×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Hard Drives Made for RAID Use

CowboyNeal posted more than 8 years ago | from the little-spinny-different dept.

Data Storage 201

An anonymous reader writes "Hard drive giant Western Digital recently released a very interesting product, hard drives designed to work in a RAID. The Caviar RE SATA 320 GB is an enterprise level drive without native command queueing and uses an SATA interface. In works better in RAID than other drives because of features like its time-limited error recovery and 32-bit CRC error checking, so it is an option when previously only SCSI drives would be considered."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

201 comments

Slashdot: Stories Made For Ad Use (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13585632)

Sheesh, this is a VERY thinly disguised ad. Here's a direct link to NewEgg [newegg.com] $169. Has the same details as this "story."

Re:Slashdot: Stories Made For Ad Use (2, Interesting)

andrewman327 (635952) | more than 8 years ago | (#13585644)

Does anyone have any benchmarks to back up this claim? This seems very vague.

Re:Slashdot: Stories Made For Ad Use (-1, Redundant)

mysqlrocks (783488) | more than 8 years ago | (#13585661)

I agree. I've seen several slashdot stories lately that seem to be thinly veiled ads.
(there goes my karma...)

Re:Slashdot: Stories Made For Ad Use (0, Offtopic)

Mozk (844858) | more than 8 years ago | (#13585969)

Since when does saying that you agree get you modded 5, Insightful?

Re:Slashdot: Stories Made For Ad Use (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13586251)

When you whore with a 'here goes my karma' sentence. You see, the mods like to think they are more intelligent than the rest. More insightful. More fair. In reality, they are a bunch of dumb fucking lemmings. So they see this post with the stupid little phrase, and decide to mod up. The rest of the post could be "but I think brown stripes make my underwear more fashionable". The slashots would nod their and say "fight the man!" and mod up.

Roland, anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13585789)

Well, it seems the Roland experiment worked very well, so they've decided to move up to the Big Money.

Re:Slashdot: Stories Made For Ad Use (4, Interesting)

fimbulvetr (598306) | more than 8 years ago | (#13585688)

On the newegg link they list the MTBF as 1 million hours. Google tells me that that is about 114 years. How can it have such high mtbf? Is that newegg just not having correct data or is there something special about these drives (or are they designed to be "used" less)?

Re:Slashdot: Stories Made For Ad Use (5, Informative)

cperciva (102828) | more than 8 years ago | (#13585782)

On the newegg link they list the MTBF as 1 million hours. Google tells me that that is about 114 years. How can it have such high mtbf?

MTBF is defined as [short time period] * [number of drives tested] / [number of drives which failed within that time period]. An MTBF of 114 years doesn't mean that half of the drives will survive for 114 years without a failure; it means that if you run 114 drives for a year, you should expect to have 1 failure.

A more intuitive way of conveying the same information is to say that the drives have an expected failure rate of no more than 1E-6 per hour.

Re:Slashdot: Stories Made For Ad Use (5, Interesting)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586134)

An MTBF of 114 years doesn't mean that half of the drives will survive for 114 years without a failure; it means that if you run 114 drives for a year, you should expect to have 1 failure.
That is a good explanation. Many people confuse MTBF with lifetime.

Most products (and especially electronics) have a failure rate that when plotted over time looks like a bathtub. There is a high initial failure rate (infant mortality) that drops over time to a base rate (the random failure rate described by MTBF), this low failure rate continues until one reaches the end of useful life of the product, when the failure rate rises once again as age and wear effects cause the device to fail.

Note that most extended warranties are designed by the seller to kick in after the early failure rate has droped, but expire before the end-of-life failures.

Re:Slashdot: Stories Made For Ad Use (1)

sakusha (441986) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586183)

Correct. MTBF is not designed as an index of reliability for any one specific drive in use. It is designed as an index for manufacturers and repair facilities to estimate how many spares are required per year for any widescale deployment. So if you have 114 drives deployed in your enterprise, you would need to stock 1 spare drive to replace the estimated failures in one year.

Re:Slashdot: Stories Made For Ad Use (1)

KillShill (877105) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586228)

thank you for that information. i assumed incorrectly that at least this one spec from the manufacturer wasn't a complete and utter sham. now i shall remain ever more vigilant.

gee, one wonders if anything the manufacturers of products say is true.

LCD monitor manufacturers lie just about everything on the specs. Hard Drive manufacturers lie about an enormous amount about their products.
software vendors lie a ton about their products and "fitness or lack of for a particular purpose" (then why the hell are you allowed to sell junk if you don't guarantee at least a minimum set of suitability).

and the list goes on and on.

now when i see 1 Million hours of MTBF i'll know it's just another piece of crap marketing/advertising lie.

yep, more "honest commerce" at work.

Re:Slashdot: Stories Made For Ad Use (5, Informative)

Rasta Prefect (250915) | more than 8 years ago | (#13585791)

On the newegg link they list the MTBF as 1 million hours. Google tells me that that is about 114 years. How can it have such high mtbf? Is that newegg just not having correct data or is there something special about these drives (or are they designed to be "used" less)?

