Sheesh. The WD Red was specially developed for NAS systems that have one to eight drive bays in 3.5-inch and 2.5-inch sizes. Which technology should I use for my hard drives? Storage vendors appear to be getting much bolder about deploying the new technology into ever-smaller formats, presumably to save a bit on manufacturing costs. Therefore, the write head writes very close to the previous web, so that it remains readable. The company announced that the drives that use SMR technology range from WD Red HDD to WD Black HDDs. The existing SMR models—WD 20/30/40/60 EFAX—will retain their existing model numbers and will retain their existing WD Red branding. This refers to the garbage collection process migrating data from CMR cache to SMR zones occurring in long idle times between operations. In this case, a hard disk with a CMR recording method should definitely be used.CMR hard disks are a good choice when data is to be stored at high transfer rates or particularly large amounts of data. Although not an authoritative source, this article quotes WD as saying 2TB-6TB Reds use SMR, but higher capacity Reds use CMR (PMR). If you use WD Red CMR drives, you had class-leading performance in this test but if you bought a WD Red SMR drive, perhaps not understanding the difference, you would have another 9 days of potentially catastrophic data vulnerability. In a RAID rebuild scenario using a typical Synology or QNAP (non-ZFS) platform, WD Red DMSMR drives perform as well as CMR drives or show slightly longer RAID rebuild times, depending on the condition of the drive and extent of rebuild required. WD exchanged my SMR disks for CMR/PMR ones This whole affair has been unpleasant, but all things considered this is about as much as you could ask from them at this point, aside from clearly identifying *all* disks that use SMR tech. In the following we want to look at the model WD60EFRX-CMR WD Red Plus NAS hard drive with 6 TB of the WD Red Plus hard drive series. There's also a Red Pro line targeted to maximum-performance applications. For permanent writing activities and the transfer of large amounts of data at high transfer rates, i.e. Once permanently stored in the SMR zones, the data can be read at about the same speed as it would be from an equivalent CMR disk—SMR's performance limitations are strictly bound to writes. Do be cautious and know what you are buying. WD Red 8TB-14TB drives are CMR-based. This procedure was developed in order to be able to provide more than 750 GB with the common 3.5 inch hard drives. As we mention on our last podcast, several users were frustrated to find that WD Red NAS drives they purchased were SMR when they thought they were CMR. The new branding replaces long tables full of internal model numbers—which might not be reflected accurately on reseller sites, even if the consumers know which ones to use. Maltz on April 30th, 2020 - 12:03am . Read our affiliate link policy. The new branding is certainly a big step forward for more knowledgeable consumers who already know they don't want SMR—the only thing they need to know is "Red" means SMR, and "Red Plus" and "Red Pro" mean CMR. conventional magnetic recording, when hard drives with pure PMR (perpendicular magnetic recording) technology are used.SMR, or Shingled Magnetic Recording, is the second recording method. SMR is a technology that can introduce more capacity onto a platter, as well as introduces performance differences, particularly in writes. Meanwhile, the CMR disks formerly known as WD Red—in sizes from 1TB to 14TB—get a new "WD Red Plus" branding and label, although their model numbers also remain the same. I have six 4TB WD40EFRX (CMR) and four 6TB WD60EFAX(SMR) as well as a SSD for the operating system. Last night, a Western Digital executive reached out to Ars to let us know of a blog post concerning their controversial Red drives. PMR is also used in this method – similarities and differences to CMR are discussed in more detail below in the text. When asked to comment on how prices of the existing EFRX and EFAX models will shift in order to make Red less expensive than Red Plus, the only response was "I can only comment on the [preceding] at this time," followed by "WD Red Plus will be available in August time period.". Although all three remaining major hard drive vendors—Western Digital, Toshiba, and Seagate—have "submarined" SMR disks into existing channels without doing much to notify customers about it, only Western Digital has done so with disks designed specifically for NAS, or Network Attached Storage, use. Above all, you can rely on SMR if you want large hard disks with lower material costs and usually lower electrical power consumption, which serve as pure data storage devices. If you never committed enough write operations at once to overflow the large CMR cache area, and you gave the drive extended amounts of idle time to "breathe," you'd see no performance difference between CMR and SMR disks—although, as some NAS users have commented, "you can hear them running all the time." Clearly disclosing which drives use SMR vs CMR. PMR is the successor to Longitudinal Magnetic Recording (LMR) and achieves a data density three times higher than