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Enterprise drives vs High end consumer drives for home Raid 6

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June 16, 2012 11:02:14 PM

So basically I'm building a home file/back up server. I'm going to be going with an Areca raid card that supports 8 sata drives. I plan on doing a 6 drive Raid 6 and a 2 drive Raid 1. Am I crazy for wanting to go with Enterprise RE4 drives for the Raid 6? Or am I not going to notice a difference in life of the drives in real world use?

It's a pretty significant difference in price, like 120 - 130 $ per drive, are the enterprise drives really worth it?

Thanks in advance for anyone's thoughts on this, I appreciate it.
June 16, 2012 11:09:14 PM

Enterprise drives are typically used for sustained high capacity throughput of data in a server environment where users access data constantly. Typically a raid 6 would be a sound implementation where the storage system does not have regular monitoring or access, such as a remote dr site.

So the short answer is for home use you could save money on the less expensive drives. You still have data loss prevention with the raid 6, so you could lose 2 drives without loss of data. With the money you save per drive you could get a large SSD, maybe even two and mirror them for performance and protection.
a c 318 G Storage
June 16, 2012 11:15:18 PM

I've been using Hitachi 7Kx000 7200 rpm consumer drives for years for non-mission critical NAS boxes and have never had one fail (knock on wood). I currently have two 8 disk 3tb per drive RAID 6 boxes that have been 24/7 for 7 or 8 months (on Adaptec 6805 cards) and they are fine. If I were doing it today I would use 7K4000 drives for the added space since I am running low on the bluray image NAS, but the 7K3000 drives are great.

I do use RE4 drives for customers that need the added security, but they all use Xeons and ECC memory for workstations and servers for the same reasons.

I would go with a high end consumer drive, but keep in mind that RAID is not a backup, just a fault tolerant storage. I have all of my data on the original bluray or dvd for the home stuff and on multiple drives in safe storage or cloud backup for anything important.
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June 17, 2012 4:21:57 AM

Thanks for the feedback guys! I think I'll be going with high end consumer drives now. I hadn't thought about the difference being my server won't be under constant reading/writing stress.


Also yeah, the important stuff will be getting backed up to multiple sources, as well as the weekly backup to an external, and such.

I appreciate the help!
a c 88 G Storage
June 17, 2012 4:41:15 AM

There's no need for you to use Raid-6. Raid-6 is identical to Raid-5 except there are two parity blocks rather than one. This allows for a RAID to be rebuilt with two simultaneous drive failures (or when a second drive fails while the RAID is being rebuilt from the first failure). The chances of this happening are so infintisimally small that it's not worth it outside of a datacenter where drive failures are common.
June 17, 2012 2:25:51 PM

Google "time limited error recovery" and see if you think consumer WD drives will drop out of the array more often because long runnign error recovery actions make the raid controller think they are dead. I use a WD black w/o TLER in SW raid 1 with no problems, but raid 5/6 in hardware may have tighter requirements. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Error_recovery_control#Wes...

ignore the following if you are happy with the 2x raid 1, 6x raid 6 config.

---------------

For me, RAID5 saves money at cost of performance and risk during rebuild. RAID6 with two drives spare makes no sense compared to raid 10. Consider building an 8 disk raid 10 array instead of 6 drive Raid 6 and a 2 drive Raid 1.

1. Outstanding performance from an 8 drive raid 10 array
2. Much better rebuild/replace strategy for all drives.

2 X raid 1 and 6 x raid 5 drive capacity = 6 drives of data
2 X raid 1 and 6 x raid 6 drive capacity = 5 drives of data
8 x raid 10 = 4 drives of data.

Depending on your goals, raid5 give you more data/$ and raid 10 gives you much better recovery each time the array needs to be rebuilt.

IF you buy low cost drives for the RAID10 array they will still way outperform high priced drives in the raid 5/6 array at lower power cost so with 8 total drives the total cost of your solution can actually be comparable or less for raid10.
a c 318 G Storage
June 17, 2012 3:24:25 PM

IMO RAID 10 is a waste for the OP -- 4 drives out of the 8 for mirroring is excessive unless it is really critical to the mission, which it is not for him. Nested RAID 5 or 6 would be more sensible often, but that is well beyond his home needs. RAID 6 or RAID 5 with a hot spare using total of 8 drives makes sense and is very reasonable from a fault and cost standpoint.
June 17, 2012 4:50:30 PM

Yeah I had seen some of the issues with TLER and WD, plus it seems all the 3TB WD drives are green drives. I don't know about the rest of you but I've tried 2 green drives in the past as basic storage drives on a desktop and both failed with in a year of use. I'll be staying far away from green drives.

I'm probably leaning towards the Seagate barracudas now.

My girlfriend and I are animators and the raid 6 will be for both storage of our animation files, demo reels, and for our music library. I'm not that concerned with performance, since we'll both be working off local drives and the animation/reel files will be copied to the raid 6 and raid 1 each night as a backup. Along with once a week coping to separate externals that will be kept in different places.

I just like the redundancy that the raid 6 and raid 1 will give me.

I still need to look into cloud storage options as well. Though between both of us our animation/demo reel stuff is close to 20 - 30 gigs. Not sure the prices on that yet for cloud storage backup.

Thanks again for the replies everyone!
June 29, 2012 9:37:20 PM

To my way of thinking, it makes no sense to go with anything other than Enterprise Class drives for a RAID-6 or RAID-5. The whole purpose is insurance; security? Right? Used to work for a large distributor of systems and the failure rate on desktop drives, say Seagate vs the Constellation enterprise drives is enormous. Same holds true for Hitachi.

Do it right, or why even bother with RAID? That's just my opinion, of course.




ShinJohnpv said:
So basically I'm building a home file/back up server. I'm going to be going with an Areca raid card that supports 8 sata drives. I plan on doing a 6 drive Raid 6 and a 2 drive Raid 1. Am I crazy for wanting to go with Enterprise RE4 drives for the Raid 6? Or am I not going to notice a difference in life of the drives in real world use?

It's a pretty significant difference in price, like 120 - 130 $ per drive, are the enterprise drives really worth it?

Thanks in advance for anyone's thoughts on this, I appreciate it.

a b G Storage
June 29, 2012 10:10:53 PM

http://www.mpcclub.com/forum/showthread.php?t=22898&pag...
This is what I built. It runs over 2yrs.
Two incident with a drive failed.
Replace new drive, 6hrs later, everything is back to normal

4x RAID5 - each raid5 is 5x 2TB WD green drive...

No drive has drop out on me yet...

Combine them all together as a BIG Volume

I love the the Green drive, cuz it cools and consumes only 5~6W.

40TB RAW volume NAS, transfer over 80MB/sec via Gb E, consumes less than 190W power.

You spend $$ on RE, which does not buy ANY thing. No one can guaranteed you RE will last longer than Green drive. It only offers more warranty

I use Desk top drives on Server's RAID all the time...

For home use I would not speed money with Desktop or Enterprise drive, i would have an extra drive just as inventory. Just in case for far no headache except replace a new drive and send BAD drive back for RMA
!