Consumer

WD Unveils Advanced High-Capacity Storage Solutions For Creatives and Media Professionals

Western Digital has announced a comprehensive expansion of its SanDisk and WD product lineup at this year’s NAB show. This major rollout includes cutting-edge G-DRIVEs, an array of high-capacity memory cards, and versatile JBOD systems designed to address the evolving needs of media and entertainment professionals.

Western Digital has announced a comprehensive expansion of its SanDisk and WD product lineup at this year’s NAB show. This major rollout includes cutting-edge G-DRIVEs, an array of high-capacity memory cards, and versatile JBOD systems designed to address the evolving needs of media and entertainment professionals. These advancements promise to significantly enhance how professionals handle high-resolution video production, complex digital workflows, and data-intensive applications, setting a new standard for performance and capacity in the industry.

SanDisk Professional G-DRIVE (24TB)

The first is the SanDisk Professional G-DRIVE 24TB model. This updated capacity is precisely engineered to meet the rigorous needs of creative professionals, particularly those working with large video files in 4K and 8K formats. Its USB-C connectivity supports high-speed data transfers, which is critical for efficient workflow management. The drive is housed in a robust aluminum enclosure that provides a sleek design and offers enhanced durability and thermal management, ensuring the drive operates coolly under continuous heavy use.

Specifications

  • Capacity: 24TB
  • Interface: USB-C (USB 3.1 Gen 1) with up to 10 Gbps
  • Drive Speed: 7200 RPM
  • Compatibility: Pre-formatted for macOS; Windows compatible with reformatting
  • Enclosure Material: High-quality aluminum for optimal heat dissipation
  • Dimensions: 8.27 x 5.12 x 1.79 inches
  • Weight: Approximately 2.72 kg (6 lbs)
  • Price: MSRP $699.99

This high-capacity hard drive features enterprise-class reliability and is designed to handle intense read and write cycles. It’s ideal for storing large multimedia files, including video and photo libraries, and supports time-sensitive data backup and archiving. With macOS plug-and-play compatibility and easy reformatting for Windows, it offers flexibility across different platforms, making it a versatile tool for diverse professional environments.

The SanDisk Professional G-DRIVE also features a whisper-quiet operation, which is very important in video and sound editing environments where noise levels can affect production quality. Additionally, the G-DRIVE supports Apple Time Machine for macOS users, making it an excellent choice for professionals looking to implement robust data management and disaster recovery strategies seamlessly.

SanDisk Professional G-DRIVE PROJECT (24TB)

Building on the foundation of the standard G-DRIVE, the SanDisk Professional G-DRIVE PROJECT edition is tailored for collaborative environments where data transfer speed and reliability are paramount. It includes both Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C interfaces, providing high versatility in connectivity options. This model features a modular PRO-BLADE SSD Mag slot, making it not just a storage solution but a significant enhancement to the workflow, allowing for easy swap-out and sharing of SSD storage modules.

The G-DRIVE PROJECT is also designed to be a powerhouse for data-intensive tasks. It boasts an enhanced cooling system, which allows for longer sustained drive operations, which are crucial during large file transfers or extensive video editing sessions. The PRO-BLADE SSD Mag slot adds a unique level of expandability and flexibility we don’t often see in other external drive solutions, as it allows users to quickly scale their storage capacity or transfer large chunks of data between devices or workstations without compromising speed or efficiency. This feature is valuable for teams working in dynamic and fast-paced media production environments.

Specifications

  • Capacity: 24TB
  • Interface: Thunderbolt 3, USB-C (USB 3.1 Gen 1) with up to 10 Gbps
  • Drive Speed: 7200 RPM
  • Compatibility: Pre-formatted for macOS; Windows compatible with reformatting
  • Enclosure Material: High-quality aluminum with additional structural reinforcements
  • Dimensions: 8.27 x 5.12 x 1.79 inches
  • Weight: Approximately 2.85 kg (6.29 lbs)
  • Price: MSRP $929.99

The G-DRIVE PROJECT modular design also ensures data redundancy, making it ideal for projects that require frequent access to large files and swift editing capabilities. Including Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C ports allows the G-DRIVE PROJECT to serve as a central hub for multiple devices, enhancing the efficiency of project workflows. The drive’s enterprise-class specifications ensure durability and reliability, which are crucial for maintaining productivity and safeguarding critical data.

48TB G-RAID MIRROR

The 48TB G-RAID MIRROR is designed to offer secure and reliable storage solutions for professional media production environments where data redundancy is crucial. Featuring RAID 1 mirroring, this device automatically duplicates all stored data across two drives to prevent data loss in case of hardware failure. This setup benefits video editors, photographers, and digital artists who cannot afford to lose their projects or client files. Equipped with Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C interfaces, the G-RAID MIRROR facilitates high-speed data transfer, essential for handling large files like raw video footage or high-resolution images.

