[kwlug-disc] Some thoughts on drives -- Re: Wanted: help in refining presentation

Cedric Puddy cedric at ccjclearline.com
Tue Jul 24 14:36:29 EDT 2012

My experience with "Green" drives in arrays is that simply don't work in many cases.  I tried plugging one into one of my HP Proliant DL servers, and it didn't even stay spinning long enough to be recognized when the array controller initialized.

I could get the array controller to see it (for about a minute) by hot pulling and replugging the drive, then doing an immediate rescan of the ports, but then it would spin down again and disappear.

However they've implemented the firmware on those "Green" drives, there are definitely controllers that do *not* know how to play nice with them.

Note that there is the new WD Red line, which is designed for 24/7 NAS operations in the consumer market (even for the WD Black, they don't come out and *say* that 24/7 operation is one of the design parameters).

I tend to buy all Seagate Constellation drives myself, for NAS/server purposes, which would be the equivalent of WD XE, RE, or RE4 series drives (XE and RE SAS are 2.5", and RE4 units are 3.5").  Sometimes I substitute a Barracuda (which I see as an equivalent of the WD Black series).

Also, if you are looking for long warranty's, be cautious at Canada Computer and such -- in order to get the cheapest possible price, they often resell "OEM" SKU's, which have no warranty at all from the manufacturer (the idea is that if the unit breaks, you have to get satisfaction from the OEM that you bought it from, and the Canada Computer warranty is 90 days -- I've had that happen to me there.  

My normal distributors don't let me buy the OEM skus (I would need special authorization, etc.), and I'm not sure how a street level retailer would qualify as an "OEM" (given that they can't claim to be manufacturing or integrating anything), so it was a pretty nasty shock to find out that I had accidentally ended up with a costly paperweight.

Now that I think of it, I should try and find the receipt/details on that transaction, and complain to Seagate -- the more  I think about it, the more it seems that a retail store selling OEM SKU's like that is just plain *wrong*.


On 2012-07-24, at 1:49 PM, L.D. Paniak wrote:

> Hash: SHA1
> This is probably the chassis you would want today:
> http://www.supermicro.com/products/system/4U/6047/SSG-6047R-E1R36N.cfm
> "Green" drives in storage arrays tend to cause problems because they are
> always spinning down.  The Western Digital Black series is a much better
> choice.
> On 07/24/2012 09:36 AM, Colin K wrote:
>> Just a follow up to my last post from my droid. The links to the
>> articles i mentioned above.
>> Article version 1:
> http://blog.backblaze.com/2009/09/01/petabytes-on-a-budget-how-to-build-cheap-cloud-storage/
>> Article version 2:
> http://blog.backblaze.com/2011/07/20/petabytes-on-a-budget-v2-0revealing-more-secrets/
>> Now just to get my hands on a chasis like that :P and find a stray box
>> of western digital green 2+terabyte drives sitting at the side of the
>> road and I'll be happy :P the multiplier backplanes last time i
>> priced them were close to 80$.
>> On Tue, Jul 24, 2012 at 12:46 AM, unsolicited <unsolicited at swiz.ca> wrote:
>>> le:
>>> - we're all running a web server in a vm appropriately isolated off,
> aren't
>>> we?
>>> - want to check out a <something>, and there's an appliance?
>>> - following best practices, we're all running pfsense, right? No,
> well how
>>> about doing so in a vm?
>>> - any of Kiwi's potential topics
>>> - probably many more
>>> - especially, and particularly with ESX, there's a certain mental
> distrust
>>> of the non-physical to overcome. Making people more comfortable with
> having
>>> one around, and care, feeding, and control, leads to all else.
>>> - serving up thin clients (PXE?) seems useful. Although such a
> presentation
>>> would probably spend most of the time on the nature of the clients served
>>> up. Serve up xbmc for an evening's entertainment, reboot the next day
> to do
>>> 'real' work?
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