My experience using 6TB WD Red drives for Drobo FS

In the past few years I began using the regular WD Red drives developed specifically for NAS (not the “Red Pro” version, that apparently wasn’t even around a few years ago) in my 5-bay Drobo FS for business use. I am using the Drobo strictly for overnight data backups. I first installed the Drobo in 2013 and one of the very first WD drives I installed in that unit is still going strong. Except this was NOT a Red drive. When I first got the Drobo, the Red drives were simply too expensive, so in this case, the drive I mentioned was a WD Caviar Green 2TB drive. I also have 2 additional WD green drives still in that same Drobo-- one is a Caviar, one is Mainstream, and both are 3TB each. Again, both these drives are still going along fine, first installed in approximately 2014 and 2015.

Funny thing though is that the only (newest) drives that have failed so far in the Drobo… are the WD Red drives! The ones supposedly built specifically for NAS. The green drives I mentioned, each had warrantees of only 1 year as I recall, though the Reds have a whopping 3 year warranty. That’s great, but the two 6TB Reds I had in my Drobo both lasted till only a few months after the 3 year warranty ran out. Almost like clockwork.

Of course, I suppose it is possible that the Drobo might just have a built-in way to get me to buy a new Drobo… that there could be a limit to the size of drives one can use in the Drobo FS. But if there is, I haven’t found any info stating such a limitation. And the 6TB WD Red drives HAVE worked, at least for a little over 3 years apiece. So that doesn’t seem like a size limitation with the Drobo.

I’d love to just go back to purchasing the low power variable speed Green drives in larger sizes, but hey, WD doesn’t sell those anymore. Could it be that they were simply too RELIABLE? At least now with the Red drives I can count on each of them crapping out just after the 3 year warranty expires. Oh wait… they have a Red Pro version now… with a 5 year warranty. I think I can guess how long each of those will last…

On a side note, as much as I can’t stop thinking of the phrase “planned obsolescence,” I’d still much rather take my chances with Western Digital than that other company… Seagate!

P.S. Of all the Western Digital internal hard drives I have either purchased for myself or for other clients in the past 15-20 years, I think I have had only maybe 3 drive failures personally that I recall, while the data on those drives was still being used. The first would have been with a past WD Black drive, and then most recently the two regular Red NAS drives. While I’m not thrilled with the performance of the regular Red NAS drives, I am still definitely a fan of Western Digital and will continue to use them for my hard drive storage needs.