Brian

Storage Review Site Update

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Brian and team,

Best of luck to you all. As a one-time mod of SR, and a fairly long-term contributor, I saw SR's challenges as:

1) The commodity nature of PCs - when SR started lots of people still built their own, and their was a fair amount of differences between drives and manufacturers (and more manufacturers). Now PCs have come down in price to the point where it is much less economical to roll your own, the drive market has a lot fewer players, and there are fewer "bad drive models" to be avoided. The effect of this is to make single-disk benchmarks appealling to a much smaller audience of true-geeks.

2) Those that REALLY care about storage nowadays care about more than drives - they increasingly care about RAID cards and drivers, and even multi-tier storage. And SR found that RAID benchmarks et al are incrediblly expenseive and time consuming, despite that is the type of benchmarks that the leading edge home users (and storage professionals) really want to see.

3) SSDs are also very appealling to the modern leading edge builder, but I believe that Eugene found them difficult to get for free to test (same with RAID controllers for a long enough period of time).

4) Lastly, and the reason that I stopped being an SR mod those many years ago, was the balance of off-topic moderation and social life here was always very difficult to manage, with many members wanting almost no moderation, but yet SR's Bar and Grill fell repeatedly under siege from out-of-board "members" who only came to espouse controversy on the B&G. Some of it got quite personal, and it took quite a while for a resolution to be found. However, the B&G was never really the same, and lot's of long-term members migrated to other boards.

Anyway, I do wish you luck with SR, and I hope that you find creative ways to address some of the above. I think a more current blog of storage developments (updated daily) would be a great start.

Cheers,

FS

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I am glad its going forward. Im not one of the most active users on this forum, but I am well aware of its existance and it has been sitting in my bookmark assortment for years.

Something that I would like to see is some more articles in controllers (hardware/software), different raid implementations, enterprise vs desktop class drives, ZFS etc.

Thank you for a good place to read!

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I recently bought a Sony Vaio TT subnotebook and upgraded it to a nice Intel X18-M SSD from a crappy 1.8" mechanical drive. I think, some decent SSD coverage for both (ultra)mobile and desktop markets would be a good thing. But I'm also a mass storage fanatic, running a RAID-6 using a 3ware 9650-SE Controller and 8 x 1TB Hitachi drives. So personally I would be interested in RAID reviews even more than SSDs. Which controllers "really" have the fastest XOR processors? PPC/IOP33x/IOP34x etc. How good is R/W caching working on different controllers? How to they scale in performance in RAID-5/6 when adding more drives? Plus some real world benchmarks, from Desktop User over Workstation up to File-/Webserver usage patterns. Stuff like that.

Also it would be nice to show the actual benefits (both in reliability and performance) of drives, that are explicitly targeted at the RAID market, like the Western Digital RE4, when actually being run in RAID. I never get it, why websites test this drive (and also others like the Hitachi Ultrastar) in Single-Drive configurations, just doesn't make much sense I would say. I'm still waiting for a website to give me a review of Hitachi Ultrastar and WD RE4 compared in RAID-5/6, maybe together with a Barracuda XT and a RE4 Green Power.

I would definitely be excited about that. :)

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I'm glad to hear that the site is attempting a resurrection. I hope it's not too little too late.

As another long-term reader of this site, I agree with Futureshock's conclusions. Frankly, reviewing the latest Hitachi 2TB consumer drive isn't going to bring SR back if that is what you were intending. There are too many places to go to for that information nowadays. It was more relevant when SR was the only one who even did the benchmarks, but that was ten years ago.

It's the raid controller or chipset disk interface performance, the storage protocol performance, the filesystems, the entry level to mid range NAS units - that's what's missing these days, and it's spread out all over.

Toms Hardware and various forums occasionally hit up the RAID controllers... but inconsistently.

HardOCP forums tend to have some good storage design and filesystem and storage management community members.

Smallnetbuilder does a simple but adequate job with entry level NAS.

But it's all spread out, and it ought to be here.

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This is great news. I've been checking SR for updates for years, hoping that it would revive itself.

Now I'm a (relatively) old fart, I'm now more interested RAID configurations, IOPS and Watts than MB/s! SR Should be the place for this as others have said above. Anandtech have done well with SSD tech recently, would be impressed if SR could match/beat that.

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Great to hear the site has a new lease of life. I'd like to second (or 3rd) a call for more focus on SSD's, reliability, RAID and compatibility. I also agree with a previous poster that anandtech have done a decent job with SSDs recently. Another site that I think does things "the right way" is silentpcreview - if SR can match that level of thoroughness it will soon be able to reclaim the title of premier resource for all storage infomation.

Cheers and good luck

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excellent news!

I'm always interested in:

1. which of the current largest (now 2TB) single hard drives is fastest.

(and currently, if the much cheaper 2TB Hitachi is close enough at half the price of others)

2. whether a given hard drive is more or less likely to fail.

I look forward to storagereview leading the way with that info again!

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Wonderful news!

Very few websites have provided quality content on storage in recent years, and none to same in-depth level as storage review used to. Attempts to build storage performance databases by the larger IT review sites (Anand, Tom's hardware) have also never matched the quality of the SR database.

I am looking forward to becoming a regular visitor once again.

On the subject of content which some members are discussing, I would say that as the storage world has significantly developed in the last few years, it would be useful if SR, could address a wider spectrum than just hard drive performance. By that I mean that there are important developments happening in interfaces (SATA 3), controllers (RAID5 is becoming widespread even in home environments, and RAID edition discs following suit), SSDs of course and even emerging storage technologies (like multi-layer or holographic optical discs with multi-terabyte capacities).

