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Best hard drives for servers? - Page 2

post #11 of 20
Sata's were not meant for servers. They are built cheap, designed cheap, using cheap parts. That's why you see them _mainly_ in desktop systems.

That said, We (the company I work for) use them in server builds when the customer can not afford better drives (sas, scsi, FC,etc) and they last pretty good. Several storage companies also use them in their low end products (Dell (use to be Equalogic), Adaptec, etc).

The main number you are looking for in a server SATA drive is the MTBF or Mean Time Between Failures. We typically use Seagates, but that is usually a customer preference. I personally have not seen WD or Seagate differ in the amount of RMA's we get and that is usually what I would suggest.

The next item you should be concerned with is performance. Unless performance IS your first priority then look at the reviews.
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post #12 of 20
Thread Starter 
Sweet, thanks for the tips about the ES drives. Man, why is info about server drives so hard to find in the first place?

Rep + to the both of you.

EDIT: airbozo, your post came in as I was posting... SATA seems to be the way of the future to me, even for servers. Why would you use a difficult-to-work-with interface like SCSI instead of SATA? Why would SCSI be better than SATA?
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by SgtSpike View Post
Sweet, thanks for the tips about the ES drives. Man, why is info about server drives so hard to find in the first place?

Rep + to the both of you.

EDIT: airbozo, your post came in as I was posting... SATA seems to be the way of the future to me, even for servers. Why would you use a difficult-to-work-with interface like SCSI instead of SATA? Why would SCSI be better than SATA?
SAS is basically the successor of SATA, and does have the advantages of both SATA (easy to use) and SCSI (higher speed (15k!) and superior parts, even though at a price). For a 'home' server, and even a small business server, SATA is good enough imo. Going SAS is quite a price jump.
    
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post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chozart View Post
SAS is basically the successor of SATA, and does have the advantages of both SATA (easy to use) and SCSI (higher speed (15k!) and superior parts, even though at a price). For a 'home' server, and even a small business server, SATA is good enough imo. Going SAS is quite a price jump.
Certainly. My dad works at Honeywell, and their servers are... Extensive. I went with him to work one day a while back, and while he was making a printer dilevery to the main datacenter, I was able to take a peek at what they were running in there... It was pretty impressive. Basically all 15k RPM drives with some major server hardware. I would say the room was 1000sq ft., and it was filled with hardware.

In that scenario, you would want SCSI or SAS drives, but in a lower-end home or light use server, you can't justify the extra cost of going to the high-end of drives.
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post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chozart View Post
SAS is basically the successor of SATA, and does have the advantages of both SATA (easy to use) and SCSI (higher speed (15k!) and superior parts, even though at a price). For a 'home' server, and even a small business server, SATA is good enough imo. Going SAS is quite a price jump.
I don't believe 15K drives have to do anything with SCSI or SAS. In theory, a SATA 15K can be produced without too much work. SATA and SAS have the same device bandwidth: 3GB/s.

SAS main advantage is additional functions:
1) Support for like longer cable lengths (8m)
2) More devices per cable.
3) Unique drive identification
4) Better error detection
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post #16 of 20
Thread Starter 
Interesting... keep the discussion going, I'd like to learn as much about the differences between SATA and SAS as possible. For now though, it would be impractical for us to use SAS. The drives are just for a surveillance surver that's tower-housed (not even rackmount). We've just been having drives fail left and right.

That being said, I just discovered that the drives we've been using are RE2 drives by Western Digital, which are essentially WD's comparable of Seagates ES.2's. They both have a MTBF of 1.2m hours. So, it looks like I won't be able to find an improvement on what we have, which continues to lead me to believe that the drive failures were due to heat.

Unfortunately, the raid controller we're using for the drives doesn't seem to track drive temperature, so I only get a reading from the OS drive. It's been a constant 40C for the past several days now, which seems a reasonable temperature. I didn't get a chance to see the OS drive temp before I moved the system, so I'm not sure how that compares to the heat the drives were under before the move.

Anyway, thanks for the tips guys, especially those of you who pointed out the ES.2 drives - that was exactly what I was looking for, even though it didn't end up helping me out.
post #17 of 20
Thanks Chozart for answering...

Couldn't have said it better.

They way the WD rep explained it to me was that SATA drives were built like pata drives with the cheaper interface (yes sata is cheaper to produce), while SAS drives were built using SCSI parts and a more robust and fault tolerant SATA interface. Sata Drives will fit in a SAS connector, but SAS drives will NOT fit in a sata connector.

SCSI is still pretty useful in some instances. Nothing like 15 drives on one cable... Performance would be impacted though.

Now Fibre Channel is still in use by the customers that need raw performance. They are costly though.

I have this cool adapter sitting on my desk that converts SATA drives to a FC interface so you can use cheap SATA drives in FC arrays.
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post #18 of 20
Thread Starter 
Interesting info airbozo, thanks.
post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by SgtSpike View Post
*Bump* C'mon, someone's got to know something about server hard drives... does everyone just use run-of-the-mill hard drives in their servers these days? If so, that's ok, I just want to be sure that there's nothing better out there.
Well, everyones definition of server could be different.

Do you have a domain? Are you running PCI-X? Are you running SCSI on that platform?

SATA wasn't really made to handle the constant read and write like a SAS drive. If you are running explicitly SATA, any should do. I would run Seagate because of its warranty.
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post #20 of 20
Thread Starter 
Atlas - I take it you didn't read the rest of the posts? Might want to do that before posting.... but thanks for the suggestions anyway.
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