Western Digital has several lines of hard disks to choose from. You have Greens, Blues, Blacks, enterprise RE's, and even ones named after dinosaurs. Then came a mix of RE and GP in the form of the RE4-GP. Then came the Red series, which carried some more of the enterprisey features from the RE series over into a NAS-tailored drive that sipped power like a Green. Then there was the AV-GP which took a green and tweaked the firmware to better handle multiple video streams being read to and written from the disk simultaneously.
You'd figure they had every possible angle covered, but apparently there was a hole to fill. Turns out the home / small business surveillance market is a bit of a big deal. We're talking about those security systems you see capturing 16 or even 32 video streams simultaneously. Add the fact that these larger systems tend to store their streams to a RAID as opposed to a single disk. What was needed was a drive capable of handling a greater number of simultaneous streams than an AV-GP, while also carrying over the RAID features of the Red, and doing so without driving costs into the enterprise territory of the SE/RE.
Behold the solution:
The WD Purple is an Advanced Format HDD that is optimized for recording up to 32 HD video streams simultaneously:
Writing 32 separate streams to a hard drive would usually lead to the heads thrashing about, trying to keep up with what appears to be random writes. The Purple has much smarter firmware that has been tuned for this specific purpose (seen above maintaining 50% idle time while handling 32 HD streams). While these firmware optimizations would hurt performance in normal consumer use, for heavy surveillance usage, this is likely the closest you can get to SSD performance for this application – without high cost/GB of using solid state as a solution to such a capacity hungry problem.
Speaking of cost/GB, Purple drives are quite reasonable, starting at $89 for 1TB up to $199 for the flagship 4TB capacity.
Press blast after the break:
WD® DEBUTS SURVEILLANCE-CLASS HARD DRIVE LINE
New WD Purple™ 3.5-inch Drives Equipped for
Home/Small Business Security-system Environments
IRVINE, Calif. – Feb. 25, 2014 – WD®, a Western Digital (NASDAQ: WDC) company and storage industry leader, today announced the availability of WD Purple™, a purpose-built line of 3.5-inch, high-capacity hard drives for surveillance applications. Designed specifically for video surveillance units, WD Purple hard drives excel in new and existing home and small business security environments with up to eight hard drives and up to 32 high-definition (HD) video cameras. Shipping today, WD Purple hard drives are available in capacities from 1 TB up to 4 TB.
“By expanding our ‘Power of Choice’ product portfolio with WD Purple, we make it simple for our VARs, integrators and consumers to select the right drive engineered for their application and validated with our industry leading surveillance partners,” said Matt Rutledge, senior vice president and general manager of WD’s Storage Technology group. “WD optimized the WD Purple line of hard drives for surveillance applications to improve high-definition video playback, and operate in 24×7 workloads of surveillance environments.”
“Different from ordinary desktop hard drives designed for eight hours of daily operation, WD Purple drives have the built-in reliability to operate in Hikvision home and small business system installations so critical video footage is available when it is needed most,” said Ying Yang, director of testing, Hikvision. “An additional benefit of WD Purple drives is they support up to eight drives and 32 HD cameras so there is the flexibility to expand for future system coverage.”
“The biggest trend impacting the video surveillance market in recent years has been the transition from analog cameras to network cameras,” said Jon Cropley, principal analyst for video surveillance at IHS Technology (NYSE: IHS). “With enhanced resolution, wide dynamic range and day/night functionality in cameras increasing, demand for storage solutions capable of accommodating large volumes of video will also increase.”
Optimized to withstand the demands of always-on digital PVR, DVR and NVR recording environments, WD Purple hard drives offer low power consumption and many advanced performance features typically reserved for enterprise-level storage.
WD Purple hard drives are equipped with an array of exclusive WD technologies, including:
– AllFrame™ – When combined with ATA streaming support, AllFrame™ technology helps to reduce video footage loss with a proprietary cache policy management technology to help improve data flow and playback. WD Purple includes exclusive firmware upgrades that protect against video pixilation and interruptions within a surveillance system
– Advanced Format Technology™ (AFT) – the more efficient media format that enables increased areal densities, adopted by WD and other drive manufacturers to continue growing hard drive capacities
Engineered for Compatibility
Built for easy integration into new or existing video surveillance systems, WD Purple hard drives are designed and tested to surveillance-class standards and are compatible with industry-leading chassis and chip-sets. Without a current industry standard, WD worked closely with surveillance partners to develop a proprietary benchmark to define and demonstrate performance in surveillance systems. Tests of WD Purple hard drives indicate superior performance to competitive surveillance-class brands of storage, especially as cameras, channel count and workloads increase. A special Compatibility Selector is available to assist customers with surveillance drive selection at: http://www.wd.com/en/products/products.aspx?id=1210.
Price and Availability
Shipping now through select distributors and resellers, WD Purple surveillance-class hard drives are available in capacities from 1 TB up to 4 TB and covered by a three-year limited warranty. MSRP for the 3.5-inch 1 TB drive, model #: (WD10PURX) is $89.99; the 2 TB drive, model #: (WD20PURX) is $119.99; the 3 TB drive, model #: (WD30PURX) is $159.99 and the 4 TB drive, model #: (WD40PURX) is $199.99 USD. Additional information about WD Purple hard drives and limited warranty terms may be found on the company website at http://products.wd.com/wdpurple.