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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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