Helium-filled HDD technology has been around for a few years, but since HGST launched their He series a couple of years ago, Helium has been stuck in the enterprise sector. Western Digital has been in a lengthy merger process with HGST, and I figured (hoped) that it would be only a matter of time before we saw Helium-filled consumer HDDs. I’m happy to report that time is now:
The first product lines to see this expansion will be WD’s external offerings (My Book / My Book Duo / My Cloud / My Cloud Mirror / My Cloud EX2 Ultra) and a few internal lines (Purple / Red / Red Pro). Taking a look at the new housing for the 8TB Red:
…we can tell that it appears to be the same HelioSeal tech used by HGST, right down to the external housing design. Here is an HGST He8 housing for reference / comparison:
I’m excited to see He making its way down the product chains, as a sealed HDD enclosure significantly reduces environmental effects on HDD reliability and performance. Helium also means less air friction, causing less heat production and therefore less power consumption. While the capacities are higher, we suspect performance won’t be taking any large leaps with WD’s first generation of Helium filled Hard Disk Drives. We will be testing a few of these once samples arrive and will deliver a full review as soon as possible. Since it appears that Western Digital was holding off on their 8TB capacity point until HelioSeal was integrated, it's a safe bet that their other product lines will receive the same technology and capability in the future.
WESTERN DIGITAL EXPANDS ITS HARD DRIVES AND EXTERNAL STORAGE SOLUTIONS TO 8 TB
New Line of Storage Solutions Feature HelioSeal Technology for Optimal Performance, High Capacity and Added Reliability for NAS, Surveillance and Personal Storage
IRVINE, Calif. – Mar. 1, 2016 – Western Digital Corporation (NASDAQ: WDC), a world leader in storage solutions, today announced the expansion of its award-winning portfolio of performance storage solutions with 8 TB capacity drives for NAS, video surveillance and desktop external applications. Increasingly centralized, rich-content, which continues to grow in popularity among enterprises, small business and consumers alike, is driving demand for greater storage capacities.
Launching throughout the first half of 2016, My Cloud® personal storage devices (My Cloud, My Cloud Mirror, My Cloud EX2 Ultra), My Book® external hard drives (My Book, My Book for Mac, My Book Duo and My Book Pro), WD Red®, WD Red Pro and WD Purple™ hard drives will all be designed with the new high-capacity configuration. Each storage solution offers purpose-driven engineering and HelioSeal™ helium-technology with the new 8 TB drives for maximum and efficient performance in the applications for which each model is designed.
“We are committed to integrating high-performance, high-capacity and high-quality drives into all of our solutions,” said Brendan Collins, vice president of product marketing, Western Digital Corporation. “No matter what market or application, we have a solution – whether it’s for small businesses, channel partners, enterprises or end-users. Our goal is to deliver the best and most competitive solutions on the market.”
The increase to 8 TB or 16 TB (with two 8TB drives in RAID 0) capacity applies to the following WD products:
External Hard Drives
· My Book/My Book for Mac -– An external hard drive solution that provides complete backup and storage with USB connectivity.
· My Book Duo/My Book Pro – Dual-drive external hard drive solutions which provide ultra-fast storage in RAID-0 and complete backup and storage with USB and/or Thunderbolt connectivity and up to 16 TB capacity.
· My Cloud/My Cloud Mirror – A personal storage device that plugs into your router at home to provide consumers with their very own private cloud.
· My Cloud EX2 Ultra – As part of the creative professional series of My Cloud products, the My Cloud EX2 Ultra provides high-performance two-bay network attached storage.
Internal Hard Drives
· WD Purple – Engineered for 24/7, always-on, high-definition surveillance security systems that use up to eight hard drives and up to 32 cameras
· WD Red – Optimized for personal, home and small business NAS (network attached storage) systems
· WD Red Pro – Optimized for small business and enterprise class NAS systems with high performance and reliability.
Availability and Pricing
My Book and My Book for Mac 8 TB is currently available at select U.S. retailers, distributors and through the WD Store. Manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) for the My Book 8 TB (model #: WDBFJK0080HBK) and the My Book for Mac (model #: WDBYCC0080HBK) is $299.99 USD.
My Cloud, My Book Duo, My Book Pro, WD Red, WD Red Pro and WD Purple 8 TB configurations will be available during the first half of 2016. More information about the WD product line, 8 TB capacity, and terms of the limited warranty may be found on the company website at www.wd.com.