Enlarge /. Hattis Law makes no allegations against the allegations made in his class action lawsuit and not only urges WD not to use SMR technology in non-ideal devices, but accuses them of complete deception.
All three of the surviving conventional hard drive manufacturers – Toshiba, Western Digital and Seagate – have recently caught themselves in unexpected places sneaking hard drives with Shingled Magnetic Recording technology. But Western Digital was the bravest of the three and was selected in response to a class action lawsuit.
Although all three major manufacturers have tacitly added SMR hard drives to their line of desktop hard drives, Western Digital is the only one to have included them in their Network Attached Storage (NAS) stack. NAS drives in RAID and other arrays with multiple hard drives are expected to perform well, regardless of whether they are ZFS pools or consumer devices such as Synology or Netgear NAS appliances.
In sharp contrast to Western Digital's position on SMR hard drives as NAS, Seagate manager Greg Belloni said that there are currently no SMR hard drives in the Ironwolf line (Western Digital Red's competitor) and that the technology is not suitable for them Purpose.
"Seagate only produces CMR NAS drives," says Belloni. "We have no SMR drives in our Ironwolf and Ironwolf Pro drives. These are NAS solutions (…) for which we do not recommend SMR for NAS."
Accordingly, Hattis Law has initiated a class action lawsuit against Western Digital. The lawsuit alleges that SMR technology in the newer Western Digital Red drives is unsuitable for the marketed purpose of the drives, and that Western Digital has deliberately "deceived and harmed" consumers.
Enlarge /. Although Western Digital's 4TB SMR hard drive performed adequately in light tests, it performed poorly when used to replace a hard drive in a degraded four-drive RAIDz1 vdev.
Hattis' position is strengthened by a series of tests published yesterday by the ServeTheHome website. The results show that the new 4 TB Red "NAS" disk from Western Digital performed adequately as a desktop drive, but was not suitable for a ZFS storage array (zpool).
Although Western Digital, to the best of our knowledge, does not have an official policy to replace Red Drives that were unwittingly purchased from SMR, several readers have shared their individual success stories about Western Digital's customer support team replacing such hard drives with non-SMR drives for free.
Those interested in all the details can view the full text of the Hattis Law class action lawsuit here.