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Hardware Thread, May just have had an idea that'll save a few hundred quid in Technical; What do you lot think? I'm putting a new file server in this summer as the old one is (a) ...
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    BatchFile's Avatar
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    May just have had an idea that'll save a few hundred quid

    What do you lot think?

    I'm putting a new file server in this summer as the old one is (a) full and (b) 7 years old going for a Fujitsu S7 like this Fujitsu PY TX150 S7 XEON X3430 2x2GB 1333 ECC UB/DVD-RW (VFY:T1507SX100GB) - dabs.com . I need a lot of storage, like 2TB or so... but the Fujitsu HDDs that size (1TB and use 4 for Raid 10) are really really expensive, getting on for £250 each. They're only SATA disks in any case.

    My brainwave is as follows: buy 4 small fujitsu drives, say 160GB, which are much cheaper, throw the disks away (well keep them as spares for workstations), keep the hot swap caddies and put 4 large standard £30ish SATA disks in instead. They're raided (and hot swappable) so reliability's not really an issue, and I've succesfully swapped a normal HDD into a caddy for our Acer servers so in principal it should work out fine shouldn't it?

    Unless of course it's possible to buy the caddies seperately, but I haven't seen any anywhere...

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    teejay's Avatar
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    Been there, got the t-shirt, now buy the manufacturers official ones rather than 3rd party. Not all HDD's play well in server RAID systems.

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    BatchFile (25th April 2012)

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    Quote Originally Posted by teejay View Post
    Not all HDD's play well in server RAID systems.
    +1. Western Digital drives are particularly bad.

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    BatchFile (25th April 2012)

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    BatchFile's Avatar
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    I was going to stick to whichever manufacturer was in the caddies when they arrive... that any better?

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    The problem with SATA drives is the speed. It may cause bottle necks.

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    How many users are you going to be supporting with this server?

    There is a big differance between standard desktop drives and 'enterprise class' drives which you will find out about all too soon if you go down the wrong path....

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    glennda's Avatar
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    If you do it that way make sure you buy enterprise grade HDD's not the normal desktop ones - I bought 20 2TB ones and they where about 130 each

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    BatchFile (26th April 2012)

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    They're not that different if they're the same spec. It's mostly just the Time Limited Error Recovery firmware setting. Depending on your ability to alter raid settings, and whether a 2 min pause would be a problem. Also "Enhanced RAFF technology includes sophisticated electronics to monitor the drive and correct both linear and rotational vibration in real time. The result is a significant performance improvement in high vibration environments over the previous generation of drives.". And they're tested for running 24/7.

    Error recovery control - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    If you're using zfs, advice seems to be to disable TLER

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    Quote Originally Posted by mavhc View Post
    If you're using zfs, advice seems to be to disable TLER
    Would you want to ditch the fake Raid altogether if you have the luxury of zfs? I'm sure I read somewhere that zraid prefers direct attached disks rather than LUNS or raided systems. One of my mini projects is zfs for our fileservers (I reckon around 2x dedupe from tests) and am wanting to know the best way of doing it (on SAN)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur View Post
    +1. Western Digital drives are particularly bad.
    What do you base this on? All my main server data drives are Western Digital Black drives, running RAID 5 without any issues or failures. They have been in use for the last 2 years now without a hiccup, so from my point of view, i would never use any other manufacturer.

