Meeting Drobo – NAS Made Simple

We have been using a single 6TB WD red in our file server 24×7 for over 12 months and it hasn’t missed a beat. Western Digital was our first choice for storage in the Drobo and we wanted to make sure that the NAS had every opportunity to shine. After reaching out to Western Digital for assistance in this project, we were grateful when they came to the party.

To put our faith in Western Digital into perspective, over the past 5 years, we have used the following hard drives in our projects and personal builds – all without failure.

  • 5x 2TB Green (3.5″) – Cold Storage
  • 2x 1TB Blue SSHD (2.5″) – Compact systems
  • 1x 4TB Blue SSHD (3.5″) – in the main test bench
  • 1x 6TB Red (3.5″) – in the home server setup running 24×7
  • 1x 6TB Black (3.5″) – in the AMD Test Bench

That’s 10 drives in total from the WD brand that we are using without any issues at all. This is not to say that WD drives never fail but it goes a long way to establishing why we were keen on feeding our Drobo with WD Reds for this project.

The WD Red series run quiet and cool with very little vibration when compared to other 3.5″ mechanical hard drives. The Red series are also designed specifically for NAS use with reliability and longevity core requirements.


The specifications for the WD Red 6TB model we used are below. This is not to be confused with the Drobo 5N or the performance you get with 4 of them installed.


6TB WD Red NAS Hard Drive – 3.5″

  • Model number: WD60EFRX
  • Interface:  SATA 6 Gb/s
  • Form factor:  3.5-inch
  • Advanced Format (AF): Yes
  • Native command queuing: Yes
  • RoHS compliant: Yes


  • Data transfer rate (max)
    • Interface speed: 6 Gb/s
    • Internal transfer rate: 175 MB/s
  • Cache (MB):  64
  • Performance Class: 5400 RPM Class
  • Class Reliability/Data Integrity
    • Load/unload cycles: 600,000
    • Non-recoverable read errors per bits read: <1×10^14
    • MTBF (hours): 1,000,000
  • Limited warranty (years): 3

Power Management

  • 12VDC ±10% (A, peak): 1.75
  • 5VDC ±10% (A, peak) –
  • Average power requirements (W)
    • Read/Write: 5.3
    • Idle: 3.4
    • Standby/Sleep: 0.4

Environmental Specifications

  • Temperature (°C)
    • Operating: 0-65
    • Non-operating: 40-70
  • Shock (Gs)
    • Operating (2 ms, read/write): 30
    • Operating (2 ms, read): 65
    • Non-operating (2 ms): 250
  • Acoustics (dBA)
    • Idle: 25
    • Seek (average): 28

Physical Dimensions

  • Height (in./mm): 1.028/26.1
  • Length (in./mm): 5.787/147
  • Width (in./mm, ± .01 in.): 4/101.6
  • Weight (lb./kg, ± 10%): 1.65/0.75


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