Three more drives (2, 3, and 4 TB) round out the WD RE SATA family, each packing a 6 Gb/s interface. All WD RE SATA drives feature 64 MB of cache.

In terms of durability, the company estimates that the SAS drives will endure 1.4 million hours mean time between failure (MTBF), while the SATA drives come in at slightly lower rating of 1.2 million hours MTBF. Further enhancing the drive’s hardiness are Western Digital’s NoTouch ramp load, Dual Stage Actuation and Rotary Acceleration Feed Forward technology, which work in concert to keep the drives’ internals working properly under adverse conditions, like during transit or while operating in a chassis that’s subject to vibration.

WD RE drives are available now. A quick survey of online retailers yields an average price of around $500 for the 4 TB SAS model (WD4001FYYG) and prices that dip to near $450 for the 4 TB WD RE SATA version (WD4000FYYZ).

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Internet News, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

Pedro Hernandez
Pedro Hernandez
Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to Datamation, eWEEK, and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the Internet.com network of IT-related websites and as the Green IT curator for GigaOM Pro.
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