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Krogoth
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Recommandations for DIY NAS HDDs

Sun Feb 24, 2019 10:49 am

I've looking around for SKUs and reviews for HDDs geared towards NAS needs. I've been eyeing towards WDs and Seagate units but it seems everyone is plagued by QC issues. Anything you storage-heads can vouch towards? Are NAS drives really just overkill for the personal use/home environment? The NAS is being used for bulk data storage/image backups so I/O throughput/latency aren't critical.
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Re: Recommandations for DIY NAS HDDs

Sun Feb 24, 2019 11:01 am

Krogoth wrote:
I've looking around for SKUs and reviews for HDDs geared towards NAS needs. I've been eyeing towards WDs and Seagate units but it seems everyone is plagued by QC issues. Anything you storage-heads can vouch towards? Are NAS drives really just overkill for the personal use/home environment? The NAS is being used for bulk data storage/image backups so I/O throughput/latency aren't critical.

Pretty much anything will do these days to be honest. Seagate has been a lot better about their stuff the past ~5 years, but yeah WD and HGST are still tops as far as reliability goes.Toshiba isn't bad either. Obviously enterprise stuff is gonna be even more reliable.

Lots of good info in this thread: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=121504

A lot of people have been shucking recently because external prices are significantly cheaper than internal prices for some reason. The WD externals have been yielding WD Reds/Whites and in some cases HGST He drives.

IMO - You can't really go wrong with the HGST NAS drives, WD Red/Red Pro/White, or the Toshiba N/X series of drives.
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Re: Recommandations for DIY NAS HDDs

Sun Feb 24, 2019 11:11 am

Every vendor has their good and bad models.

NAS drives are tuned for use in RAID arrays. The primary upshot of this is that they do fewer retries when they attempt to read a sector with an error; this allows the RAID controller/software to reconstruct and rewrite the bad sector, instead of causing a timeout (which may cause the drive to be dropped from the RAID array). In theory (i.e. manufacturers claim) NAS drives also incorporate design features which make them less susceptible to seek errors from vibration; this may improve performance and reliability if you have a RAID array with drives packed close together and little mechanical isolation between them.

NAS drives frequently have a lower spindle speed, so reduced performance but lower power consumption.

NAS drives also typically have a longer warranty than drives designed for desktop use.

That said, if you want to save a little money desktop drives will generally work OK as long as you avoid shingled (SMR) drives. I strongly suggest you avoid "Seagate Barracuda Compute" drives, or anything else you suspect (based on online research) may be using SMR.

For what it's worth, my current personal preferences for storage drives:
- WD Blue if cost is primary concern (but need to increase head unload timer to prevent excessive load/unload cycles)
- WD Red if I'm willing to spend a little more
- HGST/Toshiba if I'm willing to tolerate more heat and power usage to get better performance
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Re: Recommandations for DIY NAS HDDs

Sun Feb 24, 2019 12:11 pm

just brew it! wrote:
Every vendor has their good and bad models.
- HGST/Toshiba if I'm willing to tolerate more heat and power usage to get better performance


I'm using Toshiba drives in my DIY NAS system. My signature link shows how I built it. Good performance so far but as already mentioned the 7200 RPM HDDs will generate more heat especially in small enclosures. In addition to file archiving I'm using it for a music/video library and trying Plex as a docker program in UnRAID. So I figured the faster RPMs would help with file access.
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Re: Recommandations for DIY NAS HDDs

Sun Feb 24, 2019 12:36 pm

I like having a NAS given I have a few PCs and tablets on my home network that interact with the data, though 1gbit ethernet definitely limits performance. I do find near 100MB/s read/write is sufficient for what I need, but involves some waiting for large transfers.

I've started to eye a new box over my Qnap TS-431, something that will support 10gbit, along with the required upgraded switch and 10gbit card for my main PC at least. Probably the 8-bay TS-832X-8G which seems like a good natural progression.

Right now I have two 4TB WD RED and two older 3TB something or others in two RAID1 volumes (so ~7TB total usable capacity). The two 3TB drives were carry overs from a budget 2-bay build many years ago. Even the 4TB drives are probably 4 years old and I've never lost a drive.

