What is an "enterprise" hdd?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by pullman, Jul 8, 2008.

  1. pullman macrumors 6502

    pullman

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    #1
    Good morning everyone

    I'm looking to buy an extra hdd for the macpro and I'm confused: it seems manufacturers distinguish between enterprise models and consumer models, but what does the distinction mean?

    /p
     
  2. Virtuoso macrumors regular

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    #2
    Reliability mainly. The enterprise drives usually have a higher MTBF (mean time between failure) and longer warranties (5 years is typical).

    Also, they are designed to work better in a RAID environment and so will be more tolerant of the vibration you get when a load of drives are packed in together.

    They also have a different strategy for dealing with errors. Normal drives will pause and try to recover the error themselves before eventually continuing. This can cause problems in a RAID array where the RAID controller will assume the drive is faulty if it doesn't respond and drop it from the array. Enterprise drives are normally designed to spend less time on error recovery as this function is usually performed by the RAID controller.

    HTH
     
  3. aibo macrumors 6502

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  4. pullman thread starter macrumors 6502

    pullman

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    #4
    Groovy, thanks very much. I guess I should go for an enterprise type hdd if I want to use raid.

    /p
     
  5. pullman thread starter macrumors 6502

    pullman

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    #5
    Actually one more question:

    If I get two non-enterprise drives and put them in the Mac Pro in a raid 0 array, do i have to worry about vibrations? There's quite a price difference between the enterprise and the consumer versions.

    Thanks
     
  6. aibo macrumors 6502

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    #6
    You won't have to worry about vibrations whether they're enterprise or not. The only difference between the two is the recovery method. Enterprise versions don't attempt to error correct (to prevent slowing down the array) and home versions do.
     
  7. pprior macrumors 65816

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    #7
    No. That is a minimal vibration situation. RAID arrays of concern are where you have 4-10 drives all stacked on top of one another and the case can start to have resonance and increased vibration.
     
  8. Virtuoso macrumors regular

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    #8
    If you're just looking to add an extra drive to your Mac Pro, the only 'enterprise' feature you will benefit from is the warranty.

    It might be worth looking at the new range of high performance consumer drives from Western Digital which also now have a 5 year warranty. Caviar Black - $210 for 1TB. I ordered one a few days ago.
     
  9. Roy macrumors 6502

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    #9
    When I was looking for a larger hard-drive, it seems like Seagate had a 5 year warranty on all its drives.
     
  10. zmttoxics macrumors 65816

    zmttoxics

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    #10
    I always buy Seagate. They always come with 5 year warranties, and they seem to perform nicely all around. Something I can't say about the WD disks ive owned :p.
     
  11. Virtuoso macrumors regular

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    #11
    I work in video and I use a lot of drives. I must have had over 80 WD drives over the past 5 years or so. I've only ever had one go faulty, which was right at the end of its 3 year warranty period. The customer service was superb - I arranged the return online, and I had a free replacement in 3 days. For a small fee, they will even send a replacement out same day and then you return the faulty one at your leisure.

    Top marks for service and they have certainly earned my brand loyalty. I don't buy anything else these days.

    In contrast, I've had quite a few faulty drives from Seagate, Maxtor and Hitachi. The Seagate drive that came with my Mac Pro was slow and noisy.
     
  12. zmttoxics macrumors 65816

    zmttoxics

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    #12
    I have probably had around 20 WD drives. Everyone of them did funny things or straight up didnt work / crashed and burned. I'll agree Seagate arent the quietest drives, but they don't fail me like WD does.
     
  13. sash macrumors 6502a

    sash

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    #13
    My choice is also Seagate, and the latest ones I've got (Barracuda 7200.11 SATA 3Gb/s 32 MB) are even quieter than WD I've received along with the MP.

    5 years warranty as well.

    sash
     
  14. Frozonecold macrumors 6502

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    #14
    Western Digital drives have treated me the best and have awesome performance, but maybe I am just lucky.
     
  15. big dainjerus macrumors regular

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    #15
    my western digital won't shut the **** up. It keeps making this constant whine noise. I haven't owned many drives but I can't imagine any making this much noise.
     
  16. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #16
    Re: phasing vibration and the rather rubbish Mac Pro drive carriers - it seems to affect them and due to the fairly open nature of workst... I mean, high-end home computers like the Pro, it can be quite audible. On the SATA'd Pros at home I have the WD RE2 drives in all the drive slots - and the phasing 'whirrrrrrrrrr' is quite audible. It's certainly not a deal-killer but it is noticeable.
     
  17. pullman thread starter macrumors 6502

    pullman

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    #17
    Great stuff, everyone, thanks for all the info. I've only once bought a harddrive, an external usb WD 250. Has worked well over the last two years.
     
  18. Thiol macrumors 6502a

    Thiol

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    #18
    Two follow up questions:

    Don't you benefit from the longer MTBF?
    Does the lack of error correction actually do you harm on a desktop workstation?
     
  19. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #19
    Yes.

    Depends.
    Yes if you use it as a separate drive on the main controller. (Logic Board)
    No if used with a RAID controller, which is what they were designed for.
     
  20. Thiol macrumors 6502a

    Thiol

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    #20
    Hmm... So is the higher MTBF gain worth the error checking loss? Sorry if this is an annoying question. I Just don't know much about these drives for a standard desktop...
     
  21. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #21
    That's OK. Better to understand and make the best decision for you. ;)

    Enterprise grade HDD's are meant to be run with hardware RAID. In this situation, error recovery is handled by both the drive and the RAID controller. The drive will skip it after a brief period of time, in which the RAID controller picks up in the form of a rebuild. :)

    A single drive must do it on its own. No backup method built-in. Utils are available, but may not help, and is why data back-up is so important.

    So if you aren't using RAID, you won't see a benefit, and may in fact have problems when an error occurs. Add an increase in cost for the enterprise drive, it just wouldn't be in your best interest, imho. :(

    Re read Virtuoso's post. Hopefully the two will help you understand the differences. You might be able to find a more detailed explanation on wiki. :cool:

    Good Luck.
     

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