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dml19

Enterprise drive as a single drive or RAID

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Will an enterprise level HHD such as the HGST Ultrastar 7K4000 work as a single drive or will it only work in an array as a RAID drive? I believe it is intended for RAID but Im wondering if it will work fine as a single drive. I want to use it as an external backup drive.

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Yes, it will work as a single drive. I've no idea why you'd want to use one as a backup drive. Enterprise drives are designed for 24/7 use in high airflow RAID arrays, not occasional use in a closed up external case with limited cooling. You want a WD Green or a Seagate Desktop.15 - two drives designed for low use in external drive boxes.

That's like buying a Ferrari to go half a mile a week to the shops...

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Thanks for the reply. The reason I wanted to use the Ultrastar 7K4000 is because I was thinking it is more reliable and will last longer. Is that not the case? Will a standard desktop drive be sufficient?

I do have two internal RAID 1 disks as backup, but I was looking for the best way to make a reliable external backup.

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Most branded external drives are just typical PC consumer drives inside. I don't think in your case it's worth spending more for an enterprise HDD for this job.

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This is for business backup of important files. The computer is a workstation: Asus P8B WS motherboard, Xeon E3 processor, so the the system is made as a workstation. Is it still not worth the money to use an enterprise grade HHD for external storage?

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It really makes no difference. A single drive could fail anyway, so if this is the only backup, that's a poor strategy in the first place. This should be part of a wider backup scheme where losing a single drive isn't life or death.

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Ok, thanks, I know any drive can fail but isn't there a smaller chance that an enterprise drive will fail compared to a standard desktop drive? I guess there must be a difference. Or does it only make a difference when using the drive in heavy read/write server environments?

I do have two internal RAID 1 drives for backup also, the external would only be as an addtional backup.

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RAID is not backup, but at least it's something. You seem set on spending more for the external, so be it. I'd suggest that spending more doesn't get you anything, but I can't talk you out of it. I'd rather you invest in an Amazon Glacier account and back up again to it with the money you save.

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Ok, I think you convinced me, its not worth the money, I was just trying to find out exactly why its not worth it ...thanks for the tip about Amazon Glacier.

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Any drive can fail. Personally I think it's more to do with the handling the drives have had between factory and user. Enterprise drives tend to be sold as bare drives, so you're at the mercy of the spotty teenager in the warehouse not dropping the drive in to the bottom of a shipping box, or the delivery driver not drop-kicking the box in to his van.

I tend to buy drives that are retail boxed - at least then they have a proper package round them, and they might survive the transit. I also buy a lot of external drives and pull the mechanism out of those. I have a LOT of Seagate drives I've 'shucked' from external drives, and they're all working perfectly. I've got an old 3TB BarracudaXT that's been running like a champ for years, and it came out of a Backup Plus external box.

Yes, retail boxed are a little more expensive, but it saves a lot of hassle in the long run.

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As said, all drives can fail. Given the higher cost of a nearline drive, you're better off buying a second consumer drive versus a single nearline disk when you're talking about backup as well as backup reliability.

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