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  1. #1
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    What Hard Drive Manufacturer do you use and have the least failures with?

    I am curious to know what others are using in their servers when it comes to hard drive preferred manufacturer.

    We use to only use Seagate but in some recent servers switched to Western Digital Caviar Black Drives (1TB) and experienced 1 failure after 30 days. Not that this makes us think that these are bad drives as we have also had failures with Seagate as well but would really like to know if there any difference in the reliability between manufactures ?

  2. #2
    There are problems from time to time, most recently I can remember Seagate drives had some firmware issue, but I've seen very low failures with Western Digital RE3 drives.
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  3. #3
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    If you ask me, you're going to get a different answer from everyone you speak with.

    For example, I don't like Seagate at all. We had two issues years ago with server drives and then just recently I swapped out THREE Seagate's in a friends computer before settling with a WD that worked!

  4. #4
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    The only Seagate drives we currently use are the 15k rpm SAS Cheetah drives. For sata disks we've been using Western Digital drives for awhile now and outside of a recent bad batch of Raptor drives we've had hardly any failures.

  5. #5
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    Like Mekhu said, you're going to get different answers and probably no consensus. Every major harddrive manufacturer has had firmware or manufacturing issues at one time or another.

    We've used nothing but Seagate until recently (when the server builder didn't have Seagate drives available). We probably get a failure or two ever year, but that's to be expected.

    I'm really excited about the Intel SSDs - we've used some in specific application and they are amazing! The gen2 X-25E should be out next year and will be even better. Hopefully the price will drop soon though.
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  6. #6
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    For SATA drive we like Western Digital. Their Green drives are very good performers.

    For SAS we like Seagate.
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  7. #7
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    I've had great luck with Seagate & Hitachi drives. Last month we had 3 seagate drives fail, but that doesn't make me want to stay away from them, rather just a bad batch of drives.
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  8. #8
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    Hitachi drives are the worst!! WD is the way to go..

  9. #9
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    I have seagates failing CONSTANTLY here. I only use WD now.
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  10. #10
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    Up until late 2008, we ran Seagate Barracuda SATA disks in our entire fleet of database, web, mail and terminal (remote desktop) servers with heavy traffic. Many of the terminal servers handled 30-50 simultaneous user desktop sessions running office and productivity applications. (busy terminal servers are very disk-I/O intensive) The disks were beaten pretty hard on a daily basis over a period of more than 5 years-- long after many drives had dropped out of warranty. Even on the oldest disks, failures were rare.

    Today, all servers (except 2) are running Seagate Cheetah 15k rpm SAS disks. The two exceptions-- one is running Seagate 36GB SCSI, and the other has a pair of Seagate Barracuda SATA. Both of these servers have been online continuously since 2003 with no disk failures.

    My vote is definitely Seagate. And if your budget allows, go with the 15k rpm Cheetahs. When attached to a high quality SAS controller with write-cache enabled, their performance is spectacular.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougy View Post
    I have seagates failing CONSTANTLY here. I only use WD now.
    What models? The cheaper AS desktop units, or the ES and ES2 models designed for 24x7 server use?

  12. #12
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    We only buy and use Western Digital RAID Edition drives for SATA, and typically Fujitsu SAS drives unless someone requests otherwise. I recently tested the Seagate Raid Edition drives and lost one within 5 days of installation, and more after that, so I won't use them.
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  13. #13
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    I've experienced a few Seagate failures and WD 1TB disk failures, I'm not a big fan of any manufacturer, they all have their problems one way or another. But WD gets my vote none the less.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sekweta View Post
    What models? The cheaper AS desktop units, or the ES and ES2 models designed for 24x7 server use?
    The cheaper ones.
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  15. #15
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    The only failures we've had were the AS models. We've had no failures at all on the ES/ES2 drives.

  16. #16
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    I've got me a 160GB Western Digital HD that has been running for about 6 years now and I must say they're very reliable. Never had an error after all this time.

  17. #17
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    Stay away from DeathStar Hitachi or Maxtor. I recommend WD or Seagate.

  18. #18
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    One of our old HP web servers from early 1999 had a pair of 9 GB Seagage SCSI disks that ran continuously until we retired it 9-1/2 years later, still on the original disks.

    Another server (an old HP Netserver, remember the big square boxes that were the size of a dorm refrigerator?) had 6 x 4.3 GB Seagate disks that ran continuously from 1997 until it was retired in 2007-- a full 10 years with all 6 original disks still spinning.

