[Beowulf] what defines "enterprise class" hard drives?

Sabuj Pattanayek sabujp at gmail.com
Thu Aug 5 18:57:00 EDT 2010


Hi,

For SATA drives, my take is that if it has a 3YR warranty then it's a
consumer line drive. If it has a 5YR warranty from the manufacturer
then I consider it an "enterprise" class drive, even if it's not
branded as such. That being said, I think I saw some western digital
black drives with 5YR warranties (on newegg) that are not branded as
"enterprise" so they don't cost twice as much.

However, there are (or at least used to be) features of enterprise
class drives which are not available on the consumer line of drives.
Whether or not these features are necessary for operation on your
brand of storage array is something you should check. The good
companies that make storage arrays have a matrix/list of
drives+firmware versions that they've tested and qualified for use
with their arrays.

If your array is a bunch of rack servers, make sure the controllers
will accept non-branded/certified drives (e.g. make sure it doesn't
require a Dell, HP, or IBM branded drive).

After having determine that your array will take COTS components, and
if you can go with slightly slower drives, I'd go with the WD Caviar
green series, black if you want something faster. I'd stay away from
the really cheap 5400 RPM Seagate drives.

On Thu, Aug 5, 2010 at 5:33 PM, Jon Forrest <jlforrest at berkeley.edu> wrote:
> On 8/5/2010 2:47 PM, Rahul Nabar wrote:
>>
>> I wanted to buy some 1 Terabyte SATA drives for our storage array and
>> wanted to stay away from the cheap desktop stuff. But each
>> manufacturer has some "enterprise class drives". But is there
>> something specific to look for? Most of those seem to have a MTBF of
>> around 1.2 million hours and a URE of about 1 in 10^15. The S.M.A.R.T.
>> abilities seem fairly standard.  Is there a list somewhere of well
>> tested drives? Or any recommendations?

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