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    BatchFile's Avatar
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    Hmmm... Just been doing a little digging on the Fujitsu TX150 S7 that we've already got (Backup DC so only 160 GB drives) and found that the drives in it (Fujitsu supplied Hot Swap) are Seagate Barracuda ST3160318AS 's - been doing a bit of reading on seagate.com (attached here 100529369b.pdf) and from what I can tell they're just standard drives - aren't they? the only occurance of "Enterprise" in the entire document is to say
    2.11.1Annualized Failure Rate (AFR) and Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF) The product shall achieve an Annualized Failure Rate (AFR) of 0.32% (MTBF of 0.75 million hours) when operated
    in an environment of ambient air temperatures of 25°C. Operation at temperatures outside the specifications
    in Section 2.8 may increase the product AFR (decrease MTBF). AFR and MTBF are population statistics
    that are not relevant to individual units.
    AFR and MTBF specifications are based on the following assumptions for desktop personal computer environments:
    •2400 power-on-hours per year.
    •10,000 average motor start/stop cycles per year.
    •Operations at nominal voltages.
    •Temperatures outside the specifications in Section 2.8 may reduce the product reliability.
    •Normal I/O duty cycle for desktop personal computers. Operation at excessive I/O duty cycle may degrade product reliability. The desktop personal computer environment of power-on-hours, temperature, and I/O duty cycle affect the
    product AFR and MTBF. The AFR and MTBF will be degraded if used in an enterprise application
    If that's the case is there really that much to gain by using the Fujitsu branded stuff at several times the cost?

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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    Would you want to ditch the fake Raid altogether if you have the luxury of zfs? I'm sure I read somewhere that zraid prefers direct attached disks rather than LUNS or raided systems. One of my mini projects is zfs for our fileservers (I reckon around 2x dedupe from tests) and am wanting to know the best way of doing it (on SAN)
    I just use ZFS on my home NAS currently. It definitely wants to just use bare drives. There's a slight interesting point about whether to use the raw drive or a whole partition, if you were replacing the drive with one a few sectors smaller it wouldn't work. Also there's the 4k align stuff for Advanced Format 4k drives.

    ZFS speed depends on CPU more than other filesystems, as it CRCs everything, when I switched from an ATOM 330 to a AMD E350 it sped up quite a bit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mavhc View Post
    I just use ZFS on my home NAS currently. It definitely wants to just use bare drives. There's a slight interesting point about whether to use the raw drive or a whole partition, if you were replacing the drive with one a few sectors smaller it wouldn't work. Also there's the 4k align stuff for Advanced Format 4k drives.
    .
    I didn't think zraid cares what size the drive is because it just adds it to the pool, unlike traditional raid systems.

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    If you're replacing drives it does for raid5 or 6 type pools. For raid 0 type it doesn't matter. Also you can add more raid 5 type collections to a pool.

    Eg 5 2TB drives in raidz1 (raid 5), mounted as /tank, then add 5 3TB drives in raidz1, add that to /tank, and the size will increase, although the files wouldn't be balanced between the 2 unless you copied them all off and on again. But to replace a drive, you need one the same size or bigger.

    If you replace all 5 drives, 1 at a time, at the end you get a raidz1 of the new size. Of course you just spent a week with no spare drive. Also you can't add a drive to make a 6 disc raidz1 array. That only works for raid 0 type pools.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BatchFile View Post
    What do you lot think?

    I'm putting a new file server in this summer as the old one is (a) full and (b) 7 years old going for a Fujitsu S7 like this Fujitsu PY TX150 S7 XEON X3430 2x2GB 1333 ECC UB/DVD-RW (VFY:T1507SX100GB) - dabs.com . I need a lot of storage, like 2TB or so... but the Fujitsu HDDs that size (1TB and use 4 for Raid 10) are really really expensive, getting on for £250 each. They're only SATA disks in any case.

    My brainwave is as follows: buy 4 small fujitsu drives, say 160GB, which are much cheaper, throw the disks away (well keep them as spares for workstations), keep the hot swap caddies and put 4 large standard £30ish SATA disks in instead. They're raided (and hot swappable) so reliability's not really an issue, and I've succesfully swapped a normal HDD into a caddy for our Acer servers so in principal it should work out fine shouldn't it?

    Unless of course it's possible to buy the caddies seperately, but I haven't seen any anywhere...
    Ok, firstly standard SATA drives have a lower 'MTBF' than enterprise class drives. If you want to maintain 'hot swap' capability, then you'd need to buy hot swap capable drives. 1TB hotswap drives aren't cheap basically. Cheapest I can find is about £180.

    If it were me, I'd be going for the Fujitsu ones for piece of mind. Although, if it were me I'd be running a mile and screaming before I bought Fujitsu...

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