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Western Digital Enterprise WD RE4 Product Features
Enterprise SATA Hard Drives
Ideal for servers, video surveillance, and other demanding
write-intensive applications, WD RE4 7200 RPM Enterprise
SATA hard drives offer up to 2 TB capacity, 64 MB cache,
4th generation vibration tolerance and 5-year limited
SATA 3 Gb/s
WD RE4 Enterprise SATA drives are
available with up to 2 TB of cavernous
With double the processing power,
WD RE4 boasts the highest performance
of any drive in the WD RE family.
Enhanced RAFF technology includes
sophisticated electronics to monitor the
drive and correct both linear and
rotational vibration in real time. The result
is a significant performance improvement
in high vibration environments over the
previous generation of drives.
Ideal for servers, storage arrays, video surveillance, and other demanding applications.
Dual actuator technology
A head positioning system with two
actuators that improves positional
accuracy over the data track(s). The
primary actuator provides coarse
displacement using conventional
electromagnetic actuator principles. The
secondary actuator uses piezoelectric
motion to fine tune the head positioning
to a higher degree of accuracy. (2 TB
The motor shaft is secured at both ends
to reduce system-induced vibration and
stabilize platters for accurate tracking
during read and write operations. (1 TB
and larger drives only)
Calculates optimum seek speeds to lower
power consumption, noise, and vibration.
Multi-axis shock sensor
Automatically detects the subtlest shock
events and compensates to protect the
RAID-specific, time-limited error
Prevents drive fallout caused by the
extended hard drive error-recovery
processes common to desktop drives.
NoTouch™ ramp load
The recording head never touches the
disk media ensuring significantly less
wear to the recording head and media as
well as better drive protection in transit.
250 GB to 2 TB
Note: Not all products may be
available in all regions of the
Thermal extended burn-in test
Each drive is put through extended burn-
in testing with thermal cycling to ensure
Third generation dynamic fly
Each read-write head's fly height is
adjusted in real time for optimum
With 1.2 million hours MTBF (tested at
100% duty cycle), these drives have the
highest available reliability rating on a
Western Digital RE4-GP 2TB Drive Problems
In my previous two posts I described my research into the power saving features of various enterprise class RAID controllers. In this post I detail the results of my testing of the Western Digital RE4-GP enterprise class “green” drives when used with hardware RAID controllers from Adaptec, Areca, and LSI. To summarize, the RE4-GP drive fails with a variety of problems, Adaptec, Areca, and LSI acknowledge the problem and lays blame on WD, yet WD insists there are no known problems with the RE4-GP drives. – Windows Server 2008 R2 x64 Enterprise – Adaptec 51245 RAID controller, firmware 17517, driver 220.127.116.1117 – Chenbro CK12803 28-port SAS expander, firmware AA11 – Boot drive, 1 x 1TB WD Caviar Black WD1001FALS, firmware 05.00K05 Simple volume, connected to onboard Intel ICh20R controller running in RAID mode – Data drives, 10 x 2TB WD RE4-GP WD2002FYPS drives, firmware 04.05G04 1 x hot spare, 3 x drive RAID5 4TB, 6 x drive RAID6 8TB, configured as GPT partitions, dynamic disks, and simple volumes I started testing the drives as shipped, with no jumpers, running at SATA-II / 3Gb/s speeds. Adaptec 51245, SATA-II / 3Gb/s: The Adaptec card has 3 x internal SFF-8087 ports and 1 x external SFF-8088 port, supporting 12 internal drives. The Adaptec card had immediate problems with the RE4-GP drives, in the ASM utility the drives would randomly drop out and in. I could not complete testing. Areca ARC1680ix-16, SATA-II / 3Gb/s: The Areca card has 3 x internal SFF-8087 ports and 1 x external SFF-8088 port, supporting 12 internal drives. Unlike the LSI and Adaptec cards that require locally installed management software, the Areca card is completely managed through a web interface from an embedded Ethernet port. The Areca card allowed the RAID volumes to be created, but during