Western Digital recently unveiled their first energy-assisted magnetic recording (EAMR) HDDs for the retail channel. Today, the company is taking advantage of the same hardware platform with some tweaks in the firmware features to introduce the 16TB and 18TB WD Red Pro for SMB network-attached storage (NAS) units.

Like the WD Gold 16TB and 18TB models, the new Red Pro drives are also based on conventional magnetic recording (CMR), with a 7200 RPM spindle speed, and recommended for use in NAS systems with up to 24 bays. Having learnt from the WD Red SMR fiasco, the company explicitly points out the suitability of the new drives for use in NAS systems adopting ZFS and other such modern file-systems, while also supporting stressful RAID array rebuilds and expansions.

WD continues to tout the NASware 3.0 firmware features and multi-axis shock sensors with dynamic fly-height adjustment of the heads for additional reliability. Pricing is slated to be announced when the drives hit retail next month. Given the sub-$600 street pricing of the WD Gold and the Seagate IronWolf Pro 18TB, we expect the 18TB WD Red Pro to be priced in the $580 - $600 range.

Source: Western Digital

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  • ViRGE - Wednesday, September 23, 2020 - link

    After the SMR debacle, I'm having a hard time taking anything WD Red seriously right now. I'm sure these are fine drives (being part of the Pro series and what-not), but Red in general is a damaged brand right now, and I'm leery of using any such drives..
  • MDD1963 - Wednesday, September 23, 2020 - link

    Last I heard over the SMR/CMR fiasco with WIn Reds was that all drives 8 TB and larger were CMR...(hard to imagine them attaching the Pro name to a drive whose rebuild times will increase by a factor of 10X)
  • MDD1963 - Wednesday, September 23, 2020 - link

    From first few lines in above article: "...the new Red Pro drives are also based on conventional magnetic recording (CMR), ..." That would appear to end any worry fo the issue...I'd suspect.
  • mmrezaie - Thursday, September 24, 2020 - link

    It is sad that WD lost trust in so many of their customers. Somehow in back of my mind I am expecting something to go wrong about what they release.
  • qhd - Friday, September 25, 2020 - link

    Are these 10,000rpm, 5,400rpm, or 7,600rpm? ;)
  • BurnItDwn - Wednesday, September 30, 2020 - link

  • MDD1963 - Wednesday, September 30, 2020 - link

    hidden deep within the recesses of the article..."...with a 7200 RPM spindle speed, " :)
  • shelbystripes - Friday, January 1, 2021 - link

    After two dishonesty debacles from WD (selling SMR drives as Reds, and intentionally selling 7200rpm drives marked as lower-power 5900rpm drives) I read news like this thinking I wouldn’t actually buy WD again for a long time.

    Well, I put my money where my mouth is. I just bought a bunch of Seagate IronWolf NAS drives for my new NAS.

    I also stopped buying Sandisk SD cards, which makes me sad, but since WD owns them now I’m sure the first lie about what they’re selling will come soon enough.

    Two different stories where WD misled the public and then never admitted it was wrong? Yeah, that’s two times too many for me. Call me when they’ve spent several years trying to be honest.

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