Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/01/19/wd_enterprise_hdd_gen2/

WD broadens attack on Seagate

Enter a full-size WD enterprise drive

By Chris Mellor

Posted in Storage, 19th January 2011 16:22 GMT

Western Digital has doubled the capacity of its 2.5-inch enterprise SAS drive and introduced a full size, 3.5-inch version with up to 2TB of capacity.

The second generation S25 drive holds up to 600GB of data, while maintaining the 10,000rpm spin speed of the previous model. It is a new design with three platters, meaning 200GB/platter.

The first iteration of this WD enterprise drive technology in a 3.5-inch form factor – the RE SAS – spins more slowly, at 7,200rpm, has a 6Gbit/s SAS interface, and comes in either 1TB or 2TB capacity levels. It is a four-platter unit, meaning 500GB/platter.

This will compete with Seagate's Constellation ES and its 2TB capacity, 6Gbit/s SAS interface and 7,200rpm spin speed. One difference is that Seagate's drive has a 16MB cache, whereas WD has doubled this to 32MB.

We can soon expect, we think, a rev of the audio-visual storage version of this drive family, the WD AV-25, which currently tops out at 500GB with its 5,400rpm speed and 3Gbit/s SATA interface. If this capacity doubles, like that of the S25 – upon which it is based – then we are looking at a 1TB AV-25.

WD says the S25 and RE25 drives are intended for data centre SAN and NAS storage applications, and server direct attach storage. The data centres can be enterprise ones, including private cloud style, and public cloud service providers. WD is coming into the enterprise data centre market riding the SAS wave. It will probably ignore the Fibre Channel interface altogether. ®