Easy: You, like most people, don't know what MTBF means. MTBF is only meaningful in context with the expected lifespan of the device. This is probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 5 years, or about 43,800 hours. Essentially, what the manufacturer is saying is "Based on some data, we estimate that if you run x number of these drives, the average time between failures will be 1,000,000/x hours, up until the expected lifespan of the drive, at which point all bets are off"

For computer hardware this is always some sort of extrapolated estimate, since they have of course not actually been testing the drive for it's expected lifespan, or it would be obsolete by the time they released it.

Re:Slashdot: Stories Made For Ad Use (1)

fimbulvetr (598306) | more than 8 years ago | (#13585874)

Thanks.
I was actually wondering when it went up to 1m, it has been a while since I've spec'd out drives, but I seem to remember that 250k-500k was the norm.
It's interesting that the mtbf has doubled (or even quadrupled) since the last time I remember.

Re:Slashdot: Stories Made For Ad Use (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13586133)

So, what was the MTBF of the IBM Deathstar/Deskstar drives? Shows just how useless MTBF numbers are.

Re:Slashdot: Stories Made For Ad Use (2, Interesting)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 8 years ago | (#13585870)

Theoretically, any cheap drive used in a raid will experience less wear per gig of RAID data storage, since it is only storing a portion of the data. It's a cheat. Also, MTBF is a theoretical extrapolation from failure time of individual components. In the hard disk industry, its relation to reality is about the same as Harry Potters'. But we should be used to that, just like a megabyte ain't a megabyte when they calculate capacities.

Its like this quote from the article:

In (sic) works better in RAID than other drives because of features like its time-limited error recovery and 32-bit CRC error checking, so it is an option when previously only SCSI drives would be considered."
It's all bullshit. Sure, it might be better than another drive for use in a raid, but its not like people couldn't consider IDE drives in the past, and that this is some miracle cure.

Just look at what RAID means - Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks. Lots of people use cheapie IDE hard disks in RAID setups. We've got a 4-drive terrabyte raid. Why would we consider expensive drives when the whole idea is to use cheap drives in a redundant array?

Fuck the marketing departments. And fuck the PHBs who make their buying decisions based on them. Oh, right, the PHBs *ARE* getting fucked by the marketing departments. Sorry lads, carry on.

Re:Slashdot: Stories Made For Ad Use (1)

raydobbs (99133) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586089)

RAID - Redundancy Across Independent Disks

Re:Slashdot: Stories Made For Ad Use (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586289)

i've seen "redundant array of inexpensive disks" (which i belive was the original) and "redundant array of independent disks" but never the one you mention. Care to cite a source?

Re:Slashdot: Stories Made For Ad Use (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13586384)

Theoretically, any cheap drive used in a raid will experience less wear per gig of RAID data storage, since it is only storing a portion of the data.

No, it will receive MORE wear per gig. If I write 1 gig of data to a raid, more than 1 gig of data will be written to the drives, since the redundancy data must be written as well as the regular data.

Re:Slashdot: Stories Made For Ad Use (1)

Danga (307709) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586406)

Theoretically, any cheap drive used in a raid will experience less wear per gig of RAID data storage, since it is only storing a portion of the data.

That is not the case in RAID 1 where the data is mirrored. It may result in less reads per disk compared to a one disk system but the data is definately not portioned out across a mirrored disk RAID setup. I do agree that it's not a bad idea to use cheap disks ESPECIALLY if the data is mirrored or at least backed up regularly if using RAID 0. I wouldn't spend the extra money on these "special" HDD's.

Re:Slashdot: Stories Made For Ad Use (1)

Jozer99 (693146) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586186)

They don't run a drive for a million hours, they run 100 drives for 1000 hours, and one breaks. Drives are getting better and better. I don't see how this is unusual, in my expierence, if a drive works for the first two weeks it is installed, it usually lasts for decades if it is properly stored (not running in dust, properly cooled, ect... That is of course, unless it is a Maxtor, in which case, get your fire extinguisher.

Re:Slashdot: Stories Made For Ad Use (1)

eh2o (471262) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586265)

It also says "24/7 reliability" which I think means "100% duty cycle" so ostensibly they are not designed to be used less (as most ide desktop type drives are).

IIRC Seagate is the only other company to offer a 5 year warranty on ide type drives (also subject to proper use -- no desktop drives in servers).

Due to fluid dynamic bearings, better motors and other former SCSI-only technology the reliability of ide type drives has gone up a lot in recent times (thank god).

Re:Slashdot: Stories Made For Ad Use (1)

Bachus9000 (765935) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586481)

Care to more specifically define "proper use" for Seagate's drives? I've got a few of their drives in a Mythtv/file server box... :)

This is ridiculous! (4, Funny)

Cerdic (904049) | more than 8 years ago | (#13585655)

If they would stop eating around the hard drives, leaving crumbs in them, we wouldn't need to use Raid to take care of the cockroaches in them. Ugh.

Re:Hey, I thought it was funny. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13585768)

Personal mod up to 2 yaro points!

