Western Digital begins mending fences in WD Red NAS drive SMR spat

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 conventionally magnetic recording (CMR) drives.

Fellow disk drive makers Seagate and Toshiba use undocumented SMR technology in consumer desktop drives, but only WD has used them in low-end NAS drives.

WD wrote in the un-bylined blog, dated April 22:

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:

A table in the blog lists which of its internal consumer/small business/NAS drives use SMR and CMR technology:

WD said it will update its marketing materials – brochures and datasheets – to provide similar data and “provide more information about SMR technology, including benchmarks and ideal use cases”.

The final paragraphs affirm that WD recognises some customers are experiencing problems and is doing something about it:

“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.”