Western Digital has unveiled a new high performance hard drive that it claims will offer customers greater control over their data and positions resellers to offer a cheaper upgrade path for aging Windows PC estates.
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Its new WD Black² drive combines a 2.5 inch 120GB SSD with a 1TB HDD, and fits into a standard 9.5mm slot through a single legacy SATA connection.
The firm said that the drive will be able to exploit the increased processing power of solid state to run enterprise apps and operating systems, before quickly offloading data usage back to the hard drive, increasing both the endurance the potential lifetime of the SSD.
WD Storage Technology SVP Matt Rutledge said that customers had said they liked using the firm’s solid state hybrid drive technology, but had been asking for more control over where they stored their data.
“The WD Black² dual drive is a direct result of our interaction with our customer base through WD Labs initiatives,” he said. “WD devised its beta labs programme to provide an exclusive testing arena for key customers and technology influencers.”
For channel partners, a WD spokesman told MicroScope, the product would not be sold as a “normal disk but as a complete upgrade kit”, including a version of Acronis for WD to clone old drives, and features to enable Microsoft operating systems to see the two drives separately despite accessing them through one SATA connector.
WD said it hoped the Black² series would enable partners to return to existing customers with an upgrade path, offering greater control over data and potentially reducing the need for cloud-based storage options.