Re:This is ridiculous! (0)

Compaq_Hater (911468) | more than 8 years ago | (#13585815)

how the hell do you get crumbs inside of a Sealed unit such as a Hard Disk ?.

you by chance are not one of those Idiots who thinks that a Tower or computer Case is a Hard Drive are you ?.

If you answer Yes to the Latter You are a MORON !

CH

Alpha Hardware (1)

lullabud (679893) | more than 8 years ago | (#13585899)

I got an alpha hardware version of one of these bad boys and it came with a very handy extra that they assumed the end users wouldn't need: a de-bug port. Now I don't even NEED raid, but it's nice to have the option.

No NCQ? (4, Insightful)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 8 years ago | (#13585658)

Interesting that they don't have NCQ, whereas SCSI drives generally do (well, called TCQ on SCSI IIRC)

Is this just marketing speak, has it truly included scsi features, or could it actually be better performing than SCSI in a RAID array?

Re:No NCQ? (2, Informative)

rsborg (111459) | more than 8 years ago | (#13585755)

Is this just marketing speak, has it truly included scsi features, or could it actually be better performing than SCSI in a RAID array?

In snort, without NCQ, SATA drives are going to be slower than SCSI. The other two features probably just offset/mitigate the speed differences, but I would probably hold out for something that has NCQ (or just go SCSI) if I were building a RAID today.

Re:No NCQ? (2, Insightful)

keltor (99721) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586003)

I think that all SCSI RAID controllers disable it on the drives as the controller takes care of all queueing. Remember most of the SATA drives now have NCQ. WD chose to specifically disable this as their regular Caviar SE drives have queueing.

Typo! (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13585671)

"In works better in RAID..."

You should change "In" to "It"

Thank you very much.

Re:Typo! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13585721)

It works better it RAID... No, that doesn't work either.

About time (5, Interesting)

Tuor (9414) | more than 8 years ago | (#13585673)

While I've been a proponent of SCSI for a long time -- Apple really was thinking ahead when it had it in Macs all those years -- it has been getting thread-worn. Ultra-wide-tall-double-hex-SCSI is just getting to be too much!

SATA is the right technology, especially for controllers since each channel is dedicated. The only alternative is Firewire, and there are no native controller drives.

Re:About time (1)

mgpeter (132079) | more than 8 years ago | (#13585762)

This might be a good alternative to SCSI drives, except it is only 7200rpm !?!

Why would Western Digital market THIS drive for RAID configs when they have 10K rpm SATA drives (Raptors) they could have used instead ?

Re:About time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13585776)

Because the raptors stop at 74Gb and this is 320..?

Re:About time (2, Informative)

Glonoinha (587375) | more than 8 years ago | (#13585865)

RTFA - they used a different type of encoding on these drives in order to implement the 'time-limited error recovery.' The problem is that the encoding is done on three-vector bi-furate substrate instead of the two-vector bi-furate substrate used in the Raptors, and the 3V stuff can't handle speeds of the 10k RPM (the lateral acceleration at 10k RPM is significantly more than at 7,200 RPM, and the 3V stuff is taller than the 2V stuff - hence the problem.)

Re:About time (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586476)

Why would Western Digital market THIS drive for RAID configs when they have 10K rpm SATA drives (Raptors) they could have used instead ?
AFAIK the Raptor is still stuck at 75GB, no? That's getting downright pathetic.

Individually, each of these new drives is slightly slower than a Raptor. But the cheap price for high capacity would allow liberal use of Raid-1. A pair of these in Raid-1 should destroy a single Raptor in every read benchmark.

Re:About time (2, Interesting)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 8 years ago | (#13585792)

> ...especially for controllers since each channel is dedicated...

I generally tend to agree with that, but as a guy running 8 200GB SATA drives on four controllers, I can tell you that the PCI bus gets saturated _way_ too quickly for my tastes.

Re:About time (2, Informative)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586028)

8 drive on four controlers.

You could get around that if you were to use a Adaptec Serial ATA RAID 2810SA with 8 ports or a more expensive Adaptec Serial ATA RAID 21610SA with 16 ports.

You might look at the price and say too expensive but the speed and availible configuration should make up for it. Besides i got might for around $425 wich is less then thier suggested price. Also both these cards can use the waisted space from mismatched drive sizes as well run multiple raid volumes one each drive. What i like the most is the hotswap and hotspare were you could just leave a blank drive in and if one other drive failes it automaticaly recovers with the spare and you can replace the bad drive without rebooting. Another thing i like about the card is that it is a full controler and not one of these host based things. Your computer will just see it as a harddrive(s) without any special drivers. You can even access them from DOS, most linux kernels, as well as windows 95 and 3.11 (note the drives had to be small for 3.1 and 95 to see correctly).

