Are these SMR drives? I cannot get any confirmed information anywhere. I cant even seem to get this information from WD support.
Ive been told that this information is not available. I dont get it. Really need to know before try and add more of these drives to my PMR raid array. WD will continue to invest in PMR, and other next-generation technologies such as tunneling magneto resistive TuMR heads combined with proven ramp load technology. One of the more reputable outfits that labels them as SMR is Synology. Or just buy it and benchmark it.
Where the documentation clearly list that is SMR, that disk are not meant for devices to actively run applications of it, not to be mixed with non-SMR devices if in a RAID, and that this is do to lower random writes. If WD does not wish to replace these with actual NAS drives then perhaps they could advise as to how to use them to get less appalling performance.
I have 10 of their 4tb drives in various places and had been satisfied with their performance. That in itself is a breach of consumer protection laws where I live. To make it worse, at the time I purchased there was no way I could have known this because WD were still lying about the technology the drive uses.
Now the truth is out and the WD website is very clear and honest, it even contains a compatibility checker!! But what about me and the other people who purchased while they were still lying? Are we getting refunds? Is there a class action lawsuit? I was expanding my NAS that was at the time populated with the older 6tb versions of the red line up and ran into this question about the newer 6tb models being SMR after I noticed huge performance issues after expanding my array.
WD Sets the Record Straight: Lists All Drives That Use Slower SMR Tech
I never got anywhere with WD. I even got pretty high up in the customer service chain with WD and was reached out to by a engineer level person but was never given a complete answer. Basically would not confirm. But also at the time did not dispute synologys claim that the new drives were in fact SMR. After a good long discussion with a synology rep who was adamant that these newer drives were in fact SMR drives, I Decided to follow synologys advice and NOT use what was believed to be a SMR drive in my raid configuration.
I pulled the drives and ended up returning the newer 6tb red drives with SMR to amazon.WD Support gave me the answer:. This is different information than appears in other forums. I sure wish WD would make a clear statement on the matter. When one disk fails, if you have set things up rightyou lose no data, because of the redundancy. Unlike many home NAS operations, resilvering makes many write operations to different parts of the disk, and this is a usage pattern that SMR performs poorly on.
Thanks all!! I consider this lack of disclosure and the fact that WD has been officially peddling these drives as CMR for almost a year a blatant lie and capital breach of trust. Is WD planning on fessing up in a more public fashion and compensating buyers who feel cheated and who actually care about the drive performance?
Your WD Red NAS Hard Drives Might Be Using SMR – What You Need To Know
Now, i hope that Amazon accept a refund. Would WD accept to buy back recent drives? I especially bought these drives because they were advertised as CMR everywhere and I explicitly wanted to avoid all the known SMR drawbacks. Oh, I agree. Why is that? It seems like a marketing TEST!!!
How BIG is it? WTF is that??? Well, i got new for you: crystaldiskinfo CAN!!! How about that? Stupid WD support…. Paste it to a text editor, and voila!!! Just to be sure copy of the GB single file is far away from standard reality of NASes operation as was used in the mentioned test. But you need to understand that SMR is also useful and you have a choice.
More you can read in our independent SynoForum. Part No. I understand that SMR is also useful but I do not have a choice. My drives were purchased for a NAS in mid and I need to know what sort of drives they were, then, not now. NAS boxes should used the WD gold disks which are faster and not shingled. They were in Storage Spaces mirrors, which just stopped working one day.
Both are out of warranty. I do feel like WD cheated on me - drivers marked the same turned out to be different. What a sick person can have such idea? Support Downloads Knowledge Base. German Spanish Italian French. HGST Support.Some users are experiencing problems adding the latest WD Red NAS drives to RAID arrays and suspect it is because they are actually shingled magnetic recording drives submarined into the channel.
Resilvering is a term for adding a fresh disk drive to an existing RAID array which then rebalances its data and metadata across the now larger RAID group.
