Western Digital, one of the biggest names in hard drives, has announced a big shake-up in the range of Enterprise and data centre class media. Keen followers of network-attached storage and data storage media will be aware of the popular WD Gold series of hard drives. For those that aren’t, following the formulation of Western Digital and the colour key marketing strategy (Red = NAS, Purple = Surveillance, etc), WD Gold series was released around 2 years ago and was designed for data centre and Enterprise users. The WD Gold series arrived in up to 12TB capacity and was chiefly designed to replace the confusing range of hard drives for data centre uses. Until the release of WD Gold, datacenters would be required to choose between the WD Re, Xe and Se range of hard drives – remarkably confusing. Much like WD Red, Black Blue and Purple, WD gold was designed to streamline data centre hard drives simplify the selecting the right drive.
Goodbye WD Gold – Hello HGST Ultrastar DC
Which may make the next bit a little counter-intuitive. WD Gold is announced to go end of life in just over a month and stocks are expected to have sold through before the end of the year. In its place, WD is releasing the HGST DC (datacenter) range of drives. Western Digital acquired both HGST and SanDisk in the last couple of years and during that time has been integrating this increased range of hard drive devices into a more manageable series of model numbers.
In the majority of cases, the WD logo and model has replaced the respective SanDisk or HGST drive. However in the case of the WD enterprise drive, as WD gold is less familiar to Enterprise and datacenter user, it was decided that the WD Gold brand would be retired and this market moved over to the HGST DC Ultrastar series.
What does this mean for WD Gold users?
The good news is that the HGST DC Ultrastar hard drives are identical to that of the WD Gold series. if you already own a NAS or SAN device that is populated with the WD Gold drives and you want to replace a defective drive, then you are able to use the chart below to get the right HGST Ultrastar drive to match your WD Gold drive
The table below shows the specific WD Gold hard drive models and part numbers, along with the respective replacement Ultrastar models and part numbers. Please begin ordering the corresponding Ultrastar branded hard drives to replace the outgoing WD Gold branded hard drives. (click the model number to view the drive)
Pricewise, these two hard drives are pretty much identical and you will not see any increase or decrease in performance when changing from one drive to the other. WD will fulfil any logged RMA or reported faulty drive with a WD Gold drive until stocks are depleted, at which time they will fulfil any requests with the HGST DC Ultrastar series. The official statement from WD is:
For all WD Gold enterprise-class hard drives, the following dates are being set: Last date to place orders: August 30, 2018 Final Production Date: December 28, 2018
How do the WD Gold and HGST UltraStar HDD compare?
The two drives really are near enough identical and you can take a look below at how the specs compare on each hard drive:
The WD Gold HDD Range from 1TB to 12TB
The HGST Ultrastar DC HC500, HC300 and HA200
Should I use WD Gold, HGST Ultrastar DC or WD Red Pro in my NAS?
Excellent question. Luckily, we have already addressed this in our article regarding WD Gold vs WD Red vs HGST UltraStar DC below. This will tell you how they compare and which is best for your NAS setup:
Should I buy WD Gold now or the HGST DC Ultrastar drive?
It really does not make a difference right now which one of these two drives you buy. Personally, I would recommend buying the newer HGST Ultrastar DC drive, as it will make sorting a replacement and any warranty concerns in the first 5 years considerably easier. Nevertheless, if you see HGST hard drive at a reduced price, then I recommend purchasing them and getting yourself a bargain if you can.
What about HGST Deskstar NAS Hard Drives?
Another victim of the reorganization of Hard drives during the WD + Sandisk + HGST merger is that HGST Deskstar NAS hard drives are now end-of-life, this is because the WD Red Hard Drives have a significantly higher market recognition. This isn’t a huge surprise and we on NASCompares have always stated that the WD Red range is the better choice overall.
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