BTW, i don't work for adaptec or sell thier stuff. I'm just impressed with a product that finaly took alot of frustration away that has been associated with cheaper IDE and SATA ad-on cards. I'm sure there are better solutions availible. this is just one that i have found. Most of the cheaper (under $100) IDE,SATA,or raid controlers i have found use the system for thier existance. This is why you need a special driver in windows or linux to use it corectly. the extra cominucations here could be somethign saturating you pci bus (or helping it saturate)

Re:About time (2, Interesting)

Fweeky (41046) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586088)

Quite. 32bit 33MHz PCI (especially shared among on-board stuff *and* multiple card slots) is amazingly feeble these days, so consumer-level PCI Express comes not a minute too soon. Of course if you can afford and appreciate 8 200G drives you can probably also afford and appreciate a half-decent workstation/server board with PCI-X, but even a pair of modern drives can completely saturate the bus, and if you're into file sharing over GigE even one drive is way too much.

For that matter even sharing /dev/zero over GigE on PCI is.. disappointing.

Re:About time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13586513)

Sharing /dev/zero goes a lot faster if you turn on compression.

Re:About time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13585909)

The only alternative is Firewire, [...]

No, It isn't. Fiber Channel is the alternative. Additionally, beeing on dedicated channels is only acceptable if you stick everything in one case, and it really is only any good in SATA's case because parallel IDE did such a bad job of handling 2 drives on one wire. With proper arbitration (like SCSI or FC/AL have), there really isn't much of a problem with having multiple drives on one bus.

How does a lack of NCQ help? (4, Insightful)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 8 years ago | (#13585689)

How does the lack of Native Command Queuing improve RAID performance? Generally I thought NCQ improved all drive's performance, and TFA says that NCQ is normally part of Enterprise High-Performance.

Well my guess would be (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586446)

That the RAID card handles it. Please remember I am just guesing here, I don't know. However I know there used to be PATA IDE RAID cards that did this. The discs didn't support any kind of special reading, they just processed requests in order. Ok, no problem, the controller, which had a processor, RAM, etc did all that. It would implement scatter-gather and so on. Basically it was a SCSI RAID controller with IDE connectors instead.

So perhaps the thought here is since you have a controller that'll handle it, leave the features off the disk. PErhaps it's cheaper, perhaps it works out to be faster, perhaps NCQ qould interfere with the RAID card's operation. You know, maybe the RAID card queues up operations and then dispatches them to the disk in the order they should be executed,b ut the disk then queues them up and does them in an order that makes more sense to it, but less to the actual RAID.

Or, maybe they are just ripping people off.

earth to 11 year old kid (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13585691)

You can't sell your oh so cool hardware review site for millions of dollars and retire at age 12 just because Cowboy Neal posts your article on slashdot!

p.s. Pay attention in English class.

Summary of article:

The Good (+)
- Very good performance
- Looks cool (for a hard drive)
- Optimized for RAID use

The Bad (-)
- High initial investment

Re:earth to 11 year old kid (5, Interesting)

alc6379 (832389) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586145)

Mod me offtopic, or whatever, but this has to be the most dumb-ass review I've ever read. It's a drive meant for RAID use, as in RAID 5 or RAID 1, in servers, where data integrity is very important. But what does this guy do?

...he puts it through the paces of a desktop hard drive. Where's the test of how it could run under mySQL? It's been replaced by a comment about how you can never have too much space "in this age of DVD-burning, file-sharing, and 40 GB MP3 players." Who the fuck cares about that on a server?

Where's the review of how well it facilitates serving pages through Apache? Oh, that's replaced by "Look how neat the drive looks!"

...Nope. This FA was a waste of time, not just for the reader, but for the author, and for Western Digital to have even sent the drives to this guy. He should go back to playing UT2k4OMFGBF2, and find someone who actually knows something about industry usage patterns on hard drives like this to write a thoughful review.

SATA version may be new, but features are not new (4, Informative)

ptbarnett (159784) | more than 8 years ago | (#13585702)

Western Digital has been selling an EIDE version with this feature set for a while:

http://www.wdc.com/en/products/Products.asp?DriveI D=92 [wdc.com]

I bought one to replace what I thought was a bad drive in a RAID configuration about a year ago.

Re:SATA version may be new, but features are not n (1)

FLaSh SWT (233251) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586348)

No kidding. I've had a pair of 250GB IDE Raid Edition drives for over a year now.

TechReport (4, Informative)

JohnnyBigodes (609498) | more than 8 years ago | (#13585719)

Proper TechReport's review here [techreport.com].

Go read. Now!

Re:TechReport (1)

andrewman327 (635952) | more than 8 years ago | (#13585759)

Why didn't the original article link to the TechReport review?

To be fair, it looks like the drive really is impressive. From the review: In the world of enterprise-ready 7,200-RPM Serial ATA drives, the Caviar RE2 has few competitors and no equals.

native command queueing (4, Interesting)

garat (899448) | more than 8 years ago | (#13585750)

Here's an interesting quote from Tom's Hardware [tomshardware.com]:

"In sum, we must state that all Command Queuing enabled drives have an advantage over those that do not support this feature. At the same time, CPU load is also slightly higher when Command Queuing technologies are used. However, considering the performance of today's processors, the additional CPU load is a marginal factor."

Basically, you put some load on the processor for increased disk performance... Why not include it?