Given pricing, I'm considering shucked externals for my next build. They're almost half price, often ~$180-200 on sale for 8-10TB drives instead of around $280-310 for "NAS-grade" drives. I'd really like to start with a 4 or 5 drive RAID6 in a TS-832X-8G, which is looking like $2k in total. A steep price tag for my upgrade project. I figure Even if I end up with some failures there are reports WD will honor a shucked drive return, and unless I'm pretty unlucky the money saved will easily pay for a few replacements over the years. Also it seems sometimes WD puts RED drives in their externals, but you may get the white-label (aka blue?) drives. From my reading I'm not sure it is super important.
 
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Re: Recommandations for DIY NAS HDDs

Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:16 am

Bit late... but definitely avoid Seagate Greens and WD Blues. The modern day Greens in particular do NOT have the tolerances to deal with the drive vibration of a NAS anymore. As G8torbyte said the HGST drives are good and 7200RPM however they are LOUD, so if you are sleeping or listen to music in the same room as the NAS you will not be happy. HGST drives are the loudest possible of the lot, in rotation noise but even more when seeking.

Seagate IronWolf drives can be found for $25 a TB or a bit less on sale every ~3-4 months. I'd strongly recommend those if the NAS data or reliability is important. But shucking enclosures for some WD Reds should work fine too.

Freon wrote:
I like having a NAS given I have a few PCs and tablets on my home network that interact with the data, though 1gbit ethernet definitely limits performance. I do find near 100MB/s read/write is sufficient for what I need, but involves some waiting for large transfers.

I've started to eye a new box over my Qnap TS-431, something that will support 10gbit, along with the required upgraded switch and 10gbit card for my main PC at least. Probably the 8-bay TS-832X-8G which seems like a good natural progression.

Right now I have two 4TB WD RED and two older 3TB something or others in two RAID1 volumes (so ~7TB total usable capacity). The two 3TB drives were carry overs from a budget 2-bay build many years ago. Even the 4TB drives are probably 4 years old and I've never lost a drive.

Given pricing, I'm considering shucked externals for my next build. They're almost half price, often ~$180-200 on sale for 8-10TB drives instead of around $280-310 for "NAS-grade" drives. I'd really like to start with a 4 or 5 drive RAID6 in a TS-832X-8G, which is looking like $2k in total. A steep price tag for my upgrade project. I figure Even if I end up with some failures there are reports WD will honor a shucked drive return, and unless I'm pretty unlucky the money saved will easily pay for a few replacements over the years. Also it seems sometimes WD puts RED drives in their externals, but you may get the white-label (aka blue?) drives. From my reading I'm not sure it is super important.


Can't tell you how much I hate QNAP right now, so I'm definitely biased. My TS-431 had a defective SATA controller, but the device never let on in the error logs about it and hid the error from me.I didn't discover this until a HDD "died" and I bought a new set of drives.

Turns out they would work but not fully initialize in the unit. QNAP support had me install some diagnostic software that pulled hidden logfiles from the NAS, and only then did I gain access to logs showing the hardware controller was not able to fully communicate with drives. Of course this was <2 months after the 2 year warranty. The same SATA port had started to occasionally drop from the array when the unit was still under warranty, but without pulling the hidden logs users would never know.

Drive IO errors are just one of the things Seagate's IronWolfs will detect and warn users about. They also have vibration sensors, shock sensing, temp monitoring and good tolerances. Today QNAP now supports IronWolf Health Management but they didn't last year. The drive would have been able to inform me that the NAS itself was defective and save me money on those shucked disks I never got to use. Or from having to buy a new NAS.
 
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Re: Recommandations for DIY NAS HDDs

Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:26 am

Kougar wrote:
Bit late... but definitely avoid Seagate Greens and WD Blues. ...

The WD Blues in my array seem to be doing OK, with one caveat: 5400 RPM Blues have the same head unload issue that the WD Greens used to have, so make sure you extend or disable that timer! The only other issue I had was that one of them was DOA, but Amazon quickly shipped a replacement.

