Western Digital Addresses the WD Red SMR Controversy
It turns out implementing SMR technology in WD Red drives is a big deal
In the wake of media coverage from the likes of Ars Technica on the subject, Western Digital has provided an update on the SMR (shingled magnetic recording) controversy in a blog post entitled “On WD Red NAS Drives” this week. The post, in its entirety, is quoted below.
Western Digital’s Blog Post
The past week has been eventful, to say the least. As a team, it was important that we listened carefully and understood your feedback about our WD Red NAS drives, specifically how we communicated which recording technologies are used. Your concerns were heard loud and clear. Here is that list of our client internal HDDs available through the channel:
Click here for SKUs to our client internal HDDs using SMR technology.
We’re committed to providing the information that can help make an informed buying decision for as many uses as possible. Thank you for letting us know how we can do better. We will update our marketing materials, as well as provide more information about SMR technology, including benchmarks and ideal use cases.
Again, we know you entrust your data to our products, and we don’t take that lightly. If you have purchased a drive, please call our customer care if you are experiencing performance or any other technical issues. We will have options for you. We are here to help.
More to come.
We could speculate on how that final sentence, “more to come”, should be interpreted, though it seems that being transparent about a given drive’s technology (for those willing to look for the information) is about all consumers can expect for now.
In any case I am not exactly alone in thinking that, of all series, the WD Red should never have been the one to adopt SMR. Like so many, the staff here have been recommending WD Red drives for years as the best choice to populate a NAS, and now we must add conditions to that recommendation.
This is an unfortunate situation for a brand that has long inspired confidence. And while in number the PC hardware community is but a fraction of the public at large, the vocal minority who have decried this move are also the most influential to the less technical friends and family around us.
Sure SMR saves money on a per-drive basis, but brand equity might be worth a bit more.