Re:native command queueing (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586108)

Probably because of the mirrage of software raid cards that use the system processors and memory. Are we talking about an extra load on the system's processor, The raid controlers or the little IDE's processor? (yes there is a small proccessor on most IDE or SATA drives that do LBA)

Many of the cheaper level controlers do this exact thing but apear to be a hardware controler. OTOH, i'm not sure if a true hardware controler would be able to take advantage of it either. Are there current SATA raid controlers even able to use Command Queuing? If not how long until it is possible. It may be a feature that couldn't be used at this stage but later revisions might.

Re:native command queueing (1)

garat (899448) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586278)

Are there current SATA raid controlers even able to use Command Queuing? If not how long until it is possible. It may be a feature that couldn't be used at this stage but later revisions might.

According to storagereview.com [storagereview.com] the "upcoming Promise FastTrak TX4200" of a year ago uses it; as the article is over a year old I'd surmise there a plenty more.

Re:native command queueing (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586135)

Because that functionality is supposed to be handled by the RAID controller, and if the drive has it enabled you can end up losing performance as the two Command Queue Controllers fight each other. Theoretically you can turn it off (most SCSI based solutions do), but in practice many ATA drives lie to you when you tell them to turn off certain features (like Write Cacheing) and leave them on.

Re:native command queueing (1)

garat (899448) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586309)

Because that functionality is supposed to be handled by the RAID controller, and if the drive has it enabled you can end up losing performance as the two Command Queue Controllers fight each other.

From the excellent storagereview.com article [storagereview.com]: "TCQ must be supported by both the controller and the hard drive itself."

That's with TCQ being NCQ but for ATA-4.

Sal Cangeloso is a moron (5, Insightful)

laing (303349) | more than 8 years ago | (#13585765)

The manufacturer specifically says to only use these in a RAID-1 configuration (mirroring). They have a reason for this: The error recovery mechanisim is abbreviated. So what does Sal do... He connects two drives in a RAID-0 configuration. Now his data reliability has gone to about 1/4 of a regular drive.

Re:Sal Cangeloso is a moron (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586322)

Yep, RAID-0 is the configuration you want to use if you want to risk losing data. You want RAID-1. I'm not saying that it's an excuse to have a proper back-up though, RAID merely keeps you going should a drive die.

NCQ.. (2, Informative)

groovy.ambuj (870307) | more than 8 years ago | (#13585796)

NCQ allows hard drive to reorder various commands/accesses to suit its current head position. Depending on your app you might not see a lot benfits from it e.g when you do serial access all the time but lack of it will certainly cause degradations when multiple apps are active. Also by using one big hard-drive instead of multiple smaller ones its putting all eggs in one basket. Mechanical problems are more frequent than magnetic ones for a hard drive..

looking for an inexpensive raid5 tower (4, Interesting)

v1 (525388) | more than 8 years ago | (#13585803)

These buggers are hard to find for anywhere near decent cash. I've found one model that is fairly popular, going by several different names and brands, but nobody seems to have them in stock. They look like a GREAT deal and loaded with most or alll of the best features of raid5. (hot swap, live rebuild, live GROW, etc) Has anyone seen one IN STOCK anywhere?

Same exact models:

http://www.raidweb.com/fb605fw.html [raidweb.com]
http://www.micronet.com/General/prodList.asp?CatID =45&Cat=Product [micronet.com]
http://www.firewiremax.com/fire-wire-1394-ilink/mi harasyfor5.html [firewiremax.com]
http://www.pcrush.com/prodspec.asp?ln=1&itemno=779 19&refid=1057 [pcrush.com]
http://www.cooldrives.com/firewire-raid-5-enclosur e-mini.html [cooldrives.com]
http://www.topmicrousa.com/combo-205.html [topmicrousa.com]

same internals, different enclosure:

http://fwdepot.com/thestore/product_info.php/produ cts_id/657 [fwdepot.com]
http://www.cooldrives.com/fii13toatade.html [cooldrives.com]

Everyone I call says they have them in stock. Then I ask them to check and they suddenly change their mind and say no it's not really in stock, (despite what their web page says) and they expect it in the generic "1-2 weeks". (retail-speak for "we don't know when it'll be in, please call back later")

Two of them actually told me they have yet to receive any of these units, so I don't think they've shipped from the manufacturer yet? (vaporware?)

Re:looking for an inexpensive raid5 tower (2, Insightful)

John Napkintosh (140126) | more than 8 years ago | (#13585881)

Seems like you could save quite a bit of money by going with something like this (assuming it was SATA you're looking for):

http://www.macgurus.com/productpages/sata/satakits .php [macgurus.com]

They have 2-, 3-, 4-, and 8-bay kits to suite your need. Get 'em with or without drives, cables, etc. The only drawback I see is the lack of a controller card (might have to go with something like the Sonnet further down the page). Then again, this may not be such of a drawback, since you're not stuck with a built-in RAID controller, in the event of it being a pile of junk.

$451 for an empty 8-bay with no cabling ain't too bad.

