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Western Digital has quietly started to ship its Caviar RAID Edition (Caviar RE) hard disk drives (HDDs) with enhanced capacity of up to 320GB. The new drives are designed for entry-level servers and provide sophisticated reliability, but not leading speed, as WD Raptor products.

The new WD Caviar RE 320GB is available for both Serial ATA-150 and Parallel ATA-100 interfaces and provides the same general specifications as models with lower capacity. Particularly, the company declares 8MB cache, 8.9ms read seek time, 10.9ms write seek time and 4.20ms average latency. The Caviar RE hard drives use 7200rpm motors.

With 1 million hours MTBF (Mean Time Between Failure), WD Caviar RE drives offer systems builders and storage system manufacturers high reliability in high-duty cycle applications, where around-the-clock performance and high reliability are critical. WD also built into its Caviar RE drives a Time Limited Error Recovery (TLER) feature, which helps prevent drive fallout caused by extended desktop hard drive error-recovery processes. WD Caviar RE drives carry a three-year warranty.

WD’s FIT Lab (Functional Integrity Testing Lab) performed rigorous and extensive testing in order to certify one million hours MTBF and ensure its new RE hard drives are optimized for use in server environments.

Before WD’s development of TLER, systems integrators and storage manufacturers commonly experienced hard drive fallout when using desktop drives in RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) applications. By taking into account the distinct differences between single-user and multi-user workloads, WD Caviar RE drives implement RAID-specific TLER to improve drive compatibility with RAID controllers and significantly improve system reliability, the company believes.

Pricing of WD Caviar RE HDDs is unclear.

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