Shingled media recording SMR disk drives take advantage of disk write tracks being wider than read tracks to partially overlap write tracks and so enable more tracks to be written to a disk platter. This means more data can be stored on a shingled disk than an ordinary drive. Therefore they are not recommended for NAS use cases featuring significant random write workloads.
Since this article was published Seagate and Toshiba have also confirmed the undocumented use of shingled magnetic recording in some of their drives. The smartmontools ticket thread includes a March 30,mail from Yemi Elegunde, Western Digital UK enterprise and channel sales manager:. The only SMR drive that Western Digital will have in production is our 20TB hard enterprise hard drives and even these will not be rolled out into the channel. He added a fourth drive to convert to SHR2 but conversion took two days and did not complete.
They have advised me that they are not providing that information so they are unable to tell me if the drive is SMR or PMR. He said that my question would have to be escalated to a higher team to see if they can obtain that info for me.
They said that information is not disclosed to consumers. A search on Geizhals, a German language price comparison site, shows various disk drives using shingled magnetic media recording. The result is:. Blocks and Files. Nearline drives are bright spot in Gartner HDD forecast. Hardware fault shuts Tokyo Stock Exchange for the day. External storage sales flat in Q2 — not too shabby, considering pandemic and all that.
Chris Mellor - October 9, 0.News emerged last week that WDSeagate and Toshiba are all shipping hard drives using Shingled Magnetic Recording SMRa slower form of HDD technology that can result in reduced performance in some types of workloads, but without disclosing that critical bit of information in marketing materials or specification sheets.
The backlash has been swift, and now WD is striking a conciliatory tone with its customers in an update to its blog. The new disclosure comes on the heels of WD's blog post yesterday that outlined its stance on using SMR drives. The company contends that SMR technology is adequate for the applications the drives are designed for, but that is certainly an open matter of debate with many users claiming the drives cause problems in RAID arrays.
The issues purportedly stem from the slow random write speeds, which do cause a measurable reduction in performance, and background activities that are purportedly responsible for the drives dropping from RAID arrays. Quick explainer at the bottom of the article here. In either case, The WD blog advised users they should step up to more expensive models designed for heavier workloads if they have more demanding needs. Today the company updated its blog with a more conciliatory tone, and also disclosed all of its drive models that are shipping with SMR tech.
Both models are designed for desktop PCs and laptops, with the former coming as a value drive while the latter is designed for high-performance users. WD acknowledged the recent brouhaha surrounding the fact it was shipping drives without disclosing they use the slower recording technology, stating:.
As a team, it was important that we listened carefully and understood your feedback about our WD Red NAS drives, specifically how we communicated which recording technologies are used. Your concerns were heard loud and clear.WD Red CMR vs SMR - RAID RE-BUILDING Performance Test
Here is that list of our client internal HDDs available through the channel:". Importantly, the blog states, " Thank you for letting us know how we can do better. We will update our marketing materials, as well as provide more information about SMR technology, including benchmarks and ideal use cases.
That's a welcome announcement for users who want to make the decision of when, and where, to use SMR drives in their systems and NAS arrays. SMR does result in lower performance, but it enables cost savings that are attractive to some users, and if used in the correct types of workloads, those savings are worth the exchange of gaining access to deeper capacity.
However, using SMR tech for desktop and laptop boot drives will likely remain a topic open for debate, as their underwhelming performance in sustained random write workloads could hamper performance in standard operating systems.
WD's blog also says the company will share further data in the future, including benchmarks that might prove otherwise, so we'll have to wait to see what the company shares. As usual, the proof will be in independent third-party benchmarks, but it is encouraging to see WD confront the recent issues head on and promise to be more forthcoming in the future.
We hope the other remaining HDD vendors follow suit. Image credit: WD News emerged last week that WDSeagate and Toshiba are all shipping hard drives using Shingled Magnetic Recording SMRa slower form of HDD technology that can result in reduced performance in some types of workloads, but without disclosing that critical bit of information in marketing materials or specification sheets. WD acknowledged the recent brouhaha surrounding the fact it was shipping drives without disclosing they use the slower recording technology, stating: "The past week has been eventful, to say the least.