Re:looking for an inexpensive raid5 tower (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586508)

I've already got a pair of 8 bay towers, same design as your link but beige instead of black. Been using them as software mirrors, which has worked in the past but is becoming very cumbersome. I just was hit with a DOUBLE drive failure that very nearly cost me 250gb of data, so I am looking for a RAID5 self-contained solution. I could really use the improved efficiency of usable space in raid5 - 80% on a 5 drive system, as opposed to 50% on my mirrors. I also want a box that I stuff drives into, and plug one firewire cable into and it looks like a giant HD, with raid5 protection. This will allow me to move the array to another machine when needed. Can't hook it to my laptop if it requires a controller card!

Network RAID? (4, Interesting)

Eccles (932) | more than 8 years ago | (#13585808)

Is there a reasonable cost, relatively low power RAID-5 setup for home networks? I'd love to set up a file server with gigabit ethernet and RAID-5 to serve as the home directories for my multiple machines. Things like the Buffalo LinkStation are a step in the right direction, but no RAID, etc. Is my only solution a Celeron or Pentium-M based PC? If so, is it possible to set up such a system to act as home directories for a combo of Windows, Mac, and /or Linux machines?

Re:Network RAID? (1)

NekoIncardine (838965) | more than 8 years ago | (#13585893)

... This would make an excellent Ask Slashdot. There's enough subtleties to make it a challenge to definitively answer, but it's general enough that other users might be interested.

Re:Network RAID? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13586320)

It's been done a thousand times before.

Re:Network RAID? (1)

william_w_bush (817571) | more than 8 years ago | (#13585901)

buffalo has a terabyte 4x250 drive raid capable of raid5 for 750g. has gige too, but a relatively slow processor, and though the box clearly states it supports nfs it doesn't and they don't plan to. if you're pure windows and just looking for a nice solution it sounds good though, very small and easy to manage. mac and linux will have to use samba, which is a decent bit slower, and without the same permissions, but how much slower depends on your workload. For things like a central backup for important data it sounds great. Costs about $1k, so it's not cheap nor ridiculously expensive.

Just a thought.

Re:Network RAID? (2, Informative)

canadiangoose (606308) | more than 8 years ago | (#13585912)

I really think your best bet would be to use an old P3 or Athlom running software RAID on Linux or BSD. You can add several PATA/SATA cards to your machine and stack it full of drives and fans, and I think you'll find the performace to be acceptable. Of course, no software RAID can compete with an expensive SCSI RAID card with a dedicated XScale chip or whatever, but it's a heck of a lot cheaper.

It also depends what you want to be doing with it. I've played with both hardware and software RAID5 and home and at work. Software RAID offers excellend bandwidth, and seems to use very little CPU time. This is why I think a P3 should work. However, the seek time is terrible. Perhapse it has something to do with the RAID intelligence being located so much farther away from the drives than it would be with a dedicated RAID card. I've tried running an SQL server on soft IDE RAID on a dual Xeon 3.2, and it had the snot kicked out of it by a dual P3 700 with an ancient MegaRAID driven SCSI array.

As for running it as a home directory for Win/Mac/Linux, between Samba and NFS you should be just fine. You may even be able to go the fancy route and set up a few logical volumes as iSCSI targets and run your own SAN.

Re:Network RAID? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13585920)

I find people with stupid signatures about their low slashdot user id annoying and not worthy of reponses.

Re:Network RAID? (2, Informative)

xlsior (524145) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586039)

One of the major reasons for the high price of most hardware RAID5 solutions, is the hot-swap backplane. If you are OK with a solution where you would have to shut down the server in order to replace a bad drive (which would be OK for most home use I would image), you can find some *very* cheap hardware RAID controllers ($50, for both ATA and SATA) that will do the job just fine...

Re:Network RAID? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13586079)

I use an old P3/600 with 4 250GB drives (2 raid 0+1 sets). File serving is generally not CPU intensive and I can achieve saturation on 2 100mbit eth lines while reading data from multiple machines. That is a relatively cheap setup but what do you consider cheap? The only thing I do at home that needs more bandwidth then my server may be able to handle is video capture and a second 200GB drive in the local machine I am doing my video on is more then adequate. My final video edit and any work I am doing gets copied automatically at night to the file server for backup which eliminates the expense and need for gigabit and and a faster raid setup.

A side note. In roughly two years with this setup, I've had three various raid failures or reduced raid functionality (drives marked bad that were not bad or a corrupt raid config). None of these problem were the drives themselves. The raid setup caused more problems then it has prevented so use caution when trying to achieve a "cheap" raid setup. Next time it happens, I'll probably get rid of the raid setup and go back to four invididual drives and using rsync between two similar sized drives via a cron job.

Assuming you really need Gb speed and want raid 5, your setup done reliably can get expensive quick. Don't forget to look into your data recovery options if you decide on hardware raid and your card fails!

Buffalo TeraStation (4, Informative)

chocolatetrumpet (73058) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586120)

Buffalo TeraStation [buffalotech.com]

Supports RAID 5.

I emailed if external USB hard drives could be added and swapped to a raid 5 array, and if it can be done "on the fly"...

but all I got was this lousy message:

"Please call (800) 456-9799 x. 2013 between 8:30 and 5:30 CT and our presales guys will be able to assist you."

I'm one of those weird people that would rather communicate in writing. Oh well - no sale.