A lot of Seagate's desktop/consumer drives seem to be infected with shingles these days, so they're currently on my "avoid" list.
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Re: Recommandations for DIY NAS HDDs

Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:42 am

My advice would be to mix up your drives and get different types. I got a NAS about 3 years ago and about 1 year in, 2 of the 4 WD RED drives died within about a month of each other. So that thing you hear about drives in the same batch possibly having the same manufacturing flaw is real. You can guess at the future reliability of new drives based on past performance, but nobody can be sure how or when your drives will fail in the future, so hedge you bets (and also back-up the RAID array of course).
 
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Re: Recommandations for DIY NAS HDDs

Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:24 am

I've been avoiding WD for consumer drives for a while now. QC seems to have gone out the window - visible in my own limited experience, newegg reviews, Revoo reviews (cross-retailer European review engine used by hundreds of e-tailers) and of course Backblaze's study.

Pre-WD HGST are still worth hunting for - the 8TB helioseal are supposed to be rock solid and fast.
I'm personally going with Seagate Ironwolves. They're slower (5900 rpm) if you go for the sub-4TB capacities but still very quiet, smooth, and low power.

I have a cheap DIY SAN with 12x 10TB 7200rpm Ironwolves sitting in an offsite datacenter for daily syncs of a 90TB dataset, it's been doing that without a hiccup for almost two years now....
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Re: Recommandations for DIY NAS HDDs

Fri Apr 19, 2019 4:00 pm

I too am late to this thread. Here goes...

Kougar wrote:
...Seagate IronWolf drives can be found for $25 a TB or a bit less on sale every ~3-4 months.
I just put an IronWolf into my new Synology DS918+. The intent was to just start with a single 10TB drive to support my replication/syncronization fetish and to add drives to expand capacity and implement resilience when I can afford to spend more money.

Freon wrote:
...Drive IO errors are just one of the things Seagate's IronWolfs will detect and warn users about. They also have vibration sensors, shock sensing, temp monitoring and good tolerances. ...
Good to know, thanks!
 
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Re: Recommandations for DIY NAS HDDs

Fri Apr 19, 2019 4:10 pm

I started with two 10 TB Ironwolf drives in a DS418play, then added a 3rd drive when it was on a super sale.
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Re: Recommandations for DIY NAS HDDs

Fri Apr 19, 2019 4:24 pm

Not much for me to contribute here... everyone's basically said what I planned to say. Oh well, I'll reiterate my experience anyway.

1. Be sure to "Wdidle3" firmware change on WD Green / 5400 Blue drives for a better "head parking" if you use WD drives. Or buy someone else's drives and don't worry about it.

2. NAS Drives in general seem to advertise advanced vibration sensors. But unless you are using 4 or more hard drives, you probably won't come across those issues. WD "NAS" drives (Red) seem to have the wdidle3 change innately built into them.

3. I use Toshiba drives, mostly because they're cheapest. I also turn off my NAS box most of the time. I just make sure to zfs scrub approximately once every two months to double-check my data.
 
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Re: Recommandations for DIY NAS HDDs

Fri Apr 19, 2019 6:10 pm

Seeing as we're playing late-to-the-thread, I'm currently building out with Seagate Exos 7E8's as they're best on paper, though have previously preferred (real) HGST Ultrastars and tolerated the WD Red Pro's which IME have a smoother RMA process when the drives die.

Anything with < 3Y warranty, or 8x5 / 2400 POH, or 1E14 UBER can PFO IMNSHO :P .
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Re: Recommandations for DIY NAS HDDs

Fri Apr 19, 2019 6:26 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:
I started with two 10 TB Ironwolf drives in a DS418play, then added a 3rd drive when it was on a super sale.


There are few certainties in life, but one of them is that the IronWolfs will go on a deep sale every six months. Happens like clockwork. Every few months Newegg does its own buy two combo promos as well.
 
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Re: Recommandations for DIY NAS HDDs

Fri Apr 19, 2019 6:57 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:
I started with two 10 TB Ironwolf drives in a DS418play, then added a 3rd drive when it was on a super sale.