Like its G-DRIVE PROJECT counterpart, the integration of the PRO-BLADE SSD Mag slot extends the functionality of the G-RAID MIRROR by offering a modular approach to storage. This feature allows users to enhance their storage capacity or speed by adding PRO-BLADE SSD modules as needed. This modular system is especially beneficial in multi-user environments where different projects may require varied storage solutions at different stages of production.

With dual connectivity options via Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C ports, the G-RAID MIRROR ensures compatibility with a wide range of devices. It allows for daisy-chaining with other storage solutions or peripherals. This versatility makes it an excellent choice for studios that use old and new technology, providing a bridge between different generations of tech with minimal bottlenecks.

Specifications

  • Capacity: 48TB
  • Interfaces: Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C (up to 10 Gbps)
  • RAID Configuration: RAID 1 (Mirroring)
  • Drive Type: Enterprise-class 7200 RPM HDD
  • Compatibility: Pre-formatted for macOS, Windows compatible with reformatting
  • Additional Features: PRO-BLADE SSD Mag slot, durable aluminum enclosure
  • Dimensions: 251 x 144 x 86 mm
  • Weight: Approximately 4.08 kg (9 lbs)
  • Price: MSRP $1,599.99

96TB G-RAID SHUTTLE 4

The 96TB G-RAID SHUTTLE 4 is a compact and transportable 4-bay RAID storage solution that offers flexibility and security for media professionals working with extensive video projects. This device supports multiple RAID configurations, including RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10, allowing users to choose the optimal balance between speed and data redundancy. Moreover, its portable build (including a nice handle for easy transporting) makes it an ideal choice for studio and on-location shoots where high-capacity, fast-access storage is necessary.

Equipped with Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C interfaces, the G-RAID SHUTTLE 4 provides high-speed data transfers up to 1,000MB/s, enabling real-time 4K video editing and rapid file transfers. This performance is essential for reducing downtime in post-production and ensuring that projects meet tight deadlines. Including hardware RAID controllers ensures consistent performance and reliability under heavy load conditions.

The G-RAID SHUTTLE 4 is also designed with scalability in mind, featuring hot-swappable drive bays that allow for easy expansion and maintenance without downtime. This capability is crucial for growing media libraries and evolving project requirements.

Specifications

  • Capacity: 96TB
  • Interfaces: Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C
  • RAID Configuration: RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10
  • Drive Type: Enterprise-class 7200 RPM HDD
  • Transfer Rate: Up to 1000 MB/s
  • Compatibility: Pre-formatted for macOS, Windows compatible with reformatting
  • Additional Features: Hot-swappable drive bays, transportable design with carry handle
  • Dimensions: 247 x 174 x 360 mm
  • Weight: Approximately 8.6 kg (19 lbs)
  • Price: MSRP $4,499.99

192TB G-RAID SHUTTLE 8

The 192TB G-RAID SHUTTLE 8 stands out as an exciting addition to the field of high-capacity storage solutions, as it is tailored for media professionals and production houses that require massive data storage capability. This transportable 8-bay hardware RAID solution supports a variety of RAID configurations, making it highly versatile for different data protection and speed requirements. Its ability to support RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 50, and 60 makes it suitable for everything from high-speed data access to complex redundancy for maximum data security.

This device is about storage capacity, enhancing workflow efficiency, and ensuring data is always secure, whether in transit or the studio. The G-RAID SHUTTLE 8 is an essential tool for professionals who routinely deal with large volumes of data and require a reliable, high-performance storage solution.

With transfer rates of up to 1,690MB/s read and 1,490MB/s write in the default RAID 5 configuration, the G-RAID SHUTTLE 8 also offers the performance needed for real-time 4K and 8K video editing tasks. It is designed for both on-location use and studio setups, providing the reliability required to handle large-scale projects and daily workflows without compromising on speed. The device’s Thunderbolt 3 connectivity allows for daisy-chaining additional storage solutions or peripherals, enhancing workspace flexibility.

Moreover, the G-RAID SHUTTLE 8 has a rugged chassis designed to withstand the rigors of transport and frequent use in various environments. Despite its large capacity, it remains highly portable, equipped with a built-in carry handle. This feature benefits professionals who need to move between sets or locations and require a dependable storage device that can travel with them.

Technical Specifications

  • Capacity: 192TB
  • Interfaces: Thunderbolt 3 (support for daisy chaining)
  • RAID Configuration: RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 50, 60
  • Drive Type: Enterprise-class 7200 RPM HDD
  • Transfer Rates: Up to 1690MB/s read, 1490MB/s write
  • Compatibility: Pre-formatted for macOS, Windows compatible with reformatting
  • Additional Features: Portable design with a carry handle, rugged chassis for durability
  • Dimensions: 247 x 360 x 174 mm
  • Weight: Approximately 14.5 kg (32 lbs)
  • Price: MSRP $7,499.99

Western Digital Ultrastar Transporter

The Western Digital Ultrastar Transporter is a high-throughput, large-capacity data transfer platform explicitly designed for the M&E industry. This device offers up to 368TB of high-speed NVMe SSD storage, making it ideal for data-intensive use cases, such as video production and broadcasting. Its dual port 200GbE connectivity ensures rapid data transfer rates, essential for quickly moving large files across different locations, including direct uploads to cloud services.

