CarlC Computer Tips, Tricks, and Support

Why use server drives over common desktop drives?

A friend sent me an interesting article, you can view it here:

 

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/storage/why-raid-5-stops-working-in-2009/162

 

While the author talks about these large drives, he brings up the good point that the larger the drive, the more likely it is to fail. I run into these questions by customers who want to use the cheapest server with large SATA hard drives. The issue falls more to one of not if a drive fails, but WHEN!

 

Sorry, but anyone that thinks a hard drive will never fail is just fooling themselves. They do fail, they are mechanical, and they are going the have issues… It’s all just a matter of when. This is when I tell them, you can pay me now, or pay me later 🙂 .

 

I’ve found that the server drives are able to show errors quickly via smartd and smartctl. As such, you can plan the change out. Many of the “desktop” drives support smartd and smartctl, but their settings are “cryptic”, and a “ECC” error in one drive may be an actual full ECC error while another desktop drive means I had a slight trouble reading, but got around it.

 

Now you know why I recommend using the server drives, they are tested to run in a 24x7x365 environment, and will be consistent. And, with the price of these drives being higher, you save money in the long run when you have a failure starting to occur, and you find it very early with smartd/smartctl.

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