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WD Red SA500: NAS SSD for the Multi-Gig Era

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Western Digital today unveiled the AS-specific WD Red SA500 solid-state drive (SSD) as the answer to the Seagate IronWolf 110 that came out earlier this year. And that's excellent news for network-attached storage (NAS) enthusiasts.

Update: The full review of the WD Red SA500 is now available here.

WD Red is a popular brand of NAS drives.

WD Red SA500: SSD for next-gen NAS servers

For years, the Gigabit connection has the ceiling speed of most NAS servers, and we, therefore, don't need anything faster than regular hard drives (HDDs) for the network storage. But that's now changed thanks to the introductions of Wi-Fi 6, 5G, and multi-gig routers, like the Netgear RAX120. Soon enough, 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) networking will become the standard the way Gigabit has been.

The higher connection speeds open up lots of applications, including virtualization, personal cloud, and 4K/8K video editing in real-time. And to enjoy that you need much faster internal storage devices. That's where the WD Red SA500 comes into play.

According to the storage vendor, WD Red SA500 NAS SATA SSD is purpose-built for NAS applications and available in two form factors, standard 2.5-inch, and M.2. The former caps at 2TB and the later is available up to 4TB. Both can work as a single drive or in a RAID configuration. WD says the new SSD comes with "superior endurance for heavy read and writes loads demanded by NAS in a 24/7 environment".

Though made for NAS servers, the new SSD will also work with computers, the way traditional SSDs do.

New WD Red hard drives

Other than the SA500, WD also introduced today two WD Red NAS hard drives, the new 14TB WD Red designed for server with up to 8 drive bays, and 14TB WD Red Pro for server with up to 24 drive bays. The Pro also features 3D Active Balance Plus technology and error recovery controls via NASware 3.0 to operates with enhanced reliability.

Pricing and availability

The new WD Red SA500 SSD and hard drive will be available next month globally. The M.2 version of the SA500 SSD will cost from $72 (500GB) up to $297 (2TB), while the SATA form factor's price ranges from $75 (500GB) to 600 (4TB). The 14TB WD Red NAS HDD and 14TB WD Red NAS Pro HDD are also available in November at the suggested price of $450 and $525, respectively. Check back soon for the review of the SA500.

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