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JermLloyd

New WD Red NAS drives

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fredp1

I bit the bullet and decided to try these babies out. I'm busy benchmarking these drives on a raid controller to see how they go.

 

First impression is they are super quite and these are the smoke free version too. :D

 

I've got 4x 3Gb to replace my Seagate green drives.

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ikon

Thanks for posting fredp1. I'm sure I'll be looking at these in the future.

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Joe_Miner

Did you by chance do an ATTO on an individual drive?

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fredp1

I've got Crystal Mark results.... but i'll get you ATTO results later today.

 

Are the default values satisfactory when running the test?

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Joe_Miner

I've got Crystal Mark results.... but i'll get you ATTO results later today.

 

Are the default values satisfactory when running the test?

 

That would be great!

 

I don't want to be greedy but the Crystal Mark results would also be nice to see :)

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awraynor

I was looking to help someone build a MicroServer and use Red Drives, however

reviews on NewEgg aren't exactly good. Anyone have any practical experience with

them? Also can't seem to find a 3TB version.

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ikon

I was looking to help someone build a MicroServer and use Red Drives, however

reviews on NewEgg aren't exactly good. Anyone have any practical experience with

them? Also can't seem to find a 3TB version.

 

I think it's actually a bit early to make a judgement on the Red drives, but I'm really hoping for the best. And, at the moment, 3TB Reds seem to be as scarce as hens' teeth or you-know-whats on a bull :)

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fredp1

Okay, I've done a number of tests of the WD Red drives, in my WHS2011 machine with a Z68 motherboard chipset.

I've noticed no difference when formatting the drive with different cluster sizes or using a 3GBs Sata port or a 6GBs Sata port.

 

Included in the test in a comparision to a Samsung 830 SSD- 256Gb on my WHS2011.

Just for good measure I've used another workstation to run tests on some older Seagate Barracuda 7200 rpm drives.

Unfortunately, I didn't test my Seagate Green drives as they are in a array that I 'm not prepared to break right now.

Not sure whats the best way to show the results.. so here is a link to a WordPad document. Its an 18 Mb file.

http://dl.dropbox.co...D RED Drive.rtf

 

In summary, the new RED drives appear faster than some older 7200rpm drives. (The larger cache helps)

 

Also here is a link to some very nice testing done by PC Perspective.

http://www.pcper.com...ive-Full-Review

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ikon

Nice find fredp1. Thanks for posting the link.

 

As usual, Allyn has written a stellar article. This one really, for the first time I've encountered, explains why it's a bad idea to use consumer drives (especially 'greens') on a RAID card. It also explains why WD made the TLER utility available (to avoid huge numbers of 'defective' drives being returned to them). I highly recommend everyone read it all the way through.

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fredp1

Like you Icon, this article made it crystal clear why you SHOULD use a "raid" drive when using a raid controller.

It was this article that prompted me to get some new drives. The old drives will become my backup storage.

 

Here is a the guts of the PC persepctive article that Icon and I have read http://www.pcper.com/reviews/Storage/Western-Digital-Red-3TB-SATA-SOHO-NAS-Drive-Full-Review

 

"Introduction:

 

I'm going to let the cat out of the bag right here and now. Everyone's home RAID is likely an accident waiting to happen. If you're using regular consumer drives in a large array, there are some very simple (and likely) scenarios that can cause it to completely fail. I'm guilty of operating under this same false hope - I have an 8-drive array of 3TB WD Caviar Greens in a RAID-5. For those uninitiated, RAID-5 is where one drive worth of capacity is volunteered for use as parity data, which is distributed amongst all drives in the array. This trick allows for no data loss in the case where a single drive fails. The RAID controller can simply figure out the missing data by running the extra parity through the same formula that created it. This is called redundancy, but I propose that it's not.

 

Continue on for our full review of the solution to this not-yet-fully-described problem!

 

Since I'm also guilty here with my huge array of Caviar Greens, let me also say that every few weeks I have a batch job that reads *all* data from that array. Why on earth would I need to occasionally and repeatedly read 21TB of data from something that should already be super reliable? Here's the failure scenario for what might happen to me if I didn't:

 

Array starts off operating as normal, but drive 3 has a bad sector that cropped up a few months back. This has gone unnoticed because the bad sector was part of a rarely accessed file.

During operation, drive 1 encounters a new bad sector.

Since drive 1 is a consumer drive it goes into a retry loop, repeatedly attempting to read and correct the bad sector.

The RAID controller exceeds its timeout threshold waiting on drive 1 and marks it offline.

Array is now in degraded status with drive 1 marked as failed.

User replaces drive 1. RAID controller initiates rebuild using parity data from the other drives.

During rebuild, RAID controller encounters the bad sector on drive 3.

Since drive 3 is a consumer drive it goes into a retry loop, repeatedly attempting to read and correct the bad sector.

The RAID controller exceeds its timeout threshold waiting on drive 3 and marks it offline.

Rebuild fails.

At this point the way forward varies from controller to controller, but the long and short of it is that the data is at extreme risk of loss. There are ways to get it all back (most likely without that one bad sector on drive 3), but none of them are particularly easy. Now you may be asking yourself how enterprises run huge RAIDs and don't see this sort of problem? The answer is Time Limited Error Recovery - where the hard drive assumes it is part of an array, assumes there is redundancy, and is not afraid to quickly tell the host controller that it just can't complete the current I/O request. Here's how that scenario would have played out if the drives implemented some form of TLER:

 

Array starts off operating as normal, but drive 3 has developed a bad sector several weeks ago. This went unnoticed because the bad sector was part of a rarely accessed file.

During operation, drive 1 encounters a new bad sector.

Drive 1 makes a few read attempts and then reports a CRC error to the RAID controller.

The RAID controller maps out the bad sector, locating it elsewhere on the drive. The missing sector is rebuilt using parity data from the other drives in the array.

Array continues normal operation, with the error added to its event log.

The above scenario is what would play out with an Areca RAID controller (I've verified this personally). Other controllers may behave differently. A controller unable to do a bad sector remap might have just marked drive 1 as bad, but the key is that the rebuild would be much less likely to fail as drive 3 would not drop completely offline once the controller ran into the additional bad sector. The moral of this story is that typical consumer grade drives have data error timeouts that are far longer than the drive offline timeout of typical RAID controllers, and without some form of TLER, two bad sectors (totaling 1024 bytes) is all that's required to put multiple terabytes of data in grave danger."

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