SAN -- Dell EqualLogic, off support ?

What recommend do you have for UNSUPPORTED Dell
EqualLogic SAN hard drive replacements If the below comment from
http://www.networkcomputing.com/storage/diy-storage-why-i-built-my-own-san/a/d-id/1234137?
is true ?
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You can't add commodity drives, even the same model as the vendor sells, because the drive won't have the vendor's firmware. Downloading the manufacturer's firmware update utilities and trying to flash the drive with supported vendor firmware doesn't appeal to me. I'm confident I could reverse-engineer the firmware update to a point where it would work, but I'd be out of support, and possibly mistrustful of the modified drive's integrity.
finance_teacherAsked:
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Max SandoConnect With a Mentor Storage EngineerCommented:
I wouldn't go about trying to flash the drive. It still might not even work. I am not 100% sure on the EQL but some of SAN offerings actually go by serial number of the drive also.

Building your own SAN as this person did in the future would take care of this issue, but opens the doors to a lot of more issues also.  Software Defined Storage has a place, but its not everywhere are some people would like you to think.

For now I recommend what Seth said, just pay for the drive. Keep in mind eventually you will have to deal with the larger fact that you are running a large piece of equipment out of support.
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Seth SimmonsSr. Systems AdministratorCommented:
if you have a drive failure, you can still get a replacement drive from dell
you'll just have to pay for it since it's out of warranty
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finance_teacherAuthor Commented:
I called Dell twice, stating that I will be off warranty and want to purchase the drive.

Both times Dell said NO, need to be on support to purchase EqualLogic drives.

Any suggestions ?
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Max SandoStorage EngineerCommented:
I see. Might have to buy some grey market drives on the open market. You should be able to buy singles on eBay.
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