initialization at around 7% the web interface stopped responding, requiring a cold reset. I could not complete testing. LSI 8888ELP and Chenbro CK12803, SATA-II / 3Gb/s: The LSI card has 2 x internal SFF-8087 ports and 2 x external SFF-8088 port, supporting 8 internal drives. Since I needed to host 10 drives, I used the Chenbro 28 port SAS expander. The 8888ELP support page only lists the v3 series drivers, while W2K8R2 ships with the v4 series drivers, so I used the latest v4 drivers from the new 6Gb/s LSI cards. The LSI and Chenbro allowed the volumes to be created, but during initialization 4 drives dropped out, and initialization failed. I could not complete testing. I contacted WD, Areca, Adaptec, and LSI support with my findings. WD support said there is nothing wrong with the RE4-GP, and that they are not aware of any problems with any RAID controllers. When I insisted that there must be something wrong, they suggested I try to force the drives to SATA-I / 1.5Gb/s speed and see if that helps. I tested at SATA-I / 1.5Gb/s speed, and achieved some success, but I still insisted that WD acknowledge the problem. The case was escalated to WD engineering, and I am still waiting for an update. Adaptec support acknowledged a problem with RE4-GP drives when used with high port count controllers, and that a card hardware fix is being worked on. I asked if the fix will be firmware or hardware, and was told hardware, and that the card will have to be swapped, but the timeframe is unknown. Areca support acknowledged a problem between the Intel IOP348 controller and RE4-GP drives, and that Intel and WD are aware of the problem, and that running the drives at SATA-I / 1.5Gb/s speed resolves the problem. I asked if a fix to run at SATA-II / 3Gb/s speeds will be made available, I was told this will not be possible without hardware changes, and no fix is planned. LSI support acknowledged a problem with RE4-GP drives, and that they have multiple cases open with WD, and that my best option is to use a different drive, or to contact WD support. I asked if a fix will become available, they said that it is unlikely that a firmware update would be able to resolve the problem, and that WD would need to provide a fix. This is rather disappointing, WD advertises the RE4-GP as an enterprise class drive, yet 3/3 of the enterprise class RAID controllers I tested failed with the RE4-GP, and all three vendors blame WD, yet WD insists there is nothing wrong with the RE4-GP. I continued testing, this time with the SATA-I / 1.5Gb/s jumper set. Adaptec 51245, SATA-I / 1.5Gb/s: This time the Adaptec card had no problems seeing the arrays, although some of the drives continue to report link errors. A much bigger problem was that the controller and battery was overheating, the controller running at 103C / 217F. In order to continue my testing I had to install an extra chassis fan to provide additional ventilation over the card. The Adaptec and LSI have passive cooling, where in contrast the Areca has active cooling and only ran at around 51C / 124F. The Areca and LSI batteries are off-board, and although a bit inconvenient to mount, they did not overheat like the Adaptec. Initialization completed in 22 hours, compared to 52 hours for Areca and 8 hours for LSI. The controller supports power management, and drives are spun down when not in use. 3 x Drive RAID5 4TB performance: 6 x Drive RAID6 8TB Performance: Areca ARC1680ix-16, SATA-I / 1.5Gb/s: This time the Areca card had no problems initializing the arrays. Initialization completed in 52 hours, much longer compared to 22 hours for Adaptec and 8 hours for LSI. Areca support said initialization time depends on the drive speed and controller load, and that the RE4-GP drives are known to be slow. The controller supports power management, and drives are spun down when not in use.
3 x Drive RAID5 4TB performance:
6 x Drive RAID6 8TB Performance:LSI 8888ELP and Chenbro CK12803, SATA-I / 1.5Gb/s: This time only 2 drives dropped out, one out of each array, and initialization completed after I forced the drives back online. Initialization completed in 8 hours, much quicker compared to 22 hours for Adaptec and 52 hours for Areca.
