The Western Digital storage surveillance hard drive is intended for the rigors of write-intensive applications like the video surveillance market segment. As the demands for better security increase, so to will the demand for better surveillance. Of course this means high definition video footage is in high demand! That being said, the reliability of hardware will be a major consideration. In addition to that, the barrage of write activity will take a toll on your NVR (Network Video Recorder) too. Enter the Western Digital Purple Surveillance Hard Drive lineup. I recently purchased an 8TB WD Purple hard drive and thought I would put it through the paces since I would be depending on it myself for security purposes.
Western Digital claims this hard drive model supports an 8 drive RAID configuration and up to 32 simultaneous cameras. Taking a closer look at things, it appears that the WD Purple lineup really shines when using more than 16 camera systems. WD uses an algorithm that minimizes writes to the drive for prolonged life, and along with that there is a 3-year limited warranty.
WD Purple surveillance-class hard drives are equipped with AllFrame technology which works with ATA streaming to reduce frame loss, improve playback and increases the number of drive bays supported. AllFrame reduces video interruptions that commonly occur when desktop hard drives are incorrectly used as storage in security systems. Missed frames and lost footage is a serious problem when an event occurs and surveillance footage needs to be retrieved.
I found the specifications to be accurate using a series of tests with HD Tune Pro, and ATTO Disk Benchmark. The specs state 178 MB/s (to/from drive sustained). The block size seemed to minimally affect the final results, while the sequential read test looked as expected as the read head moved from the outer edge of the platter to the inside. The real test with this hard drive will be the test of time in my new video surveillance system. For this type of activity industry assumptions are 95% write activity and 5% read. It’s nice to see Western Digital offer a multi-year warranty on a drive expected to take the kind of abuse a 24×7 parallel recording NVR can dish out. In summary the WD Purple is offering parallel write performance and dependability in a 3.5 inch form factor. If this is your requirement, you may want to consider the Purple Series by Western Digital.