    Nothing in those machines-- not even a fan-- ever missed a beat. I've never been able to wear out an HP server.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jatt5 View Post
    Stay away from DeathStar Hitachi or Maxtor. I recommend WD or Seagate.
    Circa 2003-2004, I performed on-site work for a company that bought two cases of 36 GB IBM SCSI disks for a large cluster of web servers they had colo'd. Out of those 40 disks, several failed in the first few months, and (can't remember the exact number) about 10 of them in total had failed by the end of the first year. Fortunately all were in RAID arrays so no data was lost, but it seemed like every time I turned around, I had to drive to the colo to swap out another failed disk.

    IBM eventually sold off its hard drive unit to Hitachi (or were the IBM drives rebranded Hitachi disks? I can't remember now). I don't know if quality improved with the name change, but based on my bitter experience, I wouldn't take them if they were free.

  20. #20
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    Regarding SATA drives, we have experienced NO difference in failures between Enterprise/RAID Edition drives and the standard "desktop" models. From what I can tell, many are physically the same drives, simply with different firmware.

    In addition, we have seen differences in failure rates between Western Digital and Seagate to be minimal. We had more bad batches, which happen with everyone from time to time, several years ago and thus switched to Seagate primarily, but currently, there is little to no difference in reliability. The only exception there is that we have seen a higher failure rate out of the WD Raptor drives. Hard drives of any brand will fail if you have enough of them, that is why RAID and backups are your friend.

    On the SAS side, I've also noticed failure rates seem to be pretty even. We had some bad luck with some Hitachi drives that came with Dell systems, but other than those they have been fine. We use primarily Fujitsu and Seagate SAS drives ourselves and both have been quite reliable.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by KarlZimmer View Post
    The only exception there is that we have seen a higher failure rate out of the WD Raptor drives.
    I've heard that about the old Raptor drives, too.

    FWIW, a few months ago I upgraded my workstation from a 7200 rpm Barracuda to one of the new 10k rpm Velociraptors. (Had to. I run VMWare Workstation and the system got real sluggish when VMs were working in the background.) All I can say about the Velociraptors is, phenomenal improvement in performance, with the hair-trigger snappy response that one used to find only in 15k rpm SAS disks. My Core2-Duo with Velociaptor feels snappier than my sister's Core2-Quad with the old Velociraptor, even though both spin at 10k rpm.

    I (tentatively) give Western Digital high praise for the Velociraptor-- provided the long term reliability of the Velociraptor is significantly better than the poor reputation of the Raptors it replaces.

  22. #22
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    I have had great luck with Seagates, had a lot of problems with WD's a couple of years ago so if I can help it, I get seagates.
    James Lumby

  23. #23
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    We have excellent performance with Western Digital. Out of the hundreds of drivers we bought last year, only two failed and both were during the burn in. A few colocation customers machines have WD drives that have been in service since 2000. Again, it also depends on the type of batch you get, some will be great performers compared to others. We have been very lucky.
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  24. Quote Originally Posted by KarlZimmer View Post
    Regarding SATA drives, we have experienced NO difference in failures between Enterprise/RAID Edition drives and the standard "desktop" models. From what I can tell, many are physically the same drives, simply with different firmware.

    In addition, we have seen differences in failure rates between Western Digital and Seagate to be minimal. We had more bad batches, which happen with everyone from time to time, several years ago and thus switched to Seagate primarily, but currently, there is little to no difference in reliability. The only exception there is that we have seen a higher failure rate out of the WD Raptor drives. Hard drives of any brand will fail if you have enough of them, that is why RAID and backups are your friend.

    On the SAS side, I've also noticed failure rates seem to be pretty even. We had some bad luck with some Hitachi drives that came with Dell systems, but other than those they have been fine. We use primarily Fujitsu and Seagate SAS drives ourselves and both have been quite reliable.
    the main difference is that TLER (Time-Limited Error Recovery)is turned on those "RAID edition" at factory.

    in fact, you can run a WD utility called WDTLER to turn on the TLER function on most WD desktop "caviar" drives (AAKS/FALS/EACS/EADS) and turn them into "RAID edition" drives.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
    the main difference is that TLER (Time-Limited Error Recovery)is turned on those "RAID edition" at factory.

    in fact, you can run a WD utility called WDTLER to turn on the TLER function on most WD desktop "caviar" drives (AAKS/FALS/EACS/EADS) and turn them into "RAID edition" drives.
    Bookmarked the link to that post.
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
    in fact, you can run a WD utility called WDTLER to turn on the TLER function on most WD desktop "caviar" drives (AAKS/FALS/EACS/EADS) and turn them into "RAID edition" drives.
    Anything similar to this for Seagate AS edition drives?

