I have over 250TB of storage, and while most of the drives are either IronWolf or WD Red Plus, I have 32TB of drives sourced from WD’s desktop hard drive enclosures, just like the easystore. All you have to do is buy the enclosure, remove the HDD from within — the process is called shucking — and you can then use it in your NAS enclosure the same way as any NAS HDD.
The downside is that it takes about 10 minutes to remove the drive from the enclosure, but the upside is considerable cost savings. WD is currently selling the 18TB easystore for just $199 at Best Buy, and that’s a $205 discount on what it usually costs. To give you some context, a NAS-focused WD Red Pro drive currently retails for $337, so you’re easily saving at least $137 by going the easystore route.
The drives that are housed within the easystore are white-label options, but they’re just rebranded versions of the WD Ultrastar DC HC550 drives that are designed for data center use. In case you’re wondering, that particular drive costs $329 for the 18TB version. Anyway, I used the 16TB variants of the same drives for just over three years in my main NAS server, and they just crossed 20,000 hours of use without any issues whatsoever.
This is basically the best NAS hard drive deal you’ll find this Black Friday, and if you’re looking to maximize value and don’t mind putting in a bit of work to remove the drive from its enclosure, I highly recommend getting the 18TB easystore. The only issue is that these drives tend to sell out incredibly soon, so you better act fast. And if you missed this deal, the 14TB easystore is also listed at $199 — it isn’t as good a value, but you’re still getting a better deal than traditional NAS HDDs.