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  1. #1
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    Are IDE drives suitable for webhosting?

    Hello,

    I'm opening a web hosting company. I found a good server with good price but the drive is IDE.

    Will the server function smoothly? Will I have problems? Will the upload operation be solw?

    Please advice. Your help is really appreciated.

  2. #2
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    This is stuff you should know already if you want to start a web hosting company.

    IDE drives typically will be more likely to fail. You should at least have SATA.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cifra-Patrick
    IDE drives typically will be more likely to fail. You should at least have SATA.
    What' does 'fail' exactly means?

    Thanks!

  4. #4
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    Fail will mean that any data on it is lost and unless you pay a data restoration company. Just do yourself a favour and get at least SATA with RAID-1 if not higher
    Russ Foster - Industry Curmudgeon

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cifra-Patrick
    IDE drives typically will be more likely to fail. You should at least have SATA.
    I would suggest this is a fallacy. While it is true that manufacturers put there better parts in SCSI drives than their PATA models, a SATA drive from the main manufacturers will most likely be the same as a PATA drive from them just with a different interface and controller chip.

    SATA drives are better for web hosting though, when a server is under load. The SATA interface allows faster transfers from motherboard to drive (much faster than the physical drive mechanism can read/write, but useful for cache<->cache transfers) and many SATA drives have controllers that support command queuing/reordering whereas PATA drives don't. Even if your OS doesn't support the feature for reads (it is likely to block waiting for the I/O anyway) the drive can use it transparently for writes which can make a noticable difference during heavy database activity or if the server is paging to disc (though at that point you probably need more RAM).

  6. #6
    As long as you have a backup on your server, IDE will be fine for startes. Of coarse if you have a budget you can use SATA, but please be very carefull with the SATA RAID, I had 10 servers crash because I used the on board RAID on Biostar board.

    If budget alows you, use Adaptec RAID card, and make sure your power cables on the Drives are very secure, (unless you want to use brand name servers)
    .

  7. #7
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    Why are people differing between PATA and SATA? They are essentially the same technology, just with different interfaces (of course theoretically SATA is faster, but as proven with PATA133 vs PATA100, this "theoretical" difference rarely makes any difference in the real world).

    You simply have IDE and you have SCSI, not IDE, SATA and SCSI.

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  8. #8
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    Except that certain SATA drives are SCSI drives with a SATA controller on them.
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  9. #9
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    As soon as you have more than one drive, SATA does make a difference. I'd say that unless you want to serve the bottom of the market, you should invest into SATA RAID 1 at least. a single drive system may be sufficient if you want to compete on the lowest price, though even there people might not take kindly for several hours or even days of downtime while the hard drive is being replaced, the OS reinstalled on the new drive, all settings redone and account backups restored.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cifra-Patrick
    This is stuff you should know already if you want to start a web hosting company.

    IDE drives typically will be more likely to fail. You should at least have SATA.
    Where do you get that from? Other than a bad batch of Western Digital drives, part of the reason we now stick with Seagate, our failure rates of IDE AND SATA drives have both been quite low, around the 1% per year mark. As a note, we have had a higher percent of SCSI drives fail, though that is a smaller sample size, which could scew the data.

    In conclusion, stick with a top brand, preferably Seagate, and you shouldn't have any more reliability issue with an IDE drive than you have with a SATA drive.

    To answer the OP's full question, yes, IDE drives are perfectly capable of doing web hosting. They had been used for web hosting for YEARS before SATA drives came out and there haven't been that many changes since then... For most people here on WHT, IDE drivs are still perfectly fine, though, as disk IO is generally the first bottleneck, you may want to spend the extra $5 for a SATA drive with NCQ, etc.

    Also, brigada, correct, NEVER use onboard SATA RAID. You'd be better off using straight software RAID through the OS... if you're going to go hardware RAID get an actual hardware RAID card, LSI, 3ware, etc. Note: Even some of Adaptecs cards don't do true hardware RAID, make sure you do your research there. This also means, that if you want to save some money on a RAID card and you have plenty of excess CPU, just go with software RAID then maybe upgrade to hardware RAID later if you're seeing an IO bottleneck, etc.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by KarlZimmer
    Where do you get that from?

    A article somewhere. Anyhow, I know better now.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cifra-Patrick
    A article somewhere. Anyhow, I know better now.
    The article was likly correct that IDE drives failed more than SATA drives, as I'd have to guess they were comparing say Maxtor IDE drives vs. Seagate SATA or something of that nature.
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  13. #13
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    The raid-editions look pretty promising for WD. But yeah, I wouldn't suggest anything other than the RE's or Seagate for web hosting.

  14. #14
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    Can people please remember that PATA and SATA are both IDE drives.

    Both SATA and PATA drives are IDE (Integrated Drive Electronics) drives, although IDE is often misused to indicate PATA drives.
    Source - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serial_ATA

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  15. #15
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    Well it's pretty obvious he's talking about PATA...which is known to basically everyone as an IDE drive.

  16. #16
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    Yay, I know, I just like to be correct about these thing... blame it on my upbringing haha!

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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by KarlZimmer
    In conclusion, stick with a top brand, preferably Seagate, and you shouldn't have any more reliability issue with an IDE drive than you have with a SATA drive.
    We've been the opposite, we had every single Seagate Baracude IV we had a few years back, fail on us, most within 6 months. We've tended to stick to Western Digital since then.
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  18. #18
    The SATA Raid edition drives tend to work well for us. Having said that, we're moving towards SAS and storage arrays (RAID6, allowing multiple drive failure within an array).
    Jordan Gross
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  19. #19
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    Yes, the future of internal storage in servers is SAS, but most providers don't yet offer it if you want to lease a server. As for RAID 6, it comes with a performance hit, so for a web server I'd rather recommend RAID 10 where also more than one drive can fail but the performance is high.

    As for Seagate, I had really bad experiences with Seagate IDE drives over the last 10 years so I would never touch one of my own accord. That said, IBM/Hitachi drives like to give up too (mostly IDE though). In 24/7, IBM SCSI drives like to give up after a time too. Meaning there is no one brand you can say is good, it mostly depends on personal experience.

  20. #20
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    RAID6 - Depends on your RAID controller, something like the Areca cards with two parity processors (RAID6 uses two different parity schemes) makes that difference virtually nothing, especially if you're getting the benefit of many many more spindles in your storage array - which is going to far outweigh the hit from the extra parity and write.
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