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Western Digital launches power-efficient disk drives

Suppliers of data center products are endorsing the company's new power-efficient line of "green" drives

By Chris Mellor
November 21, 2007 12:00 PM ET - Western Digital Corp. has announced new hard drives that use up to 40% less power than competing drives.

The serial ATA drives are part of a new GreenPower-branded line (RE2-GP), with 500GB, 750GB and 1TB capacities. They use on average 4 to 5 watts less than similar-size drives from Hitachi GST, Fujitsu, Seagate and other major suppliers.

Western Digital said four branded technologies boost the power efficiency of the new drives:

  • IntelliPower balances spin speed, transfer rate and caching algorithms to avoid always spinning at top speed. And less current is used during start-up, which allows more drives to spin up simultaneously, resulting in faster system readiness.
  • IntelliSeek optimizes seek speeds to lower power consumption, noise and vibration.
  • IntelliPark automatically unloads the recording heads during idle mode to reduce aerodynamic drag and disables read/write channel electronics.
  • Active Power Management monitors a drive's workload and automatically puts the drive in idle mode whenever possible to reduce unnecessary power consumption. Drive recovery time from idle mode is less than one second.
Western Digital said that large data centers could save up to $100,000 annually if they replaced 10,000 standard drives with GreenPower drives. At a PC level, users might save $10 a year per drive.

Tom McDorman, general manager of Western Digital's enterprise business unit, said the new enterprise line of hard drives allows users to "expand their storage needs, reduce their total cost of ownership and improve the environment all at the same time."

Data center suppliers already selling more power-efficient products were quick to endorse Western Digital's new line.

Tony Gaughan, Rackable Systems Inc.'s chief products officer, said Western Digital's new RE2-GP hard drives "are an excellent choice for customers deploying Rackable Systems' newest generation of Eco-Logical storage systems, enabling even greater efficiency and performance."

David Driggers, Verari Systems Inc.'s chief technology officer, said, "By utilizing [Western Digital's latest] GreenPower technology, Verari is able to provide enterprise customers with a solution that delivers one of the most energy-efficient systems available today."

The new drives are available from Western Digital's online store, with suggested retail prices of $149.99, $249.99 and $349.99 for the 500GB, 750GB and 1TB drives, respectively.

Reprinted with permission from Copyright 2012 IDG, all rights reserved.
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