Western Digital Company appeared the first HDD manufacturer to push SATA interface for server hard disk drives into the market. Not so long ago, their Enterprise Hard Disk product line acquired a new family of solutions called RAID Edition. In fact this mere phrase implies that the HDDs from this family should be specifically adapted for their optimal performance within a RAID array.
Since the name of the product family cannot be considered a sufficient reason to regard the product as a more efficient one for the given task than any other product, we are facing a very important and interesting task: to find out what are the actual differences between these new HDDs and their counterparts with similar technical specifications.
In other words, we have to check if announcement of the new hard disk drive family was just a marketing trick of the well-known HDD maker, or they have really released new products with high reliability and faster speed.
Closer Look: Western Digital Caviar RE WD2500SD
At first let’s check out what Western Digital Company says about its RAID Edition HDDs. As we got it from the info available on the company’s official web-site, their major goal was to design a storage solution boasting highest reliability, which would meet the Enterprise devices standards. In reality it means that the hard disk drives should be able to work reliably in a 24x7, continuous duty cycle environment.
The manufacturer guarantees 1 million hours MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures). RAID Edition HDDs support Time Limited Error Recovery technology (TLER), which serves to improve compatibility with RAID adapters and to prevent the HDDs from failing during error correction. Of course, these drives also support the time-tested Data Lifeguard Tools technology. This software utility works with the embedded Data Lifeguard hardware features (including shock protection, an environmental protection system, and embedded error detection and repair features) to make hard drive installation, management, and diagnostics simple and worry-free. Here I can also add that the RAID Edition HDD family uses the traditional fluid dynamic bearings that not only improve the HDD acoustic parameters (such as noise and vibration), but also improve hard drive reliability and reduce heat. The high performance of these drives is guaranteed by the 7,200rpm spindle rotation speed and 8MB buffer.
RAID Edition HDD family includes solutions with the storage capacity of 120GB, 160GB and 250GB. The HDDs are designed either for the classical EIDE interface or for the new SATA. In this review we are going to take a closer look at the top model from this family: the 250GB WD2500SD solution. Besides the already mentioned above technical specifications of this product, I would like to add that the claimed seek time is 8.9ms, the average wait time is 4.5ms, and the track-to-track seek time is 2.0ms. The internal data transfer rate is 61MB/s, while the external data transfer rate via the SATA interface can reach 150MB/s.
This solution is selling for approximately $215.