The controller only supports power management on unassigned drives, there is no support for spinning down configured but not in use drives.3 x Drive RAID5 4TB performance: 6 x Drive RAID6 8TB Performance: Although all three cards produced results when the RE4-GP drives were forced to SATA-I / 1.5Gb/s speeds, the results still show that the drives are unreliable. The RE4-GP drive fails with a variety of problems, Adaptec, Areca, and LSI acknowledge the problem and lays blame on WD, yet WD insists there are no known problems with the RE4 drives-GP. There are alternative low power drives available from Seagate and Hitachi. I still haven’t forgiven Seagate for the endless troubles they caused with ES.2 drives and Intel IOP348 based controllers, and, like WD, also denying any problems with the drives, yet eventually releasing two firmware updates for the ES.2 drives. I’ve always had good service from Hitachi drives, so maybe I’ll give the new Hitachi A7K2000 drives a run. One thing is for sure, I will definately be returning the RE4-GP drives.
Western Digital RE4 (WD2003FYYS) 2TB 3.5in internal hard drive
Hitachi was the first to market with its 7,200rpm 2TB hard drive, but it no longer has this space to itself. Western Digital has released two new 2TB hard drives that sacrifice the power-saving technologies of their GreenPower counterparts in favour of performance. Targeted at the enterprise, the Western Digital RE4 2TB 3.5in internal hard drive boasts 64MB of cache and the ability to read large files quickly, although it certainly consumes more power than other 2TB hard drives currently available.
As with other 2TB hard drives, the Western Digital RE4 3.5in internal hard drive fits its storage capacity over four 500GB platters. On older 2TB hard drives, however, these platters were limited to a slower spin speed than most conventional desktop drives; Seagate's Barracuda LP has a spin speed of 5900rpm whereas Western Digital's GreenPower options are closer to 5400rpm. While these hard drives did have lower power consumption, the slower spin speed also had an impact on the drives’ overall performance.
The move to a 7200rpm spin speed helps to improve performance, and the use of a 64MB drive cache ensures the hard drive can handle large amounts of data at any one time. Western Digital has also implemented other technologies in this internal hard drive including a dual actuator system and dual processors to improve performance. Dual actuator technology places a second actuator in the WD RE4 internal hard drive to increase the accuracy of the head position when it’s reading and writing data, while two processors on the hard drive's circuit board theoretically increases the overall performance when it’s running multiple tasks.
One familiar piece of technology in the Western Digital RE4 internal hard drive is StableTrac, which reduces potential vibration. During testing, the hard drive was certainly quiet, although it could be heard when performing intensive read/write tasks.
In our tests, the Western Digital RE4 2TB internal hard drive consumed an average of 6.1 watts when idling and 9.6W when reading or writing; a far cry from the 6-7W range the Western Digital RE4-GP (GreenPower) 2TB hard drive recorded. When idling the Western Digital RE4 2TB will consume less than similar capacity hard drives like the Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 1.5TB but we still wouldn't recommend it if you're trying to shave a few dollars off your energy bill.
If you are looking for performance in a high storage capacity, however, the Western Digital RE4 internal hard drive certainly has its charm. We conducted our tests by transferring two lots of files between the hard drive and a 300GB Western Digital Velociraptor. The first test comprises 20GB of large files (about 3 or 4GB each) while the second test involved 3GB worth of 1MB files.
In the 20GB test, the RE4 2TB internal hard drive had a write speed of 76.4 megabytes per second (MBps), a read speed of 113.5MBps and it performed a simultaneous read/write task at a rate of 58.8MBps. Though write speeds don't differ significantly from the slower spinning 2TB hard drives, read and simultaneous tasks are performed much faster.
