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Which Enterprise Drive to Buy? Is NL-SAS Worth it?

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Hey Everybody,

So I'm working on first build for a NAS/SAN and I'm in the final stages. Been doing a lot of reading on NL-SAS and brands of hd's, but it seems that HGST is coming out on top for reliability? Western Digital owns Hitachi (HGST) but I'm kind of torn now that I know that, hopefully they have not changed processes. There was a report that came out related to the drive reliability, that also made me question going with Seagate and WD.

MTBF on the HGST are higher then all at 2,000,000 versus 1,200,000.

Primary use of the system will be:


Photo Storage

Media Storage

VmWare Datastores via HBA

I'm running HBA's between ESX and storage and HBA internally. Also, network is going to be 10 GB.

So my question is would you go with WD SE/RE, HGST (7K4000), or Seagate (ES3) and would you bother with NL-SAS when hooking up to a backplane on a supermicro chassis

Also, does cache being 32MB on WD RE drive make much of difference when compared to the Seagate ES3 drives with 128MB of cache?


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Is this for production enterprise use or something else? Can't quite tell if this is personal or a small biz operation.

Also, which NAS?

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This is going to be a enterprise lab Vmware datastore setup and business storage. Going to be doing different pools, one fore the datastore, and the other for the business data storeage.

The NAS is going to either be FreeNAS or Ubuntu running ZFS (Local Site Storage) and UFS (VmWare datastores) partitions. I have a couple of Cisco UCS Servers connections to the Storage System via HBA's. Local systems will access via 1 Gb and 10 Gb.

This is the Build


Supermicro X9DRH-ITF (10 Gb onboard)

LSI SAS 9207-8i HBA


E5-2643 v2

6 x 4 TB (RAID 10) Business Data

4 x 4TB (RAID 10) VM data Stores

HBA Qlogic or Emulex

Intel Quad Card

USB for Boot

Edited by ellusionist

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Good luck if you go the FreeNAS route, we've found nothing but pain down that road unless you LOVE tinkering. I prefer a baked NAS that's ready to roll, but it sounds like you might have budgetary concerns too.

For this though, I'd definitely go with enterprise drives. When you lose a drive and have to rebuild, you'll appreciate it then. SAS or SATA though is less of a concern for how you're going to run. While not perfect, check all of the drives that you're considering here -

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Just curious, what do you prefer for a "baked" NAS solutions. Anything out there other then FreeNAS that yu would perfer? I do have a light budget but I'm also looking for something that is going to work. I do like to tinker, but I need some reliablity of course.

I'm also comparing in another thread these drives at this point.




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We enjoy Synology and QNAP, though there are lower cost options, none are as refined on the software side or offer the same performance. Both offer expandable models if you need to save a little dough up front.

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