Seagate versus WD for FreeBSD Harddisk >2Tb (ZFS,...)

Spartrekus

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Hello,

Both Seagate and WD are excellent brands for harddisk.

While Seagate may offer 5TB of storage here instead of Western Digital's 4TB, the latter is cheaper - it's a matter of personal preference. However, if speed and security are what you're looking for, the WD Passport SSD maximum capacity of 2TB can be encrypted with 256-bit AES using WD's security software.

Today WD offers 4 TB for portable and 5 TB for Seagate. It is always good to have 1 TB more.
The type of disk is not specified in the thread - please feel free.

What is your preference WD or Seagate for a BSD machine?

Good Luck
 

VladiBG

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Use enterprise class disks that are build for RAID arrays and don't limit you view only to those two brands.
HGST which is part as WD enterprise class and Toshiba have good products also.
 

aragats

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Both Seagate and WD are excellent brands for harddisk...
What is your preference WD or Seagate for a BSD machine?
I used mostly Seagate 10 years ago (or so) until all new disks I bought started failing quikcly. Now I prefer WD which "dutifulness" is clearly defined by color codes. I will never use the cheap "Blue" disk, the "Black" and "Gold" WD HDDs are way to go.
 

ralphbsz

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Both Seagate and WD are excellent brands for harddisk.
That statement is so general, it is either completely true or completely false.

Both Seagate and WD are capable of making some excellent hard drives. They are also capable of making some real cheap hard drives, which perform as well as can be expected at their price. Both also make SSDs. To add further complexity, WD is also the parent company of HGST (formerly known as Hitachi and formerly as IBM), and those hard disk lines are very different from the rest of WD.

While Seagate may offer 5TB of storage here instead of Western Digital's 4TB, ... It is always good to have 1 TB more.
You can get 4 and 5TB models from both suppliers.

the WD Passport SSD ... can be encrypted with 256-bit AES using WD's security software.
Sorry, but the encryption used on the portable external WD disk is an absolute joke. It is only good enough for amusement. There are relatively good self-encrypting disks (known as SED, or FDE devices), but the consumer-grade WD is not among those.

In general, any disk encryption has to be carefully analyzed, in view of likely attack vectors, and what one is really trying to protect. In most cases, encrypted storage does NOT accomplish what the user wishes, and only gives a good feeling. If your data is really valuable enough that you want to go to the (considerable) effort to encrypt it, then you need to seriously think through how you will set it up and manage it. If it is easy to use, you are doing it wrong.

What is your preference WD or Seagate for a BSD machine?
Depends crucially on what the BSD machine does, what the data on it is, and what attack I expect. And the answer would be the same for a Windows or Linux machine.
 

recluce

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Use enterprise class disks that are build for RAID arrays and don't limit you view only to those two brands.
HGST which is part as WD enterprise class and Toshiba have good products also.
This is the key recommendation. Don't try to use drives not designed for the purpose. For example, while stuffing 16 desktop drives into a server and running them in a 24/7 RAID setup will likely work in the beginning, it is also likely that these drives will not last.

Another good indicator: buy drives with a 5 year warranty. The manufacturers hate to exchange drives under warranty, as it costs them. So chances are that drives with a long warranty have been designed to last.
 

Datapanic

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Use enterprise class disks that are build for RAID arrays and don't limit you view only to those two brands.
HGST which is part as WD enterprise class and Toshiba have good products also.
I have some pre-WD Hitachi 1TB and 2TB drives that have been spinning almost 10 years now. These are designed for storage and reliability. Consumers go for WD and Seagate. I recently purchased some factory refurbished 2TB Hitachi drives for about $35 each. I like them!
 
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Spartrekus

Spartrekus

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I have some pre-WD Hitachi 1TB and 2TB drives that have been spinning almost 10 years now. These are designed for storage and reliability. Consumers go for WD and Seagate. I recently purchased some factory refurbished 2TB Hitachi drives for about $35 each. I like them!
Hitachi HDD were really good.

Note my hitachi drives are all running today (replaced, but still running, without He).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HGST
 

recluce

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I have some pre-WD Hitachi 1TB and 2TB drives that have been spinning almost 10 years now. These are designed for storage and reliability. Consumers go for WD and Seagate. I recently purchased some factory refurbished 2TB Hitachi drives for about $35 each. I like them!
I was afraid that it would come to that: anecdotal evidence. Everybody has different experiences, which will depend on many factors - including luck, choice of appropriate disks for the purpose etc. If we start discussion at that level, I need some popcorn!
 
