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Is the 4TB Seagate ST4000DM000 good at all for RAID 0?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Simple question, was wondering how stabled it'd be to have three of them in RAID0, ideally using win7 software RAID. I'm wanting to upgrade the 2TB-based RAID I've got to newer drives, and drop the number of disks down for safety's sake.
post #2 of 7
RAID 0 with 4 TB drives (each drive having 4 1TB platters) is probably one of the most unsafe things you can do. That's really living on the edge. I mean sure you could do it and it will work but if one drive goes you're screwed. You're much safer to run RAID 5 (minimum of 3 drives needed) or RAID 0+1 / RAID 10 (not sure on which is better but both are similar) with 4 drives.
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post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dopamin3 View Post

RAID 0 with 4 TB drives (each drive having 4 1TB platters) is probably one of the most unsafe things you can do. That's really living on the edge. I mean sure you could do it and it will work but if one drive goes you're screwed. You're much safer to run RAID 5 (minimum of 3 drives needed) or RAID 0+1 / RAID 10 (not sure on which is better but both are similar) with 4 drives.

I should clarify that-- it would be backed up daily off-system. My main question isn't "is RAID0 wise", it's "is that model of drive good for RAID, at any RAID level"? I know some are, even at the consumer level, but some aren't RAID compatible at all-- I was wondering where this one falls.
post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Christie View Post

I should clarify that-- it would be backed up daily off-system. My main question isn't "is RAID0 wise", it's "is that model of drive good for RAID, at any RAID level"? I know some are, even at the consumer level, but some aren't RAID compatible at all-- I was wondering where this one falls.

The hard drive itself has absolutely no bearing on whether or not you can place it in a RAID array. It all comes down to the controller and what it can do (whether it's onboard from the motherboard or a dedicated RAID card or whatever).

Will it work? Yes. It will work fine. Even with doing backups I think three 4TB drives striped (again- 12 platters in total between them) is silly. Here is a review on an individual drive so you can get an idea of performance.
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post #5 of 7
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At the moment we have 5x 2TB in RAID0, but the drives are aging, and twice in the past month we've needed to rebuild the array from a backup because a drive's dropped out (this only started recently). three drives instead of six would lower the odds of that happening, and be less of a burden on the controller than six drives would be. The reason i asked about this specific model, is because I've seen more than one drive that simply is *not* RAID compatible, especially some of the non-TLER WD drives. These *appear* to have TLER, but I can't find anything definitive on Seagate's site.

The main reason we're running RAID0 is access speed, and hardware independence, software RAID0 means we can move the RAID to any system, or upgrade easily. We'd considered switching to the ICH10R onboard when we changed the drives, but we're going to stick with the software RAID for independence. We also considered RAID5, but getting four drives instead of three (so we keep the same RAID capacity, >10GB) is just a little more than we've got in the budget at the moment, and I'm concerned about the difference in throughput/access times, RAID5'd be a lot slower as i understand it.
post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dopamin3 View Post

The hard drive itself has absolutely no bearing on whether or not you can place it in a RAID array. It all comes down to the controller and what it can do (whether it's onboard from the motherboard or a dedicated RAID card or whatever).

I'm sorry but you are incorrect. There are hard drives that are programmed in the firmware for consumer tier drives that intentionally throw raid failures and will not function -AT ALL- in any form of raid setup, with any controller, in any level of raid. One example is the early versions of Western Digital's Velociraptors had firmware issues that prevented the drives from being configured in RAID mode. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Digital_Raptor#VR150M

Most consumer drives work okay in raid, but there are some that do not. Some manufacturers are doing this to force people to buy enterprise versions of their drives for RAID at a steeper cost.

I have 3 x seagate 750 GB 32 MB Buffer SATA-II hard drives here. If I use them individually (1 per computer system) they work perfectly, pass all surface scans and health checks and have zero errors. If I configure them in raid in any system (Onboard raid or hardware card) within a week one of them will come up "raid failed" and make 'clicking noises' and appear to of failed. But if I take it out and put it in another computer alone, it'll come up healthy. I've tried these drives in 5 different computers, trying onboard RAID, Software RAID, and Hardware-Card RAID, and this always happens every time. They're firmware programmed to fail in raid. It's not common, but it does exist.

As to the original poster, I do not know if your exact model 4 TB drive works in raid or not, I would suggest googling or looking for reviews. I just wanted to take a moment and state this (lesser known) fact about hard drives.

As to your other question Christie: Raid5 would be significantly slower (roughly -80% performance or more) if you are doing raid5 with either software, or the ICH10R. If you want close to raid-0 performance for raid 5, you absolutely have to move to a dedicated hardware raid card to get good performance out of a raid5 array. This would obviously be more cost up-front, but also you could move that controller to any OS or system and just load the driver and it would appear, just like your current (Software) needs are.

The reason for this is parity calculations for raid 5 systems being performed by your main system processor (in software or ICH10R mode) would be significantly slow, for your processor to do everything else and then that too. Moving to a hardware raid card will have a dedicated CPU on the card to perform the parity calculations and off-load it from the main processor.

Raid 5 will always be slightly slower than raid-0 no matter what the configuration, but at least with a hardware card it would be a lot closer compared to software/onboard.

For example.. I had 6 x 7200 rpm SATA-II hard drives at one point in time, on an x58 system using the ICH10R onboard. I tried once and configured them in raid-5 using the ICH10R, and even after the "Raid build" or "verify" portion, it ran about 25 - 40 MB/sec average performance at all times. Later I moved to a dedicated hardware card and in raid-5 on the hardware card with the same hard drives I was seeing around 300 - 325 MB/sec at all times.
Edited by kithylin - 6/3/13 at 12:15pm
post #7 of 7
The reason the drive didn't work in RAID was because of faulty firmware... Because something is admitted to be faulty does not mean it was inherently designed to not support RAID. Some drives may not support all the features like TLER but they will still work in RAID (although this is not ideal). Can you provide proof of any SATA hard drive that doesn't work in RAID? I don't think you can because it is completely controller based. If a drive has buggy firmware that's no reason to claim it wasn't designed for RAID.

So to clarify again, yes the drives will work fine in RAID0. Do they support CCTL/TLER (whatever Seagate calls it? Double check with Seagate but it's looking like no. According to an Amazon review:
Quote:
That said, of course these do not have TLER, RAFF and other advantages of enterprise-class drives.
So I think for such an array you are much better with having that feature, buy an enterprise level drive. But if each drive is backed up daily off-site, do you need to worry about that feature to rebuild the array? I don't know.
Edited by Dopamin3 - 6/3/13 at 5:10pm
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