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Selecting hard drive for WHS RRS feed

  • Question

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    With the current data corruption bug not yet resolved and (my own personal) current needs being modest, I would assume that if one is custom assembling a WHS box the largest single hard drive one's budget can handle would be the way to go.  One can install a 500 or 750 single hard drive and after a few months (or year or two) one can add additional drives in matched pairs as needed.  Can someone comment on this idea and give me some direction?  Thank You.
    Thursday, February 28, 2008 8:28 PM

Answers

  • Sure you could start with one drive, if you can live without duplication. It is also a good idea to have the first drive be as big as your budget allows. The beauty of WHS is that you don't have to add drives in matched pairs. When you need more space, or duplication, simply add a drive no matter the size or interface, and add it to the storage pool through the connector software.

    Friday, February 29, 2008 1:38 AM

All replies

  • Sure you could start with one drive, if you can live without duplication. It is also a good idea to have the first drive be as big as your budget allows. The beauty of WHS is that you don't have to add drives in matched pairs. When you need more space, or duplication, simply add a drive no matter the size or interface, and add it to the storage pool through the connector software.

    Friday, February 29, 2008 1:38 AM
  • I am thinking of the one drive idea because reports are that a single drive system is not affected by the data corruption bug.  I assume that a single drive without duplication that has a low probability of failure or corruption is much less of a negative that a multiple drive with duplication that has a high probability of failure or corruption.  When the bugs are squashed, multiple drives with duplication would certainly be the way to go.

    Friday, February 29, 2008 1:48 AM
  • Hi John, I can't recommend highly enough the Western Digital RE2 drives.  They are slightly more expensive than standard desktop drives, but have 1.2 MTBF rating (twice standard) and are about the fastest drives currently on the market.  They also continually undertake background surface scans, automatically moving any bad blocks before you even access them (bad blocks are totally normal in hard disks, in a 'standard' drive, if detected it will re-try the read, almost certainly succeeding, and re-allocate the block to a spare zone, so you never see them).

     

    The are also viabration resistant (important in multi drive scenarios to maintain throughput) and relatively energy efficient, the device moves the read-write head only quick enough to ensure it's in position when the sector comes around, standard drives will move it as quick as possible and then wait for the sector to come around.

     

    Friday, February 29, 2008 10:47 AM
  • Thank you for the recommendation.  I will certainly consider that when I am ready to spend the bucks.  I really want to get this remote access issue that I am having worked out and see that working before I spend 3 digit money on a harddrive.  I fear that I may have to spend the price of a suitable harddrive on a new modem before I get things working.  That will delay the harddrive for several weeks.  Gosh, in my younger days, I thought Hot Rods were expensive.

     

    Saturday, March 1, 2008 6:50 AM
  • I can recommend the Seagate 7200.10 family of drives.  My first drive was a 320 GB as was my second, the third was 500 GB and the fourth is on order, a 750 GB.  They seem to all work pretty well.  Rated MTBFs are 700,000 hours and the warranties are 5 years.  The aren't the fastest but they are down to $0.24 / GB.

     

    Monday, March 3, 2008 2:19 AM
  •  Jeshimon wrote:
    I can recommend the Seagate 7200.10 family of drives [....]

     

    I'll second that.

     

    These drives are whisper quiet, even when writing/reading.

     

    And they run cool too.  With a pair of 320GB and a decent gap (one drive space) between drives, in an uncluttered case, I'm getting drive temperatures 43 to about 48 degrees C (depends on activity).  But well below their rated maximum 60 degrees C.

     

    Monday, March 3, 2008 5:18 AM
  • Thanks to both of you recent posters.  I appreciate all the input I receive.  I'm not sure about the model number that one of you suggest.  Is that the one that is labeled "Barracuda"?  I certainly lean toward Seagate over Western Digital because the only two harddrive failures I have experienced since the mid 80's have been Western Digital Caviar models.  One of these has been just recently on a brand new computer less than 3 months old.  Of course, I also understand that two failures in more than 20 years, statistically, doesn't really constitute a  trend.  Just as a comment for thought; I consider a very quiet harddrive a negative.  I have a couple of recent drives that are so quiet, I don't hear any noise from them at all and I sometimes want to know if there is any activity.  I have had to add a harddrive activity light to one so I can monitor any activity.  It seems that harddrive activity lights are going the way of 3.5" floppy drives.  I kinda miss the old tickity-tick from harddrives.  Thanks, guy's.   John

    Monday, March 3, 2008 7:18 AM
  • Yes, they are called "Barracuda", but so are the 7200.11 series drives.  I would suggest 320, 500 or 750 capacity.  They are available in SATA and ATA100 interfaces.  I listed the ATA100s from Newegg, I hope that doesn't step on anyones toes.