Topics Storage. See all comments Several interesting threads popped up in Reddit over the weekend claiming that WD was surreptitiously shipping inferior shingled magnetic recording SMR hard drives in its new WD Red NAS line of drives, but without disclosing that the drives use the slower recording technique. However, WD doesn't list that fact in its advertising or on the specification sheets made available to consumers. Why is this important?
SMR is a relatively new tactic that HDD vendors use to increase storage density over HDDs that use 'standard' conventional magnetic recording CMRbut the tech comes with notably slower performance in some workloads than 'normal' hard drives.
Some users claim that SMR drives also do not work correctly when rebuilding ZFS arrays, which means customers could be exposed to data loss. However, while these drives are cheaper to produce, WD isn't passing on the savings in a discernible way.
SMR drives have made their way into any number of external devices for regular consumers, but the use of the technology has always been clearly explained to the customer and typically comes with a discounted price tag.
Not anymore. Other resourceful users then used drive monitoring tools that seemingly confirmed the use of SMR. We followed up with WD, which provided Tom's Hardware with the following statement:. A quick glance at the specification sheet [ PDF ] confirms there is a marked performance decline between the 2- to 6-TB models, which mostly operate at MBps, and the 8- to 14TB models that churn out from to MBps of performance.
Some of this lower performance is expected from less capacious drives that use fewer platters, but SMR technology also likely weighs in on the differing speed ratings. SMR drives are also incredibly slow at random write performance, which is a specification that WD doesn't reveal in its spec sheet.
Again, the use of SMR is never mentioned in the documents. We followed up with WD for more information, such as if it intends to keep marketing the drives without revealing their lesser recording technology, and if it is using SMR tech in other consumer drives without properly listing that important detail.
We'll update as we learn more. As a quick and almost criminally simplistic explainer, it's important to know that hard drives write data to circular tracks on the platter.
Today's 'write tracks' are roughly 75nm wide, or smaller than the flu virus, so shrinking them really isn't an option without more exotic approaches, like using lasers or even microwaves.
This leaves a small stripe of each track exposed that can then be read back normally. That means the drive features fairly standard performance when reading back files. However, if new or modified data needs to be placed near existing data, the drive will have to overwrite the neighboring shingled tracks. Thus, an overwrite triggers a read-modify-write procedure due to the inevitable impact on the adjacent overlapped tracks.
That makes the drive significantly slower at writing tasks, especially for random writes, which is a performance metric that WD doesn't disclose in any of its literature. SMR drives are designed to be used for cold data storage, like archives and backups, because of their poor performance. These drives are controlled directly by the operating system, file system, and drivers to optimize data placement, which reduces the performance impact.This post has been updated accordingly with these new details.
As a team, it was important that we listened carefully and understood your feedback about our WD Red NAS drives, specifically how we communicated which recording technologies are used.
Your concerns were heard loud and clear. Thank you for letting us know how we can do better. We will update our marketing materials, as well as provide more information about SMR technology, including benchmarks and ideal use cases. We will have options for you. We are here to help. We regret any misunderstanding and want to take a few minutes to discuss the drives and provide some additional information. They are great for sharing and backing up files using one to eight drive bays and for a workload rate of TB a year.
SMR is tested and proven technology that enables us to keep up with the growing volume of data for personal and business use. We are continuously innovating to advance it. Each implementation serves a different use case, ranging from personal computing to some of the largest data centers in the world. DMSMR is designed to manage intelligent data placement within the drive, rather than relying on the host, thus enabling a seamless integration for end users.
Having built this reputation, we understand that, at times, our drives may be used in system workloads far exceeding their intended uses. Over the last few days, a story has been circulating that revolves around WD Red NAS Hard Drives and their potential use of shingled magnetic recording SMR and a statement has been shared by the brand highlighting that this is indeed the case, namely, drive managed shingled magnetic recording DM-SMR.
