2 Replies Latest reply on Mar 6, 2011 11:31 AM by Bill Gehrke

    Advice on what hard drive to buy for Raid


      I will buying 8 of http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136544 these hard drives and i will be using a http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816131004 raid controller to put them in RAID 3. Western Digital sais that these hard drives are not suitable for raid, the only hard drive i can find that is, is this one http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136797. I was wondering if there is an actaul difference between these two that makes a difference. Also I was wondering if any of you guys know of another hard drive that would be good for raid that is below 100$.

        • 1. Re: Advice on what hard drive to buy for Raid
          JEShort01 Level 4

          Your drive and controller choice look good to me.


          I have used an Areca controller with WD Blacks for the past couple of years, and so long as you do have some form of backup other than RAID 5 redundancy on your PC you should be OK with "consumer" drives (aka WD Blacks, Hitachi Deskstar, etc.) as opposed to "enterprise" drives intended for RAID systems (AKA WE RE3, RE4, Hitachi Ultrastar, etc.).


          The enterprise drives have:

          - generally better parts - possibly some companies pick the best platters with the fewest defects for their more expensive drives

          - sometimes some features that help with vibrations caused by multiple drives in a PC all working in tandem

          - almost always a feature that will keep the enterprise drive from continuing to try and correct any error while reading or writing beyond a set number of seconds; WD calles this TLER (Time Limited Error Recovery);


          I've seen individuals suggesting that the spin-up time setting be increased from the default of .7 seconds up to 1 second when using consumer drives to help prevent consumer drives from being flagged as bad. I have not done this and I've never had a drive drop out in two years.


          I have about 50% enterprise drives (RE3 1TB WD's) and about 50% consumer drives (Black 1TB 32MB cache) which are very similar, except for firmware. In two years I've had one bad drive; no data was lost, just performance of the RAID and even that was pretty subtle. And by the way it was one of the RE3 drives that did go bad, not one of the consumer drives! When I started with the WD drives it was possible to download some software and set the TLER time on the consumer drives and gain much of the benefits of the enterprise models without paying for the much more expensive drives. Then, about a year ago WD changed their WD Black line to defeat this utility (it was a WD TLER utility!) from working with their consumer drives any more; yes, their have been some upset users over this one!



          • 2. Re: Advice on what hard drive to buy for Raid
            Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant

            I have a suggestion when initially getting any drives for use in RAID arrays.  Test both read and write performance in intially RAID 0 to make sure all the drives are performing properly.  I have found several times now that my initial configuration of drives did not live up to the expected results. Test one drive and mutiply by the number of drives minus maybe 5-10%.  Then go set up your RAID 3 setting.   Essentially any setting other than RAID can require hours of initilization time, that why you want to weed out non-cooperative drives with the RAID 0 test. If I can getfully back on line I can show good and bad results.