Are you happy with the Ironwolf's? I haven't used spinning drives in more than 5 years but my drone footage is going to require spinning media for archival purposes at the rate I'm going. I have an old Atom box I could resurrect since Icelake is cancelled.
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Re: Recommandations for DIY NAS HDDs

Fri Apr 19, 2019 7:07 pm

chuckula wrote:
Are you happy with the Ironwolf's?
I don't know that I've been really happy about a spinning hard-drive recently -- not like when I put a pair of original 10k rpm WD Raptors together in RAID. The Ironwolf drives seem to work pretty well in the NAS environment for which they were created. With the current location of my NAS, I might wish that the head seeks were even quieter, but the sound is only noticeable when the rest of the house is quiet. Mostly, I'm really impressed at how well the Synology software package works.
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Re: Recommandations for DIY NAS HDDs

Fri Apr 19, 2019 9:55 pm

dragontamer5788 wrote:
1. Be sure to "Wdidle3" firmware change on WD Green / 5400 Blue drives for a better "head parking" if you use WD drives. Or buy someone else's drives and don't worry about it.

If you're on Linux you can save yourself the trouble of creating and rebooting into a FreeDOS image to run WD's tool by using idle3ctl instead. On Debian-based distros (including Ubuntu and its derivatives) it should be available in the idle3-tools package; it's probably available (possibly under a different name) on other distros as well.
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Re: Recommandations for DIY NAS HDDs

Sun Apr 21, 2019 5:16 pm

chuckula wrote:
Are you happy with the Ironwolf's? I haven't used spinning drives in more than 5 years but my drone footage is going to require spinning media for archival purposes at the rate I'm going. I have an old Atom box I could resurrect since Icelake is cancelled.


I am running five Ironwolf 10TB drives in a DS1618+. Only been using them for ~8 months but I can say they are significantly quieter than the HGST drives both in rotation and seeking noise, and aren't as loud as the old (non-colored) Barracudas they replaced. I don't hear any rotation noise, whining or tonals from the NAS which sits in the middle of the desk under my monitor. Seeking is quite audible, but nowhere near HGST levels and it is low enough in the frequency range that it doesn't bother me.

For casual data storage you'd save money by shucking some enclosures for some WD Reds, but only you know how important your data is to you to make the determination.
 
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Re: Recommandations for DIY NAS HDDs

Thu Apr 25, 2019 11:50 am

I'm running HGST NAS and Ironwolf drives all 8TB in my NAS.
I skipped on WD which used to be my favoured brand since their NAS line was all 5400 rpm until you bought Pro.

So far no issues with either and been running 2 years.
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Re: Recommandations for DIY NAS HDDs

Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:01 pm

IronWolf or IronWolf Pro for a home server with 4 drives? Is the pro version worth the extra $$?

Currently 1xHGST ultrastar (the real HGST) and 3xWD RE.
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Re: Recommandations for DIY NAS HDDs

Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:07 pm

TBH I think as long as you avoid the Seagate SMR crap that's still in the distribution channels, and tweak the head unload timer if you go with any of the WD drives which have that issue, using desktop drives (or shucked externals) in a home NAS is a perfectly reasonable thing to do if you are on a budget. If you're willing to spend a bit more, sure, go for actual NAS/Enterprise drives.
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Re: Recommandations for DIY NAS HDDs

Thu Apr 25, 2019 2:39 pm

I'm in the planning phases for a Linux Plex build next year. You people are very knowledgeable on the matter, so let me ask this: recertified drives are about 33% cheaper. What I'm thinking is for the price of 6 drives I could get 8. With a double parity ZFS RAID how risky is that?
 
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Re: Recommandations for DIY NAS HDDs

Thu Apr 25, 2019 3:32 pm

just brew it! wrote:
TBH I think as long as you avoid the Seagate SMR crap that's still in the distribution channels, and tweak the head unload timer if you go with any of the WD drives which have that issue, using desktop drives (or shucked externals) in a home NAS is a perfectly reasonable thing to do if you are on a budget. If you're willing to spend a bit more, sure, go for actual NAS/Enterprise drives.