  27. #27
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    All the Seagates I've seen produced huge UDMA_CRC_Error_Count values. Why is that?
    bigwrench

  28. #28
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    We've been using Seagate drives exclusively for the past 3+ years since we moved into colocation. Never had any issues at all with them since we've had them.
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  29. #29
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    We use Seagate Enterprise drives and Western Digital for their VelociRaptors.
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhotonVPS-Jim View Post
    We use Seagate Enterprise drives and Western Digital for their VelociRaptors.
    The Velociraptors are too new for long-term reliability results to be in just yet, but have you had any failures in the time you've been using them?

  31. reported by one of my clients regarding issues with VelociRaptors:
    We've had a lot of problems with the WD Velociraptors lately. Read the last page here:

    http://forums.storagereview.net/inde...ic=27303&st=50

    That's a confirmed bug by WD level 2 technical support - I spent close to two hours on the phone with them today. They say the issue is fixed, but they can't tell me when or how for some reason. So I am unsure if it is a simple FW update (they didn't give me a link to one!) or if they simply are fixing the new drives shipping from their warehouses, meaning the old stock in retailers shelves is possibly still bad! Powering down,then powering up a server every 49 days is very bad for uptime - a reboot doesn't fix it, it must actually completely power off!

  32. #32
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    Thanks for the heads-up on this one. I was seriously considering putting them in some lower-end servers in RAID-1 with the HP SmartArray P400/512 to see how well they performed under load, compared to the 15k rpm SAS disks we use now.

    Obviously, a TLER firmware bug that causes RAID config to blow out is an immediate show stopper until WD sorts things out.

  33. #33
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    I've had a segate drive and it crapped out, so I'm going with WD Caviar Black drives now.
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  34. #34
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    We have hundreds of Seagate SATA drives spinning in our storage arrays. It's a mix of 400GB, 750GB, and 1.5TB, depending on when they were built. In the last 4 years, only 2 have failed, so I'd say they're very reliable.
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  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by bqinternet View Post
    We have hundreds of Seagate SATA drives spinning in our storage arrays. It's a mix of 400GB, 750GB, and 1.5TB, depending on when they were built. In the last 4 years, only 2 have failed, so I'd say they're very reliable.
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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stroh View Post
    I've had a segate drive and it crapped out, so I'm going with WD Caviar Black drives now.
    You're switching brands because of one failure?? A sample size of one isn't near enough to make any real decisions. We have thousands of drives, and I'm still not comfortable making such sweeping judgments. Drive failures happen, no matter who the manufacturer is. If the ~1% annual risk of drive failure is too high for you, that is what RAID is for.
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  37. #37
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    Haven't ran into issues with them so far.
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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by KarlZimmer View Post
    You're switching brands because of one failure?? A sample size of one isn't near enough to make any real decisions. We have thousands of drives, and I'm still not comfortable making such sweeping judgments. Drive failures happen, no matter who the manufacturer is. If the ~1% annual risk of drive failure is too high for you, that is what RAID is for.
    It's actually more like 20 failures, but one of them was my own desktop. the rest are from others. Don't forget the thousands upon thousands upon thousands around the world whom have had failure with Segate during this whole ordeal.

    One time is one too many. Just like a lemon car, one time is enough. Sure it's rare, but it hurts to know you spent all that money and get treated like ****.

    Get a lemon, you'll know what exactly I am talking about.
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  39. #39
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    We use the Western Digital Enterprise drives, great performance and low failure rate.

  40. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by Stroh View Post
    It's actually more like 20 failures, but one of them was my own desktop. the rest are from others. Don't forget the thousands upon thousands upon thousands around the world whom have had failure with Segate during this whole ordeal.

    One time is one too many. Just like a lemon car, one time is enough. Sure it's rare, but it hurts to know you spent all that money and get treated like ****.

    Get a lemon, you'll know what exactly I am talking about.
    Every drive is going to fail... We've had horrible experiences with Western Digital about 3 months ago which lasted about 4 months back. Brand New drives dieing within a few days of being put into production, drives arriving DOA, it was ridiculous and WD said it was because they were not RAID Edition so a failure rate of 50% in shipments of 20 within the first few days of use was normal, even with Seagates on desktop drives the issues were occurring.
    We have switched to all Enterprise Edition drives from Seagate and failure rates are massively lower.
    Something is definitely going on with the desktop editions of the 250GB and 500GB from WD and Seagate, at least the stock that ASI and MALabs gets their drives from.
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