its predecessor LMR – the read / write head has been optimized for this and the vertical positioning also contributes to this. Required fields are marked *. The basic recording of hard disks takes place in such a way that a write head writes the data to platter – there it is stored. With a Bolt (or Edge) first all all best to use a CMR drive even if SMR works. For this reason, with large files it can happen that the transfer rate drops after a certain amount of data because the cache is full and must first be cleared again. With the NAS system of the Red hard drives, for example, you can stream media, save and exchange data and manage digital content very quickly and easily. Which model WD My Passport Ultra drives are CMR or SMR? A distinction is made between two common recording methods: CMR and SMR. The speed is 5400 rpm; is written with CMR. So, in this article, we will focus on CMR and SMR technology in hard drives to find which one is better. Western … iXsystems and Western Digital have been working to identify and resolve the ZFS compatibility issue with the WD Red DM-SMR drives. This is getting absurd. If your drive is not found in this guide, please send me pictures from both, the label and the PCB sides of the HDD (or full model and serial number if you cannot take the pictures) and I'll … Seagate IronWolf NAS HDD 4TB, SATA 6GB / s, Significantly speed up your computer with SSD hard drives, NAS systems: The smart storage solution for the network, With LOGO! By reading this site you agree to our cookie policy. It’s that we DO understand it, and that WD has added it to drive models that didn’t have it before, in lines where it is COMPLETELY inappropriate. Click to find out more. SMR hard drives have TRIM support, so if it is listed it is SMR. If there isn't prominent disambiguation between Red, Red Plus, and Red Pro on the product pages themselves, the new branding may not reach many of the people who need to see it. All rights reserved. with 153 posters participating, including story author, Western Digital adds “Red Plus” branding for non-SMR hard drives, Lawsuit vs. Western Digital wants to end any use of SMR in NAS drives, We put Western Digital’s dreaded SMR Red drive to the test, Western Digital gets sued for sneaking SMR disks into its NAS channel, Seagate says Network Attached Storage and SMR don’t mix. The speed is 5400 rpm; is written with CMR. The WD Red was specially developed for NAS systems that have one to eight drive bays in 3.5-inch and 2.5-inch sizes. You must login or create an account to comment. WD Red drives will use SMR, but WD Red Plus and WD Red Pro SKUs will stick to CMR tech. SMR hard disks are a good choice if they are primarily used as pure data storage or if a large hard disk is to be used for a PC on which data is stored. Ars asked a senior Western Digital executive about pricing on the new Red and Red Plus lines. Comment document.getElementById("comment").setAttribute( "id", "aea28022a28d6584534b4740b7fa0ece" );document.getElementById("a2f30e4be5").setAttribute( "id", "comment" ); Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Your email address will not be published. “You are correct that we do not specify recording technology in our WD Red … Ad Choices. Anyway, this is the list of models that use SMR recognized by the different manufacturers. SMR, the Shingled Magnetic Recording, writes data overlapping, because it is based on the concept that the write head is larger and less filigree than the read head. Form-Factor: Storage Capacity: WD Red: WD Red Pro: WD Blue: WD Black: WD Purple: 2.5" 500GB or below--CMR: CMR-2.5" 1TB: CMR-SMR: SMR-2.5" 2TB--SMR--3.5" 1TB or below Many people ask themselves this question when it comes to finding the right hard drive for the intended use. In response to heated criticism for not disclosing that some of its hard drives use slower SMR technology, WD penned a blog post outlining its plans … If things don’t go optimally, this “rewriting” has to continue. The majority of consumers buying small Synology, Netgear, or other purpose-built NAS devices are likely using them intermittently, with a small number of overall users, and mostly for large files such as digital photos, movies, and music. - Jun 24, 2020 10:08 pm UTC, Update 5:08pm ET: Pricing In general, one speaks of CMR, i.e. Doing a brand segmentation that separates the SMR drives. The other HDDs use the CMR recording technology that … WD appears to be doing now what they should have done from the beginning. The use of SMR technology in Western Digital Red is not going away—but moving forward, "Red" will exclusively mean SMR disks. For small business, "intensive," or ZFS workloads, there's the Red Plus line—which effectively just means the older, pre-SMR models for now. Jim Salter This results in extremely low average throughput (compared with the drive’s available throughput) and provides plenty of idle time for the DMSMR drive to perform the necessary background operations, making it an ideal fit for this application. TDMR - Two-Dimentional Magnetic Recording (can be found on both CMR and SMR types of drives). Both technologies (SMR and CMR) have their justification and their respective fields of