Western Digital today announced the addition of 750GB and 1TB RE3 SATA hard drives to its enterprise lineup. The new drives boast a beefy 32MB cache buffer, enhanced vibration and shock tolerance, and what the company claims are "new electronics to increase performance approximately 20 percent and by as much as 60 percent in high-vibration environments."
Rounding out the feature-set are a several marketing buzzwords, including StableTrac (reduces system-induced vibration and stabilizes platters), dual processor (better processing power), RAFF technology (corrects linear and rotational vibrations), IntelliSeek technology (calculates optimum seek speeds to lower power consumption, noise, and vibration), and several more.
Western Digital has the MSRP on the 750GB and 1TB models at $199 and $249 respectively. The drives are available now and carry a five-year limited warranty.
We’ve seen this day coming for a long time. There was no way that Western Digital was going to sit back and let other manufacturers usurp the Raptor’s place at the top of the storage speed charts. Consider the rule of the speedy terabyte drives a hiccup on the timeline. The Raptor is back: upgraded, renamed, and… physically smaller.
To read our full review of the Velociraptor (not the preview we gave you before), hit the jump.
Despite falling hard drive prices, a weakened dollar, and other economic woes, Western Digital managed to post revenue of $8.1 billion and an operating income of $1.0 billion for fiscal year 2008. That represents a full-year revenue increase of 48 percent. It gets even better for the hard drive maker, who also posted a net income of $867 million, or $3.84 per share, marking a whopping 54 percent jump from one year ago.
In the report, Western Digital says that 63 percent of Q4 revenue came from non-desktop sources, while 37 percent came from hard drives configured into desktop PCs. By contrast, those numbers sat at 46 and 54 percent respectively one year ago.
"Fiscal 2008 was an outstanding year for WD, capped off with the strong fourth-quarter financial performance," said John Coyne, president and CEO. "Our outstanding financial performance demonstrates the efficiency and effectiveness of the business model that we have built and refined over the last several years, underpinned by our industry leading cost structure."
WD's financial performance is also indicative of of the growing mobile market, in which the company shipped 11.7 million 2.5-inch mobile drives.
Marketing research firm iSuppli has reported on the status of the hard drive industry, and from the sounds of it, we just can’t get enough storage.In the first quarter of 2008, hard drive vendors shipped over 137 million units in a seemingly futile attempt to satiate consumer’s appetites for inexpensive storage. Despite the 21 percent increase in sales over the same period last year, many HDD vendors such as Seagate continue to struggle. iSuppli speculates that lower prices and a disproportionate demand for lower margin desktop drives are to blame. This is a trend that is likely to continue as SSD’s continue to plummet in price and become the storage medium of choice for mobile devices mainly due to its durability. Despite the challenges conventional hard drive makers face in the mobile market, iSuppli is forecasting strong demand in the second quarter with shipments estimated to be up by as much as 16 percent over 2007. Seagate continues to lead the pack with profits of $363 million, followed by Western Digital at $298 million, and Hitachi at $65 million. This is excellent news specifically for Hitachi who has been struggling to pull itself out of the red. So has our insatiable appetite for digital media made mass storage devices recession proof?
While the rest of the computing world inexplicably refuses to see a market for performance hard drives spinning faster than 7,200RPM, Western Digital is finding new segments for its flagship 10,000RPM Velociraptor. The company announced today it's shrinking the stupid-fast drive down to a 2.5-inch form factor for use in blade servers and 1U and 2U servers.
"WD is bringing to enterprise customers what PC enthusiasts already appreciate about the WD Velociraptor: a combination of high performance and high capacity for hard drive storage," said John Rydning, IDC's research director for hard disk drives.
Because server environments tend to be more mission critical than the average desktop, Western Digital claims its new enterprise model will be up to the job with the "highest available reliability rating of any SATA drive at 1.4 million hours MTBF."
The shrunken Velociraptor will come in both 300GB and 150GB capacities. Will anyone else join them?
Steady vibrations can spell doom for the delicate moving parts inside a hard drive, and for this reason HDD manufacturers employ several technologies aimed at reducing these menacing motions. One such technology involves "Shaping Command Inputs to Minimize Unwanted Dynamics," for which engineering company Convolve holds the patent. The technology can be used to limit vibrations of a hard drive's actuator arm, and according to a recent court complaint, Convolve believes Dell, Western Digital, and Hitachi are all infringing on its patent. Going for the legal hat trick, Convolve is suing for monetary damages, attorney fees, and compensatory damages.
Storage always makes for a curious world. Western Digital's newest entry into the terabyte contest--it's second, if you count the company's Caviar Green drive--is geared for enthusiast performance. One look at the insides of this Caviar Black drive tells the entire tale. This is Western Digital's first three-platter terabyte drive, mimicking a move towards increased access speeds and areal densities that Samsung made some four months ago with its HD103UJ terabyte drive.
Here we go again: Western Digital has launched yet another line of portable USB hard drives. The four drives in the My Passport Elite series don’t vary by size, just color. You’re free to select a capacity of 250GB or 320GB in gunmetal gray, old-shoe brown, a soft blue finish, or a sandy red. And as far as we can tell, that’s one of the few differences between this line of devices and Western Digital’s “normal” My Passport Essential drives—the latter having 11 different colors and four different capacity points to choose from.
Ok, so technically a Dilophosaurus hocked the venom loogie all over Nedry's face. But in marketplace of consumer hard drives, there is no question that Western Digital's Velociraptor is the beast to be feared. The new 300GB, 10,000-RPM device comes as a much-needed bolster to Western Digital's high-performance storage line. After all, it's been two years since the launch of the 150GB Raptor X, and other drive manufacturers have been quick to take note.