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Spartrekus

Spartrekus

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I was afraid that it would come to that: anecdotal evidence. Everybody has different experiences, which will depend on many factors - including luck, choice of appropriate disks for the purpose etc. If we start discussion at that level, I need some popcorn!
sharing experiences surely

Indeed, it just experience. However, to be accurate: Increase n to get better stats.
 
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Spartrekus

Spartrekus

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what about the model:
SEAGATE
5TB
STDR5000200
with USB
not for a RAID but for travel, flights over sea?

I guess the 5TB might have lower longevity (reliability,...).
 

Datapanic

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I was afraid that it would come to that: anecdotal evidence. Everybody has different experiences, which will depend on many factors - including luck, choice of appropriate disks for the purpose etc. If we start discussion at that level, I need some popcorn!
When I worked at IBM, Hitachi drives were on all the high end storage systems and very reliable. - 240 disk systems and up.
 

ralphbsz

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That's funny: The brand that today is HGST used to be IBM. Matter-of-fact, in the early 90s, Apple used to ship Macintoshes (still with 68K CPU) with IBM disk drives in them.

But you have to be super careful generalizing from the good (or bad) reputation of a brand. For example, IBM disk drives had a very good reputation in their day. But even IBM had its share of failures, for example an nfamous firmware bug that caused IDE drives to regularly forget to execute writes. Oops.
 

recluce

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That's funny: The brand that today is HGST used to be IBM. Matter-of-fact, in the early 90s, Apple used to ship Macintoshes (still with 68K CPU) with IBM disk drives in them.

But you have to be super careful generalizing from the good (or bad) reputation of a brand. For example, IBM disk drives had a very good reputation in their day. But even IBM had its share of failures, for example an nfamous firmware bug that caused IDE drives to regularly forget to execute writes. Oops.
And then there was the infamous IBM "Deathstar" series. For a while, we had 1 TB Seagates that died like flies. Every brand had their ups and downs... that is why I mentioned "anecdotal evidence". I stand by my 5 year warranty statement though, I would never buy drives with a 1 year warranty (e.g. some Seagate and Toshiba consumer models) - such a short warranty implies that the manufacturer gives you the bottom of the barrel of all parts (platters, heads etc.)
 

ralphbsz

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Yes, I worked at IBM at the time of the DeskStar debacle. And at the time of the disk drives with the "Hungarian" firmware which would occasionally forget to perform writes (the "hungarian" is actually a misnomer, since supposedly Yamoto was also crucially involved, but "Hungarian" sounds funnier, and "Transsylvanian" sould sound even better).

Plus, my server at home had two 1TB Barracudas, neither of which survived all that long. A friend had another handful of those, and his also died. But the problems don't only affect consumer disk drives; in my work, I've come across problems with a large shipment of thousands of drives (manufacturer, customer and OEM withheld to protect the guilty) with failure rates that were double-digit percent within the first few weeks. Which goes to prove that multiple companies are capable of creating really bad hardware.

I agree your argument of buying disks that have long warranties; that really works if you are interested in long-term reliable drives. The reasons are much more complex though. It's not as easy as saying that the manufacturers make a whole lot of platters or heads, then sort them into good or bad ones, and put the good ones into high-warranty drives. In reality, long-endurance (a.k.a. enterprise) drives are built with completely different manufacturing processes and hardware designs from consumer disks. There is a really good paper about that by Erik Riedel and Dave Anderson about the differences; for example, they might include things like air filters in enterprise drives, different design of bearings and different lubricants, or a second CPU for simultaneous servoing while performing R/W operations in a vibration-rich environment. The workload that the disks are expected to see is also crucially different: Consumer drives tend to be idle most of the day (often even spun down), while enterprise drives tend to be busy all the time 24x365. That leads to different hardware optimization, in terms of power consumption, lubrication, heating, cycling.

And: long-term reliable disk drives are by necessity more expensive. If you are optimizing for $/byte, your workload pattern is a good match to consumer drives, and you can tolerate occasional failures, then a consumer drive with short warranty is a much better fit for your application. For example, on my server at home I use enterprise-grade nearline drives in a RAID mirrored setup. But for the external off-site backup (which is left powered off most of the time, only used every few days or weeks, and regularly scrubbed), I use a cheapo archive drive that I got at Costco for way less than $100. It does its current job very well, and is very cost-efficient. If it were to fail, I would toss it in the trash and buy a new one; as long as I don't get a correlated failure (it fails at exactly the same time that my home server is wiped out by a site disaster), I don't need it to be super reliable.
 