application. The ZFS filesystem, in particular, tends to present SMR disks with challenges they have difficulty handling. Unfortunately for Western Digital, NAS users tend to be significantly more technical than general consumers—and they frequently hit their disks with far more difficult workloads than Western Digital apparently tested or planned for. There's a fairly large CMR cache area on the otherwise SMR disks, as well as a 256MiB volatile (RAM) cache. Realizing this is a little difficult to track, Western Digital has provided a chart to identify all of their drives with DM-SMR. This is a CMR hard disk. Choosing Between CMR and SMR Technology in Hard Drives. However, the data of the following lane are overwritten, which means that the next lane may have to be written again after a successful recording process. WIRED Media Group WD has responded through its blog, stating mainly that only certain SKUs of the WD Red were … With PMR it is possible to write directly to the final storage location of the data on the hard disk without the data first having to be rewritten on the hard disk. WD was foolish to introduce SMR into their Red line; they're not going to triple down on that mistake by now also putting it into Red Plus, after explicitly vowing that Red Plus will be CMR only. The real question moving forward is how well Western Digital's blog post announcing the new branding will tie in with the actual product details seen on reseller sites. On the one hand, this process is more space-saving in the end, but it also shows the big difference to CMR technology: If the faster on-disk cache is filled before the controller can transfer the data to the SMR area, then the cache must first emptied or rewritten before new data can be saved again. The CMR cache area on the drive will perform the same as an entirely CMR disk does—and if it has "downtime" between storage requests, the drive's firmware can spend that time reading data from the CMR cache and trickling it down to the considerably more limited main SMR storage area. The existing SMR models—WD 20/30/40/60 EFAX—will retain their existing model numbers and will retain their existing WD Red branding. The advantage of this technology, however, is that the storage density is increased compared to PMR. Clearly stating that SMR drives should be used only in low-demand use cases. Sign up or login to join the discussions! Clearly stating that SMR drives should not be used with ZFS ever. And best to go external with a 3.5. CNMN Collection This is one of the commonly asked questions of those who want to buy a new hard drive. In addition to the standard controller cache, SMR hard disks also have an on-disk cache in the outer tracks. Currently, Western Digital’s WD Red 2TB-6TB drives are device-managed SMR (DMSMR). Original story 7:34am ET © 2021 Condé Nast. 2 Likes JimDeLaHunt April 16, 2020, 9:39pm #3 For what it’s worth, I just contacted WD support. The second CMR model that we would like to take a closer look at is the Seagate IronWolf NAS HDD 4TB, SATA 6GB / s. The Iron-Wolf hard drives are characterized by their robustness and scalability. Use of and/or registration on any portion of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement (updated 1/1/20) and Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement (updated 1/1/20) and Ars Technica Addendum (effective 8/21/2018). PMR, or Perpendicular Magnetic Recording, is a method in which magnetization takes place horizontally and vertically on platters. In (very) brief, SMR disks generally perform well enough in light storage workloads, with plenty of idle time between storage requests—but they can fall catastrophically flat on their faces when hit with more demanding workloads. Join the Ars Orbital Transmission mailing list to get weekly updates delivered to your inbox. Data is also exchanged with, for example, mobile devices or the television set at a very high speed. In broad strokes, we agree with the above quote from Western Digital's blog post announcing the new branding. This allows multiple users and the transfer of large data to be easily managed. In addition to the WD Red NAS drives that the company previously admitted used SMR tech, WD is also shipping the tech into its 2.5"and 3.5" WD … If it is not listed, it is probably CMR and you do not have any problem. Western Digital has heralded a positive shift in its approach to users of shingled WD Red NAS drives, via a short statement on the company blog.. As described in our recent article Western Digital admits 2TB-6TB WD Red NAS drives use shingled magnetic recording (SMR), some users can experience performance problems in situations such as adding the drives to RAID groups which use … for my house. This report is the latest in a series on hard drive manufacturers slipping SMR technology into existing disk lines, with little or no notice to customers. WD online chat says that all are CMR but I am extremely skeptical. After the recording, the data is transferred from the controller to the SMR area as soon as possible. Western Digital's new marketing for the SMR-equipped Red drives labels them as for SOHO use only and clarifies that this means low-intensity operations with lots of