Speeds in the small file test — 3GB of 1MB files — weren't as impressive. Here, the RE4 2TB internal hard drive wrote at a rate of 31.3MBps, read at 34.5MBps and had a simultaneous read/write speed of 49.2MBps. This test is typically more intensive than the 20GB test and, as such, yields slower results. However, the RE4 hard drive still fell behind Seagate's Barracuda LP in overall speeds in these tests.
Our tests reveal that the RE4 2TB internal hard drive's strengths lie in reading large files. The 64MB cache and dual processor technology also allows for it to perform simultaneous tasks quickly. However, the comparatively poor results in the small file test show that this drive is better at dealing with large files — uncompressed videos or image backups for examples — rather than continually accessing smaller files.
With a cost per formatted gigabyte of 23c, the Western Digital RE4 is slightly cheaper than the RE4-GP internal hard drive was at its inception. Its performance advantages are also clear, particularly when dealing with large files. The exclusion of Western Digital's GreenPower technologies did impact the drive's overall power consumption, and we think this is worth taking into account.
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Western Digital RE4-GP
Western Digital have released the newest addition to their enterprise family of hard drives to include 2TB capacity. Billed as “the largest and only 2 TB enterprise-class hard drive shipping today”, the Western Digital RE4-GP allegedly yields twice the processing power resulting in as much as 25 percent performance improvement over the previous generation. Addressing the growing high-capacity enterprise market, WD RE4-GP 2 TB drives are reliability-rated at 1.2 million hours MTBF (mean time before failure) in high duty cycle environments. MSRP is $329.00 (U.S.).
Western Digital Press Release
WD(R) Ships 2 Terabyte Enterprise-Class Hard Drives With Next-Generation GreenPower(TM) TechnologyWD RE4-GP Hard Drives Further Reduce Power Consumption For Data Centers and Digital Video Production Facilities
LAS VEGAS, April 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/—(NAB Show Booth No. SL12809)—Western Digital Corp. (NYSE: WDC) today expanded its enterprise family of hard drives to include the next-generation 2 TB capacity, the largest and only 2 TB enterprise-class hard drive shipping today. Combining industry-leading 64 MB cache, dual processors, and increased areal density, WD RE4-GP hard drives yield twice the processing power resulting in as much as 25 percent performance improvement over the previous generation.
WD’s GreenPower™ technology platform is the first 3.5-inch hard drive platform designed with power savings as the primary attribute. These drives reduce average drive power consumption by up to 50 percent over currently available competitors’ drives and are ultra-cool and quiet, all while delivering solid performance.
The new WD RE4-GP 2 TB hard drive provides enterprise-class reliability for storage-hungry applications, such as cloud-computing infrastructure, large-scale data centers, data archive and tape replacement systems, commercial video surveillance and digital video editing houses, with an energy- and money-saving solution that combats the challenges facing the enterprise IT sector—limited available drive slots, maximum capacity required, and limited power and budget. Addressing the growing high-capacity enterprise market, WD RE4-GP 2 TB drives are reliability-rated at 1.2 million hours MTBF (mean time before failure) in high duty cycle environments.
Mission-critical video and audio content producers typically require greater system performance and capacity needs than most other applications. Reliable video servers, in particular, are crucial for time-critical data retrieval, distribution, repurposing, and archiving. Like thousands of other professionals and consumers storing photos, files and music, video professionals must manage and maintain raw video files (or any files).
“Every data center in operation worldwide contributes to CO2 emissions, and storage systems are at the core of these data centers,” said John Rydning, IDC’s research director for hard disk drives. “Many storage applications are a great fit for high-capacity, low power-consuming disk drives like the WD RE4-GP 2 TB that help to reduce power consumption and positively impact the environment.”
WD® is making it possible for energy-conscious enterprise customers to build servers and storage subsystems with higher capacities, consistent performance, and assured reliability, all while promoting energy conservation.
“Energy efficiency is a primary concern for our customers who continue to look for ways to reduce their carbon footprint without compromising reliability or performance,” said Tom McDorman, vice president and general manager of WD’s enterprise storage solutions business unit. “WD’s RE-GP drives enable them to meet their customer’s system requirements for storage capacity, reliability, performance and cost by integrating an enterprise-class drive that simply consumes less power than traditional hard drives.”