Re:Buffalo TeraStation (1)

lordkuri (514498) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586427)

Please call (800) 456-9799 x. 2013 between 8:30 and 5:30 CT and our presales guys will be able to assist you.

translation: call us on the phone so we can lie with impunity, and you can't prove it.

par for the course anymore

Re:Network RAID? (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586172)

Whats your idea of reasonable cost? You could probably do just that for less then $1500 on a PC and use linux with the varios SMB configs around. Or you might be able to use some windows version with cygwin exporting NFS or somethign. Any ways, $1500 sounds a little expensive for most (it is the price of a new midlevel gaming rig).

I'm sure there are some NAS stuff but they tend to be what i would consider pricy too. OF course reasonable cost is a reletive term so my idea might be lower then yours.

Re:Network RAID? (1)

Homology (639438) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586293)

Is there a reasonable cost, relatively low power RAID-5 setup for home networks?

RAID-5 for home networks is a solution looking for a problem. RAID-5 is nice for minimizing down time, but for a home network that is very seldom the case.

You see, the problem is usually not that my harddisk failed, but that I need to get an older version of a file, or get a file I deleted by accident. RAID-5 is utterly useless for this. For most home users it's better to use something like rsnapshot [rsnapshot.org] and take daily/hourly snapshots of their main harddisk to other hardisks.

Re:Network RAID? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586346)

A Celeron isn't really amazingly low power. I'm thinking something more like VIA EPIA. You don't really need a lot of CPU as long as the only thing the system is doing is filesharing and handling the RAID. Generally speaking a fairly current CPU will knock the socks off of the RAID performance of even fairly expensive controllers because they really don't have all that much CPU on them. Using linux md or similar you can create whatever kind of RAID levels you want. Pentium-M would work fine, but the power consumption tends to be up there.

Just remember, if all you're doing is the filesharing and the RAID, you don't need a RAID controller. Unless you're on solar, the savings of not buying the controller might be enough to justify using a non-low-power processor ;P

Sounds like it might be interesting... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13585816)

If it wasn't made by Western Digital. I've had too many of their POS hard drives crash on me to ever shell out another cent on any anything they make again...

Dumb Drives (2, Interesting)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 8 years ago | (#13585851)

EIDE drives are the cheapest type. But AFAIK, each drive has a controller card onboard, which seems redundant when all the drives are being controlled in conjunction. Software RAIDs seem to have parity (pun intended ;) with HW raid controllers, but wouldn't a real "Made for RAID" drive have nearly no controller logic of its own (maybe just data separator and head/spindle speed/position calibration)? Lots of logic for controlling the RAID drive will be on the central controller card, or running on the CPU. So why have more on the drive? The cheaper the drives, the bigger the array at the same budget (shared overhead of common controller).

Am I correct, or are some RAID drive makers already doing this? Or have I just got all the controller:drive economics wrong?

How about RAID on a hard drive itself (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13585939)

Specificially RAID 0, mirrored. It would be nice to be able to split one of those oversized drives into a mirrored drive, using the opposite sides of the disk platter as mirrors. You'd get better reliability with the slight trade off of all that surplus disk space you never use.

Re:How about RAID on a hard drive itself (2, Insightful)

LuckyStarr (12445) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586068)

And what if the electronics of the drive fails? Or the motor? Or the drive-head actuator?

Sorry sir, but this is a bad idea.

Go RAID! How real? (0)

RealisticCanadian (850967) | more than 8 years ago | (#13585972)


Now, firstly, yay! I've loved the idea of RAID arrayed drives since I first heard of it about 2 years ago when my friend was writing linux drivers for a company's (obligatorily namelessness) RAID Card. The technology has some very high potential, but it has very much sat by the wayside. Seeing a major hardware manufacturer target a product to the RAID crowd means it's starting to get some industry clout, which I for one think is mucho overdue.

Secondly; however, the article seems very short on technical specs:
"In works better in RAID" according to.....?

Re: Go RAID! How real? (2, Interesting)

MarkTina (611072) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586474)

What do you mean sat on the wayside ? It's been out and about for donkeys years, I've been involved in storage for 9 years and it pre-dates me by a LOOOONG time.

Is it just me or.... (4, Insightful)

rongage (237813) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586027)

Is it just me, or did this review stink for lack of proper testing and comparison...

If I were comparing this product and it's performance, I certainly would not be benchmarking a SATA based RAID setup against a single Parallel ATA drive. Something in this arrangement just doesn't seem... well, logical.

If you were really going to try to impress me with it's performance, then you would have to show me how it compares to "non-RAID" optimized drives of near simular characteristics. Show me how this drive performs against, say, Hitachi SATA 320 gig drives using an identical test rig. Also show me how this drive compares to 320 gig SCSI drives. Show me the results as JBOD, RAID-0, RAID-1 and RAID-5. You know, like the real world.

While the graphs are pretty, I'm afraid that this "review" it fairly content-free.