In time, it would be great if SR can grow to encompass some or all of these areas, but let's get going with material on traditional storage and go from there.

Welcome!

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Well, I just got the email, glad to here this site is staging a comeback. Best wishes. Hopefully, we'll see a new focus on SSDs, because that market is hot. Anandtech has been having pretty good coverage of the new drives, so that's pretty stiff competition, but SR can do better.

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I won't reply to everyone here, as there's too much to say. But let me start with this. The current plan is to get caught up on the hardware by providing reviews of the new drives. Of course, note my earlier post about the review thread and what you guys want out of drive reviews.

After that I hear you on the RAID issues and even some enterprise work. I've actually been in contact with a few people who might be able to help on that front. Please be sure to give back to the forums though to help our growth. I'm happy to set up an enterprise storage forum where you guys can post what you're using and what works and what doesn't. That would be a good first step perhaps and would help us see what's important in terms of picking out hardware/software for review.

Concurrent with all of this, one of our team members is a developer who will be working to restore all the past tools and functionality of the site. That might take a few weeks for us to get a handle on, but it's happening.

Thanks for all your support.

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Hah, we'll be on it. I assume there was a lost copy of the forums at one point?

Yes, that's right :(

The "oldest" users are from December 2001, just after the crash.

I saw a new topic regarding flash memories and SD cards. It will be nice if we could put somewhere our speed test results for memory sticks, SD cards and similar.

It was always a mystery for me how good a USB memory device will perform before I buy it. On Internet the information is very rare and many manufactures are publishing only the best speed (the reading speed).

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Excellent! I'll be interested in seeing how your testing suite will be updated with the new reviews.

Also, though SSDs are gathering a following, please don't forget about mechanical storage. The majority of us still utilize mechanical 3.5 inch hard drives in day to day use.

Again, I look forward to this site's revival.

P.S.: The reliability and performance databases were key to this site.

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I was very pleased to read this news.

Good luck!

Apart from all the above suggestions, any chance that you'll also review enterprise solutions (RAID systems, NetApps, EMC Clariions, etc...)?

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We plan on getting into enterprise level gear, but that will probably be a phase II kind of thing. We need to get current on the mainstream consumer/biz gear, then expand out from there.

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What happened to Eugene? Do you have him tied up somewhere in his house?

First and foremost, things you can start fixing about the site:

1) DNS problems. Getting on the forums is hit and miss. Your DNS server is buggy. Switch hosts.

2) There's a bug on the main page if you use firefox. The first time you load the page, you can't click on menu items. A reload fixes this. Check which code is causing this behavior.

Good luck.

P.S. Things I would like to see reviewed:

1) The Hitachi 7K1000.C was released some time ago and I have not seen it reviewed anywhere on the net.

2) FUJITSU 2.5" drives. Eventhough Fujitsu is allied with the despicable company Siemens who tried to sneak parts to Iran, I would LOVE to see an introductory review of their MJ/MH/MK laptop line of drives. Everyone is sick of using only Seagate/WD in their laptops and they have a monopoly in the US market.

3) Testing of AHCI NCQ on the aforementioned drives and comparing them with released drives like the Seagate 7200.12 and the WD series drives.

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What happened to Eugene? Do you have him tied up somewhere in his house?

First and foremost, things you can start fixing about the site:

1) DNS problems. Getting on the forums is hit and miss. Your DNS server is buggy. Switch hosts.

2) There's a bug on the main page if you use firefox. The first time you load the page, you can't click on menu items. A reload fixes this. Check which code is causing this behavior.

1. Happening soon.

2. I havent been able to replicate that error at all, on any of my computers.

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Another area of interest - different variants of existing models.... a 1TB drive may undergo evolutions from 4 platters down to 3 then down to 2. Different model codes but same product name and line. Having a page that simply shows this information would be quite useful when shopping.

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Glad to see a new birth for SR!

Something I have been looking for is replicable real-life tests of hard drives/SSDs. For instance, an import of a set of given images in Lightroom, batch processing, and export, so that others could correlate the tests here.

Somebody mentioned removable storage, RobGalbraith.com has a database of CF/SD cards, tested on different cameras and readers, but it has not been updated in a year...

Yes a key to decipher which drive has how many platters on a given product line would be useful too.

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We're aware of the FF bug, the site was that way when we got it ;)

Not getting the DNS issues, but we're moving the site to a new server before the weekend.

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Ok, since everyone is so hooked on the Reliability DB, what to you guys want it to do, exactly?

The main problem is that it has historically been coupled to the reviews DB, which is highly unsatisfying as you may imagine. No review - no entry for the drive. In other words, just about 99% of current models (and still a few more past ones) are missing. Not good for what once was a unique strength of SR. Since Eugene could never be motivated to dissolve the dependencies, I assume you folks will have some, err, fun with that.

On an unrelated note, the forum theme seems to be a pixel fetishist design, as it chokes on my minimum font size here in the message form. Shot screen [~100K] I don't think it used to be like that. In addition, icon contrast seems low (they are definitely too pale, look at those below the font selection dropdown list for example).

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PS: Oops, seems I'm thoroughly spoiled by forums that allow editing nowadays. ;-/ The "no edit" policy had some points going for it back in 2002 or thereabouts, but one may have to rethink that.

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