This.

Unless you know what you're doing, avoid the SMR drives. Anything else, unless you're going super dense 60+ drive enclosures, will work just fine with a few tweaks.


EDIT: All of the 2 TB drives in my NAS (and I used to have 18 of them) were refurbished. I had a few early failures but with a Z2 or Z3 it's not much of a worry. Burn in testing usually ferrets out the bad drives pretty quickly.
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Re: Recommandations for DIY NAS HDDs

Thu Apr 25, 2019 5:50 pm

I got a bunch of the WD externals with 8TB plain WD Reds inside. I've only shucked 2 or 3 so far, and haven't put them in a NAS yet, but I did consolidate all my older WD Green storage drives onto one. Not really any complaints as far as noise.
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Re: Recommandations for DIY NAS HDDs

Fri Apr 26, 2019 4:17 am

just brew it! wrote:
TBH I think as long as you avoid the Seagate SMR crap that's still in the distribution channels, and tweak the head unload timer if you go with any of the WD drives which have that issue, using desktop drives (or shucked externals) in a home NAS is a perfectly reasonable thing to do if you are on a budget. If you're willing to spend a bit more, sure, go for actual NAS/Enterprise drives.


Finding out whether a drive has SMR is a non-trivial exercise. Some of the Seagate entreprise drives explicitly mention SMR. From what I saw the Ironwolf [Pro] do not seem to have SMR (at least the 8TB models I'm mostly interested in).
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Re: Recommandations for DIY NAS HDDs

Fri Apr 26, 2019 8:52 am

ptsant wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
TBH I think as long as you avoid the Seagate SMR crap that's still in the distribution channels, and tweak the head unload timer if you go with any of the WD drives which have that issue, using desktop drives (or shucked externals) in a home NAS is a perfectly reasonable thing to do if you are on a budget. If you're willing to spend a bit more, sure, go for actual NAS/Enterprise drives.

Finding out whether a drive has SMR is a non-trivial exercise. Some of the Seagate entreprise drives explicitly mention SMR. From what I saw the Ironwolf [Pro] do not seem to have SMR (at least the 8TB models I'm mostly interested in).

Yeah, I got burned by that myself just last year. It appears that "Barracuda Compute" drives with the "DM004" model number suffix are bad news.
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Re: Recommandations for DIY NAS HDDs

Fri Apr 26, 2019 12:01 pm

ptsant wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
TBH I think as long as you avoid the Seagate SMR crap that's still in the distribution channels, and tweak the head unload timer if you go with any of the WD drives which have that issue, using desktop drives (or shucked externals) in a home NAS is a perfectly reasonable thing to do if you are on a budget. If you're willing to spend a bit more, sure, go for actual NAS/Enterprise drives.


Finding out whether a drive has SMR is a non-trivial exercise. Some of the Seagate entreprise drives explicitly mention SMR. From what I saw the Ironwolf [Pro] do not seem to have SMR (at least the 8TB models I'm mostly interested in).

"DM004" at the end are SMR. The Enterprise drives are definitely called out explicitly as shingled (and they aren't drive managed anyway, so you can't even use them without the ZBC driver).
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Re: Recommandations for DIY NAS HDDs

Fri Apr 26, 2019 10:54 pm

Y'all are terrible.

Note to self: I do not need new drives for my NAS. I do not need new drives for my NAS.
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Re: Recommandations for DIY NAS HDDs

Sat Apr 27, 2019 1:41 am

I've got 10*2TB of mixed parentage in my small server, 10*4TB of Hitachi in my Plex server, 2*8TB SMR Seagates in a mirror for backups, and 2*4TB WD Blacks in a "high performance" mirror in a spare PC for safe and fast storage of stuff I'm working on. I can tell you with about a dozen years in, drive failures happen, they tend to happen much more frequently in some 'bad luck' models/brands, and they don't tend to hit one particular brand for more than a generation or two tops (else the OEM becomes the next Quantum).

