Despite having an aggressive nearline product portfolio, Seagate was behind the curve when Western Digital released the new Red Pro NAS-specific HDD with 7,200 RPM platters. Seagate, Western Digital, and Hitachi all have HDD products designed specifically for NAS products - a growing segment of the HDD business. The first products address lower cost consumer and small business NAS units that range from two to eight bays.
HDD manufacturers are now addressing the six to sixteen-bay NAS products. These products need higher spindle speeds to reduce latency that can increase when the drive count increases. The DRAM buffer sizes are also increasing to help with large random data workloads.
One of the biggest challenges for larger NAS products is vibration. Most of these systems are rack mounted with other devices, and vibration comes from several other rack mounted products. Since the NAS companies have successfully increased the number of storage bays into each rack unit, the HDDs are now closer to each other than ever before. No better example exists than Seagate's own Business NAS that crams eight 3.5" HDDs in a 1u form factor.
Being second to market has advantages. Over the years, Seagate has acquired a pair of data recovery services. The most recent, ActionFront Data Recovery Labs, was acquired in 2005, just after Mirra Inc., a personal server builder that also offered data recovery services. Since then, Seagate's data recovery wing has been fairly quiet, but now the company is ready to make some noise with this valuable service.
Seagate Enterprise NAS HDDs can be purchased with additional insurance from Seagate called "Rescue Data Recovery Plans." As someone who has accepted the fact that I will never hear the end of my own data loss event, I suggest everyone take a look at Seagate's data recovery add-on options.
Hardware Specifications and Pricing
Available in 2TB to 6TB capacities, the Seagate Enterprise NAS brings 7,200 RPM performance to the growing SMB NAS market. This product line has a large 128 MB buffer, keeping random data flowing at high levels. Together, the Enterprise NAS SATA HDD bridges the gap left open by Seagate's smaller NAS HDD product and traditional nearline products used in datacenters.
Seagate's 6TB Enterprise NAS product comes to market nearly uncontested. Products built for this specific use top out at 4TB with 7,200 RPM disks. Western Digital does have a 6TB Red HDD, but uses 5,400 RPM spindle speed, and the company's Red Pro with 7,200 RPM spindles stop at 4TB of capacity. HGST offers a 7,200 RPM 6TB NAS-targeted model, but only recommends the Deskstar NAS for up to eight-drive bays, and they only carry a three-year warranty.
Seagate's Enterprise NAS products will work well in smaller NAS, but offer features designed to excel in larger systems like the Thecus N8810-G and QNAP TS-EC1279U-RP. There is no doubt many system builders will also adapt the higher spindle speed NAS-specific model for use in Windows servers.
The Enterprise NAS series comes with a five-year warranty, and is priced competitively with other products on the market. The 6TB model we're testing today doesn't have a competitor at this time, and the current $462.99 (CDW.com) price reflects that. The 4TB model drops to just $263.99, or within $40 from WD's NAS Pro 4TB.
PRICING: You can find the Seagate Enterprise NAS HDD 6TB for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.
United States: The Seagate Enterprise NAS HDD 6TB retails for $439.99 at Amazon.
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