Western Digital Expands Purple Surveillance Storage Options with 18TB HDD and 1TB microSDXC Models

Western Digital has been marketing their surveillance-focused storage solutions under the Purple branding since 2014. After the SanDisk acquisition, the company started selling WD Purple microSDXC cards as a complement to the SanDisk High Endurance cards, bringing in ruggedness and durability in terms of weather and humidity-resistance as well as extended operating temperature range (-25C to 85C). The Purple drives and cards come with firmware tweaks that make them a better fit for SMB / SME network video recorders (NVRs) and IP cameras.

In conjunction with the release of the EAMR-enabled 16TB and 18TB WD Red Pro SMB NAS HDDs, Western Digital is also releasing a 18TB WD Purple Surveillance Hard Drive. WD markets the ATA streaming features and caching support in the Purple hard drives under the AllFrame moniker. There are two variants – the AllFrame 4K is for 6TB and lower capacity drives that are 5400RPM versions with a 180TB/yr workload rating. This allows recording of up to 32 simultaneous video streams. The AllFrame AI version (for 8TB and higher capacity drives operating at 7200RPM with a 360TB/yr workload rating) allows recording of up to 64 video streams simultaneously with the reading of 32 video streams for analytics purposes. Specific NVRs also support the Western Digital Device Analytics feature for monitoring the health of the installed Purple hard drives. These drives carry a 1.5M hours MTBF rating and a 3-year warranty. The 18TB drive availability is scheduled for October 2020.

The WD Purple 1TB microSDXC card is the new capacity flagship in the lineup. Similar to the other microSDXC cards in the WD Purple line, the WD Purple SC QD101 1TB version also utilizes BiCS 4 96-layer 3D NAND flash (500 p/e cycles, QLC-based). The endurance rating is enough for the drive to support up to 512TB of writes. The warranty period is for 3 years from the data of purchase, or the TBW workload limitation (whichever is earlier). Certain IP cameras such as the Tyco Cloud Illustra Series from Johnson Controls also support card health monitoring when microSDXC cards in the WD Purple SC QD101 are used. This allows installers to remotely monitor the remaining lifespan of the installed card, if needed. WD expects the card health monitoring scheme to become available in cameras from other OEMs in the future. Similar to the Purple HDDs, the SC QD101 cards also carry a 3-year warranty. The 1TB version is expected to become available in November.

The prices for the new products are expected to be announced closer to availability.