WD Announces New Purple Drive Version

The WD Purple NV, in which their secret sauce is even saucier, or something.

It still comes with AllFrame technology, which allegedly "helps to reduce video footage loss with a proprietary cache policy management technology to help improve data flow and playback. WD Purple includes exclusive firmware upgrades that protect against video pixilation and interruptions within a surveillance system."

Additionally, they're built with tarnish free components, which "offers premium protection in harsh environments where surveillance systems can be installed" (useful if true).

Also, it's optimized for larger systems, up to 64 cameras, although no word on how this is done or what this means, exactly.

Product page here.

Spec sheet here.

Comes in 4TB and 6TB. No word yet on street pricing.

Also, it's optimized for larger systems, up to 64 cameras, although no word on how this is done or what this means, exactly.

Simple math really, once you know how many MB the camera is. ;)

At ISC this year at the Hikvision booth a Hikvision rep said the Purple tech was developed by Hikvision and licensed it to WD. Any truth to this?

Michael- This is not correct. Hikvision does extensive testing with new WD products and works closely with WD engineering in qualifying the performance of their drives.

Thanks Bob. I did think it was odd.

Any word if WD is obsoleting non-NV purple drives?

Brian- from what I am told, NV will be a premium over std Purple so I doubt Purple is going anywhere.

Can we take your response as a tacit confirmation that the Purple technology comes to the West via the Silk Road? ;)

Hi all. I believe I can clarify the Purple NV product for you.

First off, it does not replace the Purple product, which has been a commercial and reliability success story, and we expect that to continue.

The NV version represents an enhanced version of Purple, and features the 3 following differences:

  1. Tarnish Resistant Components. This is achieved via a PCBA coating process, which encapsulates the external circuit board and provides protection against harsh airborne agents.
  2. The addition of Rotational Vibration (RV) Sensors. These hardware sensors, combined with a significantly deeper servo positioning control algorithm, allow for use in high vibration systems. Typically, this translates to an ability to maintain throughput performance in a RAID environment. It is also effective in high density chassis’ that may utilize high/variable speed fans. (This is the capability that allows this version of the drive to be “spec’d” for higher camera counts, as utilizing RAID achieves a spindle multiplication based performance advantage)
  3. Adaptive Caching Firmware. While the Purple drive is tuned for streaming video files and has a write/read cache algorithm to match this use case, the NV version has this “AllFrame Technology” plus the ability to revert to a more RAID appropriate cache management that might be tough of as “Server Mode”. This allows the NV version to stay in step with multiple file system types, which in turn leads to better performance and higher reliability.

Disclaimer: I work for HDSTOR, a niche distributor of hard drives focused on the security industry. We sell Seagate and HGST drives, but the majority of our sales are WD. We greatly appreciate the value of the IPVM community and it's non-commercial nature. We only post or comment when we believe we have factual, helpful information for the IPVM community.

Alan Nagl

Director of Engineering Service, HDSTOR Inc.


This is really great, thanks. Glad to have a bona fide hard drive expert here.

Followup: say I'm building a server, and I'm going to have four hard drives for storage in addition to the small SSD for the OS and the VMS. Should I be using Reds, Purples, or Purple NVs? Why?

Hi Ari,

There are a few more variables that have an effect on the answer. Can you advise:

Will the system record to one drive at a time, or split the incoming data to multiple drives?

Constant 24/7 usage?

Can you describe the applications' handling of the incoming data?

Do you have an understanding of the total system workload over time? (GB/hr, or TB/yr)

Hi Alan,

Would you be comfortable to use these in a RAID array of 6 to 20 drives (instead of the RE4 drives that we currently use)?

I would need to know more detail about the system in question, before I could advise whether Purple NV would be an appropriate choice.

I would need to know the streaming data rate, file system details, and other specifications of the system, such as warranty..

If you would like to discuss your system in private, I can be reached at Alan@hdstor-inc.com

Hard drive reference materials and usage guidelines can be found here (at our HDSTOR website)