     

    http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?item=N82E16822148133

     

    http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?item=N82E16822148135

     

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148139

    Monday, March 3, 2008 7:35 AM
  • The 7200.10 SATA is an exceptionally fast and reliable disk, with a 5 yr guarantee to back it up, plus no TLER worries to argue about!  A good choice IMO.

     

    Strangley, I've also experienced many failures from WD over the years.  Although, I do honestly believe that they've upped their game since (say) 10 years ago considerably.

     

    Monday, March 3, 2008 7:41 AM
  • Two weeks worth of backups and system are using 60 GB (20 system and 40 backup)  I will only have 100-150 GB shared files to store on the server so, as backups build to max, they probably will not require over 100 GB total.  If I need 100 for backup, 20 for system, and 150 for saved files; anything over 320 GB would be an overkill.  When the corruption bug is fixed a second 250 would be in order to have sufficient space for file duplication.  (I have listed all this as a solicitation for comment.)  I have short feet and steel toe shoes, so don't worry that you are going to step on my toes because your opinion may differ from mine.  If I didn't want to hear other people's ideas, I would not ask for them, and I am asking.  I want to hear your side even if I disagree.  You may make some point to convince me to change my opinion.  I do buy from Newegg, as well as Directron, Tigerdirect, TechOnWeb, and a few others.      John

    Monday, March 3, 2008 8:16 AM
  • p.s.   I assume that the rule to use no more than 75-80% of maximum harddrive capacity for storage is applicable to server duty as well as desktop PC.  Does anyone need to correct my assumption on that point?    Thank You     John

    Monday, March 3, 2008 8:23 AM
  •  

    If you've not got the disk(s) already, I would say just but a 500GB job.  You'll only be saving $10 or $20 on a smaller unit and file sizes do expand to fill the available capacity!
    Monday, March 3, 2008 8:34 AM
  • Yeah, Jimbo, I'm sure you are right there.  I will have to be buying these drives.  I've got a short stack of still working drives in two digit number sizes, but none the size I need.  The extra $20 or $30 spent now will perhaps save spending $120 or $130 later on sometime.  I just don't want to go overboard like some people do just to say that I got more of something (drive space in this case) than somebody else.  My social security checks aren't as big as some of these working pro's checks are.

     

    My motherboard has two ide headers and 4 sata headers (plus an FDD header) so I can use whichever drive system I choose.  Since I have the choice, and there is insignificant difference in price, with all else equal, I assume it would be better to go with the latest technology (sata); wouldn't you think?  Two or three years from now they are all going to be obsolete when solid state storage will be taking over with huge capacities.  (2TB SD card, anyone?)       John

    Monday, March 3, 2008 9:05 AM
  •  john3347 wrote:

    Yeah, Jimbo, I'm sure you are right there.  I will have to be buying these drives.  I've got a short stack of still working drives in two digit number sizes, but none the size I need.  The extra $20 or $30 spent now will perhaps save spending $120 or $130 later on sometime.  I just don't want to go overboard like some people do just to say that I got more of something (drive space in this case) than somebody else.  My social security checks aren't as big as some of these working pro's checks are.

     

    My motherboard has two ide headers and 4 sata headers (plus an FDD header) so I can use whichever drive system I choose.  Since I have the choice, and there is insignificant difference in price, with all else equal, I assume it would be better to go with the latest technology (sata); wouldn't you think?  Two or three years from now they are all going to be obsolete when solid state storage will be taking over with huge capacities.  (2TB SD card, anyone?)       John



    John,

    Motherboards are starting to be made with a single IDE channel.  In the future some may be made without any IDE channels.  The best bet is to buy a sata drive for future compability.
    Monday, March 3, 2008 7:09 PM
  • I know Lliam, I am seeing more motherboards without any onboard graphics too.  I look for them to be eliminating the FDD header soon, as well.  They eliminated the 3.5 floppy drives a few years ago already.  They are making it rough on us home tinkerers who piece up components that we scrounge from discarded machines and freshen up with a new motherboard, processor, and memory.  For that reason, I like this Intel D102GGC2 that I am working with as my server.

     

    Your point on future compatibility is particularly applicable to me for the reason that I mention here.  I thank you for reminding me of that additional consideration.  Thanks for the post.      John

    Monday, March 3, 2008 9:20 PM
  •  john3347 wrote:

    Since I have the choice, and there is insignificant difference in price, with all else equal, I assume it would be better to go with the latest technology (sata); wouldn't you think?  Two or three years from now they are all going to be obsolete when solid state storage will be taking over with huge capacities.  (2TB SD card, anyone?)       John

    That all makes sense, but presently I have WHS on a mobo with PATA/ATA100 controllers on board and none of the SATA controllers look very future proof so I am sticking with the devil  I know for now.  Nothing is future resistant let alone future proof.