Re:Is it just me or.... (1)

John Napkintosh (140126) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586281)

It seems like the goal of their comparisons were to highlight the bang-for-the-buck value - the amount of 'high quality' storage you can get for the price - so it sorta makes sense that they'd compare it to an older technology that is a bit cheaper. For a company that's looking to get the greatest amount of space for the cheapest amount of money, 100/133 PATA almost certainly would be a consideration.

But it does get kinda confusing when they start throwing performance figures out there. Is it because performance was the goal? Or is it because the RAID level that doesn't sacrifice any overall drive space just happens to be considered a performance array level?

Re:Is it just me or.... (1)

KillShill (877105) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586394)

but it's fairly good at getting ad impressions, which is all it's designed to do.

most "reviews" on the web are are extremely basic done by people with little knowledge in the methodology of testing hardware/software.

it's useful in that it exemplifies how not to review products.

Hard Drives for RAID use (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13586071)

Don't forget the "poor man's" RAID -> rsync. If you have 2 complete machines with 1 drive each, and you rsync them, you are *nearly* equal to one machine with dual power supplies, and mirrored disks. Of course, you probably would just mirror data, but you get the idea. Truly convenient if your backup fails one night.

What would REALLY make the drive RAID firendly (3, Insightful)

jandrese (485) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586165)

IMHO, the biggest things manufacturers could do to make the drives more RAID friendly is to change the name (even with just a v1, v2, etc...) when they change platters.

Nothing is worse than buying a bunch of drives and a couple of spares and building the array and then discovering down the road that in fact one of your spares came from a different production run and has a slightly different (maybe 3 block smaller) geometry and can't be used on your array. Usually there is absolutely no indication on the box or the drive that one of your drives is different unless you decode the cryptic serial number.

For that matter, just printing the exact LBA count on the back of the box would be a huge boon.

This isn't limited to ATA drives either. I've seen it plenty of times in professional SCSI solutions too, especially as the arrays start to get older.

Re:What would REALLY make the drive RAID firendly (2, Interesting)

swmccracken (106576) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586509)

Recent promise RAID cards have a "gigabyte boundrary" mode, where they round the size of the array down to the nearest whole gigabyte.

This allows for minor variations in replacement disc sizes, at the cost of wasting some disc space. (It'd make a 250 gb array instead of a 250.23 GB one.)

synchronized spindles? (3, Informative)

adrianmonk (890071) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586204)

I would think if these drives are really designed for RAID (like other drives have been in the past), then they would have support for synchronized spindles.

The idea behind synchronized spindles is that in order to read data from a disk, you have to wait for the platter to come around part of a revolution for your data to become available, just like picking up your suitcase on the luggage carousel at the airport. How long you need to wait is a matter of luck, because the disk can be assumed to be in a random position when you decide you want your data. When you have RAID without synchronized spindles and you want data that's bigger than the stripe width (or when you're writing and need to update the parity), you have to wait for multiple disks, and they will tend to be spread out so that you tend to wait longer than if you were just waiting for one. With synchronized spindles, as soon as the whole group hits the right position, you've got what you're looking for, and you're done.

So, the point is, not having synchronized spindles tends to increase average access time, so having synchronized spindles is a desirable feature for a drive designed specifically for RAID.

Western Digital is synonymous for crap (2, Insightful)

Rev.LoveJoy (136856) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586282)

In my whole IT career (some ... christ ... 13 years now) I have seen no other vendor of HDD that comes close to WD for sheer volume of failed drives (Maxtor is a distant 2nd). That they resort to cheap marketing gimmicks like this (1 million hours mean time between failure, puhleeze, these are the people who pioneered the 1 year warranty) is only so much more indication of their propensity to manufacture garbage.

Buy their gear if you must but I would not put my data on it.

-- RLJ

Re:Western Digital is synonymous for crap (3, Interesting)

rizzo320 (911761) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586496)

Wow, did Western Digital plot to have your family killed? What a vendetta!

All hard drive manufacturers have gone through cycles of poor quality and reliability. Maxtor, Seagate, IBM/Hitatchi (remember the "DeathStar") have all had the same problems. In all my years of repairing and building desktops, I can say I have had the most problems with Seagates and (the now owned by Maxtor) Quantum drives. If you ask someone else, they'll give you a different answer too.

This drive has a 5 year warranty. Most other Western Digital's have a 3 year warranty, even if you buy the OEMs (in most cases). And read the articles above for what 1 million hrs MTBF means!

Old news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13586333)

I've had two of these drives in my server at home for almost year now. This is news??

3 platters (2, Insightful)

dtfinch (661405) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586467)

I'm no expert, but I look forward to mostly buying 2 platter drives from now on. Early failures seem to double when you add a third platter, and 5 platters is just scary. You can get 250gb SATA 2 platter Seagate drives for about $110 each, which seem to have a great record for reliability so far. But when I need real SCSI reliability I'll just get a real SCSI. The warranty for most SATA drives may be 5 years, but usually it's void if you put it in a server.

Enterprise level ? (0)

MarkTina (611072) | more than 8 years ago | (#13586484)

Hmmm ... NOPE! ATA is good for 2nd teir storage but I wouldn't dare put anything "enterprise level" on it, just far to slow at the moment.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...