Phishfry

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Ralph, what do you think of the latest drive scheme I noticed. Helium filled drives.

How long do you think a hard drive will hold pressure? How much pressure do they use? A couple of pounds?
Helium as an industrial gas is at an all time cost high so this use seems to be a new contender for an already precious gas supply.
 

Datapanic

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That's funny: The brand that today is HGST used to be IBM. Matter-of-fact, in the early 90s, Apple used to ship Macintoshes (still with 68K CPU) with IBM disk drives in them.

But you have to be super careful generalizing from the good (or bad) reputation of a brand. For example, IBM disk drives had a very good reputation in their day. But even IBM had its share of failures, for example an nfamous firmware bug that caused IDE drives to regularly forget to execute writes. Oops.
Brand and Manufacturer are two different things.
 

Phishfry

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BackBlaze has an article with exactly what I was thinking:

Why does Backblaze say 'Air filled' drives? Wouldn't traditional drives be something inert like nitrogen?
 

recluce

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BackBlaze has an article with exactly what I was thinking:

Why does Backblaze say 'Air filled' drives? Wouldn't traditional drives be something inert like nitrogen?
No, that is why there are "breather holes" on normal drives, they exchange air with the outside to a limited degree, mostly to avoid pressure differences between the environment and the inside of the drive due to temperature changes.
 

Phishfry

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I have to disagree. Breather would imply 2 way. I believe it is only a pressure relief valve. Only to vent when over pressurized.
From the factory I would have a hard time believing they would use 'air' to fill your hard drive as air contains 21% Oxygen.
Oxygen is corrosive. That is why I believe they would use nitrogen or other inert gasses.
Maybe I am wrong. I wonder how they deal with condensation inside the drive.
 

Phishfry

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Well I stand corrected. They use quite an elaborate filter with water absorbing polymers
.
 
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Spartrekus

Spartrekus

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I have to disagree. Breather would imply 2 way. I believe it is only a pressure relief valve. Only to vent when over pressurized.
From the factory I would have a hard time believing they would use 'air' to fill your hard drive as air contains 21% Oxygen.
Oxygen is corrosive. That is why I believe they would use nitrogen or other inert gasses.
Maybe I am wrong. I wonder how they deal with condensation inside the drive.
He is inert gas.

6690
 

Phishfry

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I would think of Helium as a Noble gas first. Not a gas that would be economical for inerting in many industries.
 
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Spartrekus

Spartrekus

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I would think of Helium as a Noble gas first. Not a gas that would be economical for inerting in many industries.
He is out of price. Very expensive, less dangerous than today trends for mobiles,... electronics.
 

ralphbsz

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Helium in a disk has nothing to do with noble or not noble. And air versus pure nitrogen has nothing to do with corrosive. And the cost of helium is nearly irrelevant on the scale of the drive cost.

Traditional disk drives used to run in more or less well filtered air (better disks had better filters), except for the historical remark at the bottom. But air is relatively dense, and it creates a lot of air drag, which means the spindle motor has to work much harder, which leads to higher power consumption and higher temperatures. It also means the read/write heads are buffeted by more "wind" as they fly over the disk. And with air being dense, it is also a better aerodynamic medium, so the heads fly higher; helium allows the heads to get closer to the disk surface, which allows for smaller bits. And with less air drag, the manufacturer can pack more platters and heads into the drive, creating more capacity (or shorter access times if the drive is being short-stroked). The other funny thing is that air creates more turbulence (that might have something to do with its viscosity in addition to density, not 100% sure), which means the heads flutter more, and the platters have to be thicker to not vibrate.

The obvious downside of helium is: you have to keep it in the drive. It took quite a long time to work out how to completely seal the drive, in the presence of changing air pressure and temperature, and helium's tendency to penetrate through quite a few materials.

Historical remark: when the first disk drives (the RAMAC) were built, people didn't know yet that the heads would aerodynamically fly on the air current. So the first heads had little holes through which compressed air was pumped, and the disk drive needed to be connected to an air compressor. I've also seen hoses attached to it, and was told that you had to have an external oil reservoir and oil pump for lubrication. Which was OK, given that the drive was also 6' tall x 2' deep by 4' wide and weighed a ton (by which I mean roughly 1000 kg).
 
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