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Old June 19, 2011, 10:46 PM
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Default Anyone familiar with enterprise/server HDDs? Opinions?

Hey guys,

Originally I wanted a nice, fast mechanical hard drive. I won't get an SSD until they come down in price because over a dollar per gig is unacceptable. I was looking at the WD VelociRaptor originally, but then a friend of mine told me about the RE-4 series, with the 2TB drive that has the two controllers and two R/W heads running in parallel. Turns out it beats the VRs in, like, every possible way, and they're cheaper per GB too (bout 10 cents per gig vs. around 6 for normal HDDs and around 50 for VRs). I started doing some digging and found that Seagate actually puts out a similar hard drive from their enterprise server line, the Constellation ES. It has basically the same specs, also features dual processors, etc. It's also about 5 dollars cheaper but that doesn't really concern me. What I am concerned with is reliability. Obviously these drives are meant to withstand 24/7 operation, near-constant file operations, etc., but in terms of mechanical failure, build quality, customer service and warranty, etc., which brand typically comes out on top?

TL;DR: Western Digital or Seagate and why?

Please refrain from fanboiing it up in here, I actually want a logical, coherent answer if possible.
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Old June 19, 2011, 11:06 PM
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When my team had a small lab of HP servers running as storage and VMs we were using Western Digital drives for the most part. Desktops-wise we were just running Hitachis.

I saw tons of hard drive failures (like 6 within a year on a Raid4). As a consumer, I don't think that you will ever need to purchase enterprise drives for personal rigs. It is more cost effective to have regular backups on secondary drives or in a NAS.

Drives will die regardless of if they are enterprise class or not really. I don't have really any metrics to back-up what I am saying, just from experience.
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Old June 19, 2011, 11:30 PM
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Honestly, I'd be doing it more for the performance than for the whole reliability thing. It'd be running on its own, no RAID, no special configurations or backing up or crazy usage, just my normal Windows drive, but the fact that I can smoke raptors, and have 2TB drive, for 10 cents a GB? Can you see why those drives are attractive to me?
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Old June 20, 2011, 01:05 AM
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Well the thing is. At least for me.

If I wanted absolute performance for running applications & games...I'd buy an SSD (which I have).

For storage, I'd do a RAID setup (10 or 5), its cost effective, overall good performance and has data redundancy.

I know there are many people who don't want the hassle of creating RAID arrays (not really a hassle anymore, and is ridiculously easy to do now). But the price premium for enterprise drives for a consumer build, to me, doesn't make much dollar sense. I can build a 2TB (2x1TB RAID0) that can easily smoke the 2TB enterprise drive in terms of performance and dollars with a bit of setup.

Bottom-line, I don't think its an effective use of your money.
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Old June 20, 2011, 10:04 AM
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So I have a Samsung F3 1TB right now as my primary drive. Would you suggest getting another one for RAID 1, and an SSD as the boot drive? Or maybe just another drive for RAID 0 if I wanted to be more miserly?
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Old June 20, 2011, 01:28 PM
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It really depends on your needs and money you want to spend.

An SSD isn't really necessary, you will notice applications and windows loading faster on an SSD for sure. I have a 120gb Vertex 2 and used around 60gb for applications alone. It was "worth" the $180 I spent on it. Of course, you might not think the Price per giga is worth it for you.

Simply getting another Samsung F3 1TB might be a good idea and throw it in RAID0. Yes, if you lose one drive you lose all your data, but then again, if you are willing to spend xxx dollars on a single drive, then the failure of that single drive will ruin your data anyways.

So in your position I would buy a 60gb SSD and use it as a boot drive along with applications you value (things you want to load faster). Then throw everything else on your Samsung.

If you are like me...I'd love to do a SSD + 4x1TB RAID10 which the RAID in itself is not too expensive, just the SSD is the expensive bit.
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