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Western Digital WD Se Enterprise HDD Review

Western Digital WD Se Enterprise HDD Review
The WD Se rounds out WD's expansive range of storage solutions for the datacenter. The WD Se is designed to aDDRess the need for high capacity scale out storage in replicated and NAS environments, providing a more economical method of storing large amounts of data.
By: Paul Alcorn | HDDs in IT/Datacenter | Posted: Jul 11, 2013 5:03 am
TweakTown Rating: 92%Manufacturer: WD





WD has released a new SATA 6Gb/s 7,200 RPM HDD in the 3.5" form factor specifically geared for scale-out and NAS environments. This new WD Se makes several trade-offs to provide an economical means of storing massive amounts of data, but also utilizes new technologies to create the desired balance of capacity, performance, reliability and price for users. The WD Se line of HDDs is available in capacities of 2TB (WD2000F9YZ), 3TB (WD3000F9YZ) and 4TB (WD4000F9YZ), at lower pricing than other enterprise HDD's ($160-310 USD).


We have all read about the continuing data explosion. As mobile computing continues its expansion, and higher resolution video and images proliferate, the need to store this vast amount of data is becoming paramount. A recent Digital Universe study revealed that the amount of data created, replicated and consumed in a single year is growing at an annual rate of 46%. This is leading to a future literally overran with data, as evidenced by the prediction that we will be generating 40,000 Exabyte's of data per year in 2020.


This flood of data has created a quandary for many organizations. Through the magic of big data and analytics, even the most mundane unstructured 'disposable' data is valuable. This has led to a redesigning of the datacenter to meet the changing demands of data storage. Facebook is leading the way with new datacenters designed specifically to handle these large amounts of unstructured data in a cost-effective manner.


The WD Se enterprise-class HDD looks to offer these type of applications an economical means of storing large amounts of data in NAS and replicated environments that do not require high performance. The WD Se fits well for users with a need for mass storage for bulk cloud storage, Big Data storage, backup and archiving. Providing this class of HDDs with enterprise features that ensure a higher level of reliability is key. WD accomplished this by leveraging the design and components of the WD Re HDD's.




WD began by revamping their datacenter portfolio to provide a solution for all levels of performance required in the datacenter. Our focus immediately jumps to the Tier-0 and Tier-3 categories, where we notice that WD has a new SSD in the works, and a future HDD that looks to fulfill the need for massive storage requirements.


The WD Xe resides in the Tier-1 slot and provides high-density performance storage for demanding applications. The Xe is followed closely by the WD Re, which comes in both SAS and SATA flavors. This splits the Tier-2 into two categories, one focused on durability and the other focusing on scalable high capacity storage. The Xe and Re are well suited for RAID environments with higher performance and reliability.


One of the primary differentiators between the Re and the Se is the throughput rating per year. WD is using this new metric to fine-tune their offerings for customers with specific workloads. The WD Re fulfills the durability requirement for Tier-2 with its higher workload rating of 180 TB/year. This higher workload averages out to 1.5TB of data transfers per day. For those with less demanding workloads the WD Se fills out the lower portion of Tier-2 with 550 TB/year or 500 GB per day of use.


The Se also features a markedly lower power consumption in comparison to the Re and Xe HDDs. The Se features a power draw of 9.5W, a reduction of 2 Watts. This is accomplished in large by the relaxed Advanced Format 4K sectors and disabling of unnecessary features in the SOC. The lower performance of the Se will not result in vastly improved IOPS-to-Watts measurements, but in replicated environments the overall power reduction is a welcome addition.


While the Se offers less durability than the Re HDD's, it still provides plenty of enterprise-class features to provide a great solution for those looking to store large amounts of data reliably. TLER, StableTrac, RAFF, an SED option and a five year warranty round out the feature set of the WD Se. Let's take a closer look at these technologies on the following page.

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