Now, it turns out this is something that many platforms and solo users online had reached the conclusion of as early as July and when reaching out to WD, and was met with less than immediate responses. There are both device-managed and host-managed types, each for different use cases. WD Red drives are designed and tested for an annualized workload rate up to TB.
Western Digital has seen reports of WD Red use in workloads far exceeding our specs and recommendations.
WD Red, Red Plus and Red Pro
Western Digital works extensively with customers and the NAS vendor and partner communities to continually optimize our technology and products for common uses cases. We will continue listening to and collaborating with the broad customer and partner communities to innovate technologies that enable better experiences with, more efficient management of and faster decisions from data.With all the recent controversy regarding WD, Toshiba, and Seagate slipping SMR drives into retail channels and failing to disclose the use of their slower technology, we thought it would be interesting to dive into the actual impact of using a SMR drive.
We can hypothesize that there is a negative impact, but it is better to show it. While our YouTube presence is still small compared to the STH main site, we thought this was an important enough finding that we should try reading those who may be impacted. Feel free to listen along while you read.
Many of our readers may already be familiar with the differences between SMR and CMR, but a quick refresher never hurt anyone! First up is CMR, which stands for conventional magnetic recording. This has been the standard technology behind hard drive data storage since the mids. Data is written on magnetic tracks that are side-by-side, do not overlap, and write operations on one track do not affect its neighbors.
The newer contender is SMR, or shingled magnetic recording. It is called shingled because the data tracks can be visualized like roofing shingles; they partially overlap each other. Because of this overlap, the resulting tracks are thinner allowing more to fit into a given area and achieving better overall data density. The overlapping arrangement of SMR tracks complicates drive operations when it comes time to write data to the disk.
When data is written on a SMR drive the data on the overlapping tracks will be affected by the write process as well. This forces the data on the overlapping tracks to be rewritten during the process, which takes extra time to perform. As a mitigation against this penalty, writes can be cached to a segment of the drive that operates with CMR technology, and during idle time the drive will spool those writes out to the SMR area. Obviously this CMR cache will have a limited capacity, and with enough write operations can be exhausted.
When that happens the drive has no choice but to write directly to SMR and invoke a performance penalty. WD has not provided the specifics of how their drives mitigate against the performance impact of using SMR, so we are operating on guesswork as to the size or even existence of a CMR cache area in the WD Red.
After the previous article on STH, the question we received was how this impacts arrays. Specifically, RAID arrays our readers use. In short, there was, and in a big way. For the test configuration, we wanted a configuration that de-emphasized CPU performance. Effectively we wanted to take CPU performance out of the equation to focus on drive performance. Here is what we utilized:. We had two main areas of testing. First up, the new SMR drive has been put through a handful of standard benchmarks just to see how it performs in the context of a larger pool of drives.
Prior to beginning this sequence of tests, the drives were prepped by having 3TB of data written to them, and then 1TB of that data is deleted. Testing commenced immediately after the drive prep was completed.
First, a simple GB file copy to test sequential write speeds outside of the context of a benchmark utility. Following that, CrystalDiskMark was used to see if the large sequential write from the first test would have an lasting impact on the drive performance. These tests were performed as rapidly as possible to minimize drive idle time between them.
These targeted tests are not designed to be comprehensive, but instead, illuminate any obvious differences between the SMR drive and its CMR competitors. A resilver or RAID rebuild involves an enormous amount of data being read and written, and has the potential to be heavily impacted by the performance penalties of SMR technology. A drive is then removed from the array, and our test drives will be inserted in its place and the resilver timed.
The other three drives in the array remain consistent. In an attempt to add additional stress to the scenario, during the resilver some load will be placed upon the array; 1MB files will be copied to the array over the network, and 2TB of data will be read from the array and copied over the network to a secondary device. This is a significant workload, but we wanted to stress the drives to ensure we could get separation.
The short version is that they advise against use of these drives.