Exclusive Intelligent Drive Technology
WD RE4-GP hard drives with GreenPower technology deliver exceptional power conservation, run ultra-cool and quiet, while providing solid performance. Following are several technologies responsible for the performance enhancements:
Faster - 64 MB cache, dual processors, and increased areal density yield twice the processing power resulting in as much as a 25 percent performance improvement over the previous generation.
Greener - Improvements in our power-conserving technologies—IntelliSeek™, IntelliPark™, and IntelliPower™ — deliver up to an average 25 percent reduction in power consumption over our previous generation of WD RE-GP drive.
Improved Rotary Vibration Tolerance - Advanced mechanical and servo control optimization along with system characterization and validation enable rock solid performance under extreme vibration conditions, with negligible impact to performance, substantially more robust than the previous generation, making this drive ideal for the most industrial IT applications
Active Power Management - WD drives with GreenPower technology monitor work load and automatically invoke idle mode whenever possible to further reduce unnecessary power consumption by up to an additional 40 percent. Drive recovery time from idle mode is less than one second, providing seamless power management between the drive and the host controller.
StableTrac™ - Secures the motor shaft at both ends to reduce system-induced vibration and stabilize platters for accurate tracking, during read and write operations.
RAID-specific Time-limited Error Recovery (TLER) - Pioneered by WD, this feature prevents drive fallout caused by the extended hard drive error-recovery processes common to desktop drives.
Rotary Acceleration Feed Forward (RAFF™) - This second generation WD RE-GP model increased rotational frequencies up to 1500 Hz, therefore optimizing operation and performance when the drives are used in vibration-prone multi-drive systems such as rack mounted servers or in systems deployed at industrial type locations.
Availability and Pricing
The WD RE4-GP 2 TB hard drive (model WD2002FYPS) is available from select e-tailers and distributors. MSRP is $329.00 (U.S.). The WD RE4-GP 2 TB will also be shown by WD partners AMCC (booth number SL13007) and Promise (booth number SL12008) at the NAB Show in Las Vegas, NV. More information about WD RE4-GP enterprise drives may be found on the company’s Web site at http://www.wdc.com/en/products/Products.asp?DriveID=670.
WD, one of the storage industry’s pioneers and long-time leaders, provides products and services for people and organizations that collect, manage and use digital information. The company produces reliable, high-performance hard drives that keep users’ data accessible and secure from loss. WD applies its storage expertise to consumer products for external, portable and shared storage applications.
WD was founded in 1970. The company’s storage products are marketed to leading systems manufacturers, selected resellers and retailers under the Western Digital® and WD brand names. Visit the Investor section of the company’s Web site (www.westerndigital.com) to access a variety of financial and investor information.
Western Digital, WD, and the WD logo are registered trademarks of Western Digital Technologies, Inc. in the U.S. and other countries; IntelliPower, IntelliSeek, IntelliPark, StableTrac, RAFF and GreenPower are trademarks of Western Digital Technologies, Inc. All other trademarks herein are property of their respective owner. As used for storage capacity, one megabyte (MB) = one million bytes, one gigabyte (GB) = one billion bytes, and one terabyte (TB) = one trillion bytes. Total accessible capacity varies depending on operating environment. As used for buffer or cache, one megabyte (MB) = 1,048,576 bytes.
WD RE4-GP 2 TB FAQ:
· The WD RE4-GP 2 TB is the largest capacity enterprise hard drive on the market today.
· The new WD RE4-GP 2 TB hard drive is geared for those customers who are seeking maximum capacity while minimizing power consumption for their overall system requirements.
· Designed with power savings as the primary attribute, GreenPower drives from WD deliver exceptional power conservation, ultra-cool, quiet operation and solid performance.