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HDD RAID Drive replacement - What drive

Posted on 2013-12-30
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Last Modified: 2013-12-30
Current config
4 each 500 Gig Maxtor drives in a RAID 1-0

Drives are hosting Hyper-V images

Would like to replace the 4 drives with two 1 TB or larger drives now as a raid 1
and then add two more drives in the future to rebuild the raid as a 1-0.

I know It will be a complete data/raid rebuild for both steps

I am looking at the WD Black and the WD Red NAS drives

What would be the best drive to use, red or black?

Server has no more than 5 users hitting it at a time but hosts 4 Hyper-V guests
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Question by:kstech
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by:dlethe
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Neither ... you want to get an enterprise class drive designed for 24x7x365 and RAID use.  The WD RED drive is designed for low-end appliances, and while more suitable than the black, it isn't much better.

If you can't afford a SAS drive, then go to the WDC site and look at the SATA disks in the enterprise class and choose one of them.  The extra few hundred dollars to protect your data is worth it.

The link to their enterprise class is here:
http://www.wdc.com/en/products/internal/enterprise/
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by:kstech
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Not sure I need the Enterprise solution, although I like the idea.

The Maxtors have been in operation hosting vmWare machines for 5+ years under windows server 2003 and I just converted them all over to Hyper-V under Server 2012 Data Center. I figure if I can get another 5 years out of a set of Red's or Blacks I would be happy. Cost is a factor since this server spends about 60% of its life idle waiting on something to happen as it were.
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dlethe earned 300 total points
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The biggest reason(s) you need enterprise class drives are:
1. The ECC (error correction code) is often 10-100X better.  This means fewer unrecoverable errors, and less likelihood of catastrophic data loss in event of a HDD failure.   Pay attention to these specs in the drive you select.  

2. They have TLER, which means error recovery is designed to either repair or abort recovery in a few seconds. Some RAID controllers absolutely must have TLER or you risk the RAID controller to kill a drive on consecutive read errors.  Ever have a HDD fail when nothing seemed to be wrong with it, and was able to bring it into the RAID again?  That is likely TLER.  

You didn't mention the controller, but you better read the specs and make sure you know if it requires enterprise drives. The black drives do not have TLER.  Now windows software RAID works on non-TLER disks, but you won't be using that with VMware.   I can't remember if the RED has this.

3. The true enterprise drives have advanced firmware that repairs ECC errors in background during idle speed.  The red/blacks do not do this.  

The older maxtor drives were might higher quality than what is produced today.  They were designed for reliability.  The red/black drives are designed for low cost manufacturing and profit.  You're talking $30 manufacturing cost for the red/blacks.  

The enterprise class drives will also run much faster in real world due to other factors I don't want to get into.  

If price is the issue, then of course, do what you have to.  But do at least consider the cost of data integrity and downtime amortized  

One final thing, should at least be the nail in the coffin against the black .. the black is a desktop drive.  It is designed for 2400 hours ANNUAL use, with light duty cycle 8 hours a day, 300 days a year.   At least the firmware in the RED is tuned for 24x7x365 so this is the better of the two no matter what.
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by:pgm554
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The black drives are the same price as the enterprise,so why not just get the enterprise?

A 1 TB black is around $100 bucks and an RE 1 TB is about the same.
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by:kstech
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Will go with the Enterprise.

Thank you for the education on the differences.
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