What you're storing and how irreplaceable it is should directly impact what drives you buy and when. For my big media server I went with Hitachis because they had a good rep, good price, and good warranty. Even so, I managed to lose my array when one drive died and the resilver failed. It happens. RAID is not backup. The most important things go onto small mirrors, and I verify that my mirrors can be read as standalone disks before I start putting data on them. That's about as good as it gets. The larger arrays either get backed up or have a plan to recover/replace the data.

Buying disks from staggered manufacturing lots, buying special "made for RAID" disks, going beyond dual parity stripes is generally fixing the wrong problem. I'd rather have two matched arrays of performant desktop disks with a smart sync/backup plan than one array of special RAID disks. I'll also strongly recommend a good Linux setup to manage that RAID and make it available on the network over a hardware device, I've recovered many Linux arrays, and I've lost plenty of hardware RAID contoller arrays.

All of the above are plural anecdote and not to be used as production support advice.

Edit: The SMR drives aren't terrible if you know what you're getting and plan accordingly. My machine hosting an SMR mirror for backups is slower than any of my other arrays, but that's fine, since it's usually network-limited. I went SMR because it was cheaper per-TB than the other options at that size, and it's Good Enough. If you can choose SMR and PMR at the same or similar price point, though, obviously go PMR, it's much faster for writes, and very slightly faster for reads.
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Re: Recommandations for DIY NAS HDDs

Sat Apr 27, 2019 7:29 am

Forge wrote:
Edit: The SMR drives aren't terrible if you know what you're getting and plan accordingly. My machine hosting an SMR mirror for backups is slower than any of my other arrays, but that's fine, since it's usually network-limited. I went SMR because it was cheaper per-TB than the other options at that size, and it's Good Enough. If you can choose SMR and PMR at the same or similar price point, though, obviously go PMR, it's much faster for writes, and very slightly faster for reads.

The "know what you're getting and plan accordingly" part can be tricky though. Trust me, you don't want to go there.

Last summer, my new RAID-6 array nearly died because of Seagate DM004 drives. Two drives got kicked from the array one night, and the rest of the DM004 drives were struggling. Problem was, Linux md RAID + ext4 can pile up enough random write requests during high I/O load to overwhelm the drive's internal SMR management, resulting in periods of time where I/O latencies go through the roof (we're talking multiple minutes in some cases). This causes the HBA (or the HBA driver... not 100% sure which) to decide the drive has gotten hung up, so it whacks the drive with a reset. Do this enough times and md kicks the drive from the array.

In my case, the trigger for drives falling out of the array was a script which was sweeping through a large (10s of thousands of files) directory tree, computing MD5 sums of every file. "Wait a minute, that's a read workload... how the f*ck did that trigger bad SMR behavior?" I hear you asking. Well, I was asking myself the exact same question, and here's where it gets crazy.

For those who may not be familiar with ext4 options, there are three ways the file system can manage the "last access time" field of a file's metadata - "atime", "relatime" (which is the default these days), and "noatime". These correspond to "always update access time when a file is touched", "update access time only if last modification time is newer than currently stored last access time", and "don't update last access time". You'd think the default "relatime" setting would keep you out of trouble, at least for read-intensive workloads... but no, there's also a 24 hour timeout, where if you access (read) a file, and the currently stored last access time is more than 24 hours in the past, the access time gets updated regardless.

So with default file system options, sweeping through a directory hierarchy that hasn't been touched in the past 24 hours reading every file will generate a significant volume of random write requests to the drives, to update "last accessed time" meta-data. If you're using drive-managed SMR drives, this is VERY, VERY BAD.

In retrospect, I believe mounting the file system with "noatime" might have kept me out of trouble, but by the time I figured that out I had already replaced all of the DM004 drives in a fit of disgust/frustration. And I can't be sure that there wouldn't have still been other corner case workloads capable of triggering bad behavior.

So at least for Linux software RAID + ext4 file system, drive-managed SMR drives are in the AVOID LIKE THE FRIKKIN' PLAGUE bucket as far as I am concerned. And who knows what other file systems and workloads might be vulnerable.

</rant>
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