idle time in between—and no ZFS. Replacing a single 6TB CMR Red drive with an SMR (before WD's sneaky substitution became common knowledge) in a 6-drive RAID5 more than tripled the time it took my ReadyNAS to perform a scrub and totally locked up everything else while it was happening. Western Digital doesn't publish details about the CMR cache area in its product datasheets, unfortunately—but typical estimates, such as what was shown in this blocksandfiles interview, range from 1GiB to 100GiB, depending in part on the size of the disk itself. This line is unchanged—it existed with the same branding before the SMR fiasco, and it still exists with the same branding and same models today. Our use-case analysis shows that SOHO workloads typically are based on short periods of access to the drives. List of WD CMR and SMR hard drives (HDD) Updated table : 23/10/2020 Now … 8.3, the popular Siemens small controller is connected to the cloud, Ethernet over Coax: A stable internet connection in every room, Established brands holding on to their advantage in the European smart home, Avoid critical aerosol concentrations with Testo’s practical measuring instruments, Smart Home via Bluetooth – Frogs as real communication talents, New high performance LED construction spotlights by Brennenstuhl, Smoke detectors: Warning devices that can save lives, Window ventilation, secondary air units and co – Proper ventilation at home and in the office. They offer more storage capacity and are more energy efficient than CMR, which makes them ideal for archiving tasks. Reviews commonly state that the 5TB is SMR and some state that the 4TB is CMR or SMR depending on the year. Because the different recording methods behave differently and are therefore sometimes better and sometimes worse for the intended purpose. The company is taking a new branding initiative to clarify the technology used in its NAS drives—in the near future, "WD Red" will exclusively mean disks using Shingled Magnetic Recording technology, and "WD Red Plus" will mean disks using Conventional Magnetic Recording. The 8TB and larger drives with the “EFAX” code use CMR technology. Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR) or Conventional Magnetic Recording (CMR)? In the following we want to look at the model WD60EFRX-CMR WD Red Plus NAS hard drive with 6 TB of the WD Red Plus hard drive series. They are particularly suitable for NAS systems with one to eight drive bays, desktop RAID and servers, multimedia server storage and the private cloud.Especially in corporate and business environments, they show their quality with a high data throughput and a high workload rate of 180 TB / year. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Condé Nast. Your email address will not be published. In our guide we clarify which recording methods are available, how they work and how they are best suited for which application. when the speed of large data transfers is important, CMR hard drives are the better choice. Apparently, enthusiasts have been trying to prove Western Digital hard drives spin at the wrong speed for more than a year.While WD Red drives are … You are correct that we do not specify recording technology in our WD Red HDD documentation. This is where PMR technology comes into play. A few weeks ago, a messagepopped up on the zfs-discuss mailing list: The unexpected shift from CMR to SMR in these NAS (Network Attached Storage) drives has caused problems above and beyond simple performance; the user quoted above couldn't get his SMR disks to stay i… WD Red 8TB-14TB drives are CMR-based. I am looking to create a Plex Media Server for music, videos, tv shows, photos, etc. Ars may earn compensation on sales from links on this site. This includes a large number of activities from music streaming and image processing to use for NAS servers. If using SMR and/or 2.5 might want to do a bit more often. Basically, SMR hard disks are not particularly well suited if the hard disk is to be constantly and permanently doing write operations, as this can lead to a cache overflow. Your California Privacy Rights | Do Not Sell My Personal Information This may slow down the writing process drastically. The issue isn’t that we don’t understand SMR or DMSMR. We’ll also take a look at two specific types of hard drives with CMR recording technology: the new WD Red Plus series and the Seagate Ironwolf series. There are numerous options in the market. “The information you shared from [Geizhals] appears to be inaccurate. For those consumers, an SMR-equipped Red will probably be okay—they're unlikely to push through the CMR cache, and even if they do, the SMR management firmware can probably handle the direct writes fairly well. This is a CMR hard disk. Are they trying to spin this into their "New Coke"-moment or what? Since can't keep a backup, thing to do would be buy a new drive every 3-5 years if using CMR 3.5, clone, put in the clone, then repurpose the original. “Currently, Western Digital’s WD Red 2TB-6TB drives are device-managed SMR (DMSMR). The initial answer given was "in general, we expect WD Red drives will be priced below WD Red Plus drives." 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