    Monday, March 3, 2008 10:51 PM
  • True that nothing will be future proof, but the further up the hill you start, the easier it is to finish getting to the top.  If I had bought 300 GB harddrives in the late 90's and early 2000's I wouldn't have all these 60's and 80's (and a 3.2 and a couple of 6.x) kicking around.  There are already rumblings about a solid state storage drive coming soon.  I imagine it will be a totally different form factor, but similar to a memory module in the way it connects with, and interacts with the motherboard and processor.
    Tuesday, March 4, 2008 3:29 AM
  • Yeah right.  In the 1930s you could buy a console radio that was TV compatible.  What that meant was it had an external audio input.  Looking toward the future with blinders on is very pointless.

     

    Tuesday, March 4, 2008 5:30 AM
  •  john3347 wrote:
    There are already rumblings about a solid state storage drive coming soon.  I imagine it will be a totally different form factor, but similar to a memory module in the way it connects with, and interacts with the motherboard and processor.

    Unless the technology changes substantially in the near future the chips used have a finite number of write cycles and would not be suited to use in a server.

    Wednesday, March 5, 2008 5:04 AM
  • John,
    Jeshimon is right about the new solid state drives having limited write cycles, also they will be expensive for a while.
    May I recommend the Seagate NS series, they are designed for server application and are very reliable. I run a small computer repair shop and have noticed the failure rate of SATA drives much higher than IDE/PATA drives. Many people will not use SATA in servers because of this. The Seagate NS drives are known as 24/7 drives made to run for long periods of time they have a 16 mb cache, 7200rpm's, run cool and silent, a 5 yr warrenty cost a few dollars more but worth it. They are the only drives I use and so far out of 60+ drives I've installed with no failures. The WD's are a good second choice but not as fast as the Seagate's.

    Wednesday, March 5, 2008 5:30 PM
  •  Jimi Two Feathers wrote:
    John,
    Jeshimon is right about the new solid state drives having limited write cycles, also they will be expensive for a while.
    May I recommend the Seagate NS series, they are designed for server application and are very reliable. I run a small computer repair shop and have noticed the failure rate of SATA drives much higher than IDE/PATA drives. Many people will not use SATA in servers because of this. The Seagate NS drives are known as 24/7 drives made to run for long periods of time they have a 16 mb cache, 7200rpm's, run cool and silent, a 5 yr warrenty cost a few dollars more but worth it. They are the only drives I use and so far out of 60+ drives I've installed with no failures. The WD's are a good second choice but not as fast as the Seagate's.



    Jimi, could the higher failure rate of sata drives that you're seeing be a result that there are more sata drives in use these days?
    Wednesday, March 5, 2008 6:30 PM
  • Good question, Over the years I've seen many IDE drives and lots of failed drives of all kinds, my records show that per 100 or so IDE drives compared with 100 or so SATA drives that the SATA's had a much higher failure rate almost 2 to 1!

    Thursday, March 6, 2008 6:27 AM
  • "cost a few dollars more"

     

     

     

    I want to thank you for this input Jimi Two Feathers.  I am not familiar with the harddrive series that you mention.  At $110 for a 500 GB Barracuda harddrive (TigerDirect), how much more money would constitute "a few dollars more" for a "server grade" series?  Where does one get a "server grade"  harddrive if they chose to go that route?

    Thursday, March 6, 2008 4:18 PM
  •  john3347 wrote:

    p.s.   I assume that the rule to use no more than 75-80% of maximum harddrive capacity for storage is applicable to server duty as well as desktop PC.  Does anyone need to correct my assumption on that point?    Thank You     John

    It seems that WHS makes sure there is at least 20 GB free on all the drives in the storage pool.  It would seem that the Free space would be proportioned to the size of the drive, but it seems not.  I should add a 20 GB to the pool to see if WHS keeps it empty.

    Monday, March 10, 2008 4:14 PM
  •  CSPea wrote:

    And they run cool too.  With a pair of 320GB and a decent gap (one drive space) between drives, in an uncluttered case, I'm getting drive temperatures 43 to about 48 degrees C (depends on activity).  But well below their rated maximum 60 degrees C.

    I have 4 drives in my system, all 7200.10 Seagates.  3 are mounted in a Lian-Li EX-23.  At Idle they run 35-26 degrees C.  The 4th is mounted in normal location for the HDD in the case and it Rina at 42 degrees C.  Next time I have the case open I plan to move the 4th dive into the Lian-Li and put one of the cooler drives in its location and make sure the Lian-Li is actually the cause of the difference.  If it I will buy another.
    Monday, March 10, 2008 4:28 PM