Last week, Western Digital announced a new line of hard drives, called "Ae". Rather than targeting the average consumer, the drives are designed with cold storage in mind -- that is, loading the disks with data and slotting them away for the long-haul. Sure, you could grab a bunch of large-capacity HDDs and be done with it, but like most off-the-shelf hardware, they're not particularly specialised for this type of work, even though they might be "good enough" for most.
So then, what do Ae drives offer the discerning business owner? First off is a chunky 6.xTB of storage. What does the "x" denote? According to WD, the drives have "Progressive Capacity" -- that is, as yields and technology improves, the size of the disks will increase, up to a maximum of 6.5TB.
Before you get too excited, this only applies to "shipping" hardware, so you won't magically gain an extra 500GB down the track if you buy early.
The other specifications aren't anything to write home about -- support for SATA 6Gb/s, a spindle speed 5760rpm and a 64MB cache. Read / write power consumption is 6.9W and 7.2W respectively.
It sports a mean time before failure (MTBF) of 500,000 hours -- about par for a consumer drive -- and a three-year warranty is also provided (which seems a bit short for a cold-storage device).
[Western Digital, via TechReport]