WD purple - can it be used for data storage? Yes or No

wepee

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Feb 11, 2020
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Hi all,

I have got lots of 2TB of WD purple as spare drives kept in my storage box.

I want them to be used for my NAS system.

No hardware RAID is used for my project.

Does anyone recommend it for data storage? (I don't see why I cannot used the
purple drives for storing data)

I know the WD purple drive is built specifically for storing CCTV recordings-
lots of video streaming.

I am just curious whether the community has ever used it for data storage.

Thank you.:)
 
Last edited:

pricklypunter

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Nov 10, 2015
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If it really was down to "Yes or No", I would have to say No :)

For a home gamer, I would say use whatever you have, if they are in good condition. For critical data, or for enterprise level filer/ storage, I would not recommend them for that role. The Purple's are more optimised for writing, rather than reading. A filer/ storage tasked disk is pitched somewhere in the middle in terms of performance and features. The Purple's do, as far as I'm aware, support RAID configurations, i.e. have TLER support, but they are not vibration dampened to anything like the extent of a disk designed for filer/ storage tasks. If you were building an all-in-one box and using something like Blue Iris for some camera's, I would say toss some of them into a small array and store your video streams there, then have something more suitable and performant, specifically targeted for use in a filer, for storing your critical and long term data data :)
 
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amalurk

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Dec 16, 2016
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I vote, yes if you have them or found them a lot cheaper. My opinion is the colors are mostly WD marketing speak and the drives of same size/RPM are likely identical physically but maybe have minor firmware tweaks that don't amount to much.
 

Rand__

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Mar 6, 2014
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Can you - yes - technically it will work
Should you - not really since they are optimized for one workload and will behave sub-optimal on other
Would I - probably not

If money is an issue and you have them already and you don't mind if its slow - sure.
 
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mrkrad

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Oct 13, 2012
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TLER is not optimized for hardware raid., they are designed to write , in case of error, ignore and continue so to not drop frames. This is not ideal for most raid!
 
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wepee

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Feb 11, 2020
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TLER is not optimized for hardware raid., they are designed to write , in case of error, ignore and continue so to not drop frames. This is not ideal for most raid!
@mrkrad
I forgot to post that I am not using hardware RAID card,
but rather using software RAID, like: SnapRAID.
Or perhaps I may use unRAID.
 

wepee

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Feb 11, 2020
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Can you - yes - technically it will work
Should you - not really since they are optimized for one workload and will behave sub-optimal on other
Would I - probably not

If money is an issue and you have them already and you don't mind if its slow - sure.
Yes money is an issue, and it is real waste of money when I have
the purple drives lying around, doing nothing, except gathering dust
and eventually end up in the dump.

I don't mind the purple drive is running at 5400 rpm.:)
 

Rand__

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Mar 6, 2014
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Its not about the rotational speed - firmware has been optimized for video like data which means it will work well for streaming writes (probably using large blocks, a lot of read ahead and so on).
When your use case is similar they will work well. If you run non video (eg random IO) on them they will be significantly slower than other 5400RPM drives.
Note that's all assumptions - give it a try, as I said there should be no (known) technical reason they should not work (at all).
 

Gnodu

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Oct 10, 2015
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I tried once with 4x4tb purples- as you have, they were just sitting around, as I had upgraded the NVR Machine (Technically, it’s a windows server 2012 running Blue Iris.)

So, thought I would set up a little Plex box, and basic NAS to experiment on. Two days after copying all the files over- movies and wife’s picture collection... kids streaming some movie, I was watching “A Few Good Men” via plex on my iPad, and suddenly my wife was asking me “why are all my .CR2 (RAW format photos) opening with errors, if they open at all? What did *YOU* do to the network??? (The most dreaded question for all married males on the forum!?!)

Luckily I have a decent backup approach set up... so I was safe... but needless to say, I moved back to “Reds” ASAP and never looked back.

*MY opinions*
I think that data sheet link says it best— purples are optimized with that Allframe technology— which is a continuous use case scenario— they just aren’t designed to do random IO.
I used to think the colors were just a gimmick— as someone else stated— but I try to stick to the RED gimmick now— I figure it’s the Swiss Army knife of WD drives. Full disclosure- I am running 4x10TB purples in my blue iris machine- but It’s not used for anything but camera recording.

Whatever you decide-- always keep backups of the important stuff— and if your purple drives work well for you this way, let us know!

edited to correct caps & grammar :)
 

JOSEPHLB

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Aug 5, 2014
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Same use case as the OP; running six 2TB Seagate Skyhawk's in a RAID 6 for nearly 3 years now , without no issues at all. (at the time of purchase, the Skyhawks were better priced over the "NAS" equivalent).