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This review is from: HGST Deskstar NAS 0S04005 4TB 7200 RPM 128MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drives
Pros: Good price when they go on sale.
Generally good reliability, although you really need to test the heck out of ANY new drive before putting it into production. Especially if you're planning on putting them into a RAID 5 or RAID 6 array, as they are intended.
Cons: These drives are slightly slower than HGST drives I bought back in 2011 and 2012.
Other Thoughts: I bought a dozen 3TB drives back in 2011, and 7 of those drives are still running. They're now 5 1/4 years old and showing no signs of S.M.A.R.T. errors. But the really interesting thing is that I recently recently re-organized the array (I now have a total of 24 3TB drives - 8 drives each in Raid 6, then striped the 3 arrays together as a single large RAID 60 array) and did some read/write tests and discovered that the 3TB drives dating back to 2011-2013 are10 to 15% definitely faster than drives I bought in 2014-2016.
I also have 20 4TB drives in a single RAID 6 array on another computer and I notice that when I copy large blocks of files from the 4TB array to the machine with the 3TB drives, I get 1.10GB per second transfer speeds, which essentially maxes out the 10Gb network link