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Tumlehund

SATA drives for a server

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Hi all,

I've been reading a lot of posts here for some time, but this ismy first post here. Be gentle, please... ;)

I'm going to setup a server at home and a vital part of this machine is of course the disk drives. I'm not going for SCSI drives, I think this will be too expensive. So, SATA it is. The role of this server will primarily be file serving, a bit of web serving and a bit of CD ripping/burning. The server will be running 24/7 (maybe going to standby during night), and I plan to go for RAID 5.

I have been reading a lot of reviews and a lot of forum posts all over the internet and I think I have narrowed down the down choices:

- Hitachi 7K500

- Western Digital WD4000YR

- Western Digital WD4000KD

Initially, my first choice would be wd4000yr since they seem to be the most reliable option (at least if you trust WD's marketing). However, if I understand everything correctly, this drive should be operated off of a controller that supports TLER. If I can run the drive from an onboard nForce4 controller, of course this will be a cheap solution, but I cannot find any evidence that this is possible?

Another option would be to pair the wd4000yr with a RAID controller that actually supports TLER, but I cannot find a source anywhere that can tell me which RAID controllers support TLER? Promise SuperTrak EX8350 could be an option, but it doesn't seem to support TLER?

My second choice would be 7K500, simply because of capacity. However, I cannot see anywhere how reliable this drive is compared to others. E.g. the wd4000yr enjoys a 24 hour burn-in, while the wd4000kd enjoys an 8 hour burn-in. How does the 7K500 compare to this?

I could really use some help. Any thoughts on this?

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Hi all,

I've been reading a lot of posts here for some time, but this ismy first post here. Be gentle, please... ;)

I'm going to setup a server at home and a vital part of this machine is of course the disk drives. I'm not going for SCSI drives, I think this will be too expensive. So, SATA it is. The role of this server will primarily be file serving, a bit of web serving and a bit of CD ripping/burning. The server will be running 24/7 (maybe going to standby during night), and I plan to go for RAID 5.

I have been reading a lot of reviews and a lot of forum posts all over the internet and I think I have narrowed down the down choices:

- Hitachi 7K500

- Western Digital WD4000YR

- Western Digital WD4000KD

Initially, my first choice would be wd4000yr since they seem to be the most reliable option (at least if you trust WD's marketing). However, if I understand everything correctly, this drive should be operated off of a controller that supports TLER. If I can run the drive from an onboard nForce4 controller, of course this will be a cheap solution, but I cannot find any evidence that this is possible?

Another option would be to pair the wd4000yr with a RAID controller that actually supports TLER, but I cannot find a source anywhere that can tell me which RAID controllers support TLER? Promise SuperTrak EX8350 could be an option, but it doesn't seem to support TLER?

My second choice would be 7K500, simply because of capacity. However, I cannot see anywhere how reliable this drive is compared to others. E.g. the wd4000yr enjoys a 24 hour burn-in, while the wd4000kd enjoys an 8 hour burn-in. How does the 7K500 compare to this?

I could really use some help. Any thoughts on this?

I'm using a dozen WD4000yr in my media server 24/7 without any problems or issues. They run cool and are quite fast. I'm using an Areca raid controller though. I also have 4 7k500's that have performed well without any issues. Keep the drives cool, I'd opt for the RE2 WD4000yr for it's warranty and raid performance.

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Personally, I'd go with the 7K500. The more recent Deskstar drives have proven quite releable, and Western Digital... well, no one should use them. Is there any reason that you aren't considering Seagate, which also makes these large drives?

Unless the number of drive bays is limited, you would probably get more bang for your buck from smaller drives.

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Does the Areca controller "understand" TLER? I'm not able to find any documentation saying it does.

The controller doesn't need to understand TLER, the drives do. The raid controllers will timeout a drive and flag it as being dropped or offline if it does not respond within a certain window. drives without TLER supposedly go unresponsive during error recovery and the raid controller gets degraded when in fact it's fine. I've seen this sort of behavior on other drives (maxtor) yet could not explain it.

TLER sort of explains what could be happending with some controllers dropping drives randomly if they are not responding while in error recovery. If the error cannot be recovered, the parity from the raid set should be able to recreate the block.

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Personally, I'd go with the 7K500. The more recent Deskstar drives have proven quite releable, and Western Digital... well, no one should use them. Is there any reason that you aren't considering Seagate, which also makes these large drives?

Only reason I didn't consider Seagate is that I *thought* it is more expensive than the Hitachi, but I found out that this is not the case. Other - and more important - reason is that it is (a little?) slower than the Hitachi from the reviews I read. But maybe this is irrelevant when I'm using the disks in a server?

Also I don't know how the Seagate and the Hitachi compare regarding reliability?

Unless the number of drive bays is limited, you would probably get more bang for your buck from smaller drives.

Yes, it's true that these big drives are expensive. However, I would like save space in the case, and therefore I'm set on the big drives.

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The controller doesn't need to understand TLER, the drives do. The raid controllers will timeout a drive and flag it as being dropped or offline if it does not respond within a certain window. drives without TLER supposedly go unresponsive during error recovery and the raid controller gets degraded when in fact it's fine. I've seen this sort of behavior on other drives (maxtor) yet could not explain it.

TLER sort of explains what could be happending with some controllers dropping drives randomly if they are not responding while in error recovery. If the error cannot be recovered, the parity from the raid set should be able to recreate the block.

First of all, I know that the WD4000YR will operate as a desktop drive (i.e. not off of a RAID controller), however, since Western Digital is saying that the WD4000YR should not be used as a desktop drive (i.e. should be running off of a RAID controller), I thought that the controller should support TLER? Otherwise I don't understand why the drive cannot run as a desktop drive.

Also, if I understand what you're saying correctly, I suppose the WD4000YR could easily be used with an onboard RAID controller, e.g. nForce4, with the same advantages as if it's run from a "real" controller?

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