Like most of the products mentioned today, this unit is also built with mobility in mind. It weighs less than 30 lbs and is equipped with a durable chassis and a transport case that make it suitable for on-location shoots where a reliable network connection is not feasible. The added features of a tamper-evident case and FIPS 140-2 level 2 compliance with TPM Version 2 enhance the security of the data stored, ensuring that sensitive content is protected against unauthorized access during commutes.

Because the Transporter is designed to be ported from one location to another, WD indicates that this can save days or sometimes weeks compared to traditional online file transfer methods. This efficiency is vital for professionals who must handle daily rushes and massive files that require high security and immediate availability.

Specifications

  • Capacity: Up to 368TB
  • Interface: Dual port 200GbE
  • Drive Type: NVMe SSD
  • Security: Tamper evident case, FIPS 140-2 level 2 compliance, TPM Version 2
  • Additional Features: Portable with a durable chassis and transport case
  • Dimensions: Standard transport case sizes
  • Weight: Less than 30 lbs (13.6 kg)
  • Use Case: Ideal for broadcasters, CDNs, and production houses requiring mobile, high-speed data transfer

Western Digital Ultrastar Data102 JBOD Platform

The Western Digital Ultrastar Data102 JBOD Platform is engineered to meet the needs of businesses requiring massive data storage capacity. This third-generation platform can support up to 2.65PB of data in a 4U enclosure and features connectivity up to 24Gb SAS. It is specifically designed to handle mass storage, backups, and accessible archives for online and nearline content, making it an essential part of data management for large M&E projects.

Equipped with the latest 24TB Ultrastar hard drives, the Data102 3000 model benefits from Western Digital’s proprietary ArcticFlow and IsoVibe technologies. These innovations help reduce HDD returns by 62 percent by minimizing the effects of heat and vibration, two common causes of drive failures. This reliability is crucial for maintaining the integrity and availability of high-value data.

This JBOD platform is reliable, scalable, and designed to support future storage needs with its high-density capability and advanced hard drive technology. The forward-thinking design ensures that investment in the Data102 platform is protected against rapid technological advancements, providing a long-term storage solution for complex data environments.

Specifications

  • Capacity: Up to 2.65PB
  • Interface: Up to 24Gb SAS
  • Drive Type: 24TB Ultrastar DC HC580 SAS HDDs
  • Features: ArcticFlow and IsoVibe technology
  • Form Factor: 4U enclosure
  • Dimensions: Standard 4U rack mount
  • Compatibility: Designed for high-density storage applications
  • Target Users: Suitable for broadcasters, cloud data centers, and large production studios needing extensive, reliable storage

Next Gen SanDisk SD and microSD Express Memory Cards

Lastly, Western Digital has unveiled a significant upgrade to its memory card portfolio with next-generation SanDisk SD and microSD Express solutions. These cards offer SSD-like speeds and are designed to meet the increasing demands of applications that require quick data access and storage. They are compatible with existing SD UHS-I and UHS-II devices but are also equipped to handle the needs of future high-speed devices. Moreover, the next-gen SD and microSD Express Memory cards include the SanDisk ThermAdapt technology, which maintains a safe operating temperature through an adaptive thermal managed controller and a specially designed enclosure.

The new lineup includes:

  • SanDisk SD Express Cards (128GB/256GB): These cards deliver transfer speeds up to 4.4X faster than Western Digital’s fastest SD UHS-I card. They are backward compatible and positioned for both current use and future tech advancements.
  • SanDisk microSD Express Cards (128GB/256GB): These cards offer a 4.4X increase in speed over Western Digital’s fastest microSD UHS-I cards, making them an excellent option for professional workflows that require extensive storage and speed.

Additionally, Western Digital announced entries in high-capacity memory cards tailored for media and entertainment professionals:

  • 2TB SanDisk Extreme PRO SDXC UHS-I Memory Card: This is the first 2TB UHS-I SDXC card on the market, allowing professionals to capture and store more high-resolution images and 4K UHD videos.
  • 2TB SanDisk Extreme PRO microSDXC UHS-I Memory Card: As the fastest and first 2TB UHS-I microSD card from Western Digital, this memory card significantly extends storage capabilities for compatible devices.
  • 4TB SanDisk Extreme PRO SDUC UHS-I Memory Card: Slated for release in 2025, this card will be the world’s first 4TB UHS-I SD card. It will offer unprecedented storage capacity under the SDUC standard, which supports up to 128TB. Look for the 4TB SanDisk Extreme Pro SDUC UHS-1 to preview during NAB 2024, showcasing its potential to enhance storage solutions for cameras and laptops.

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Lyle Smith

Lyle is a staff writer for StorageReview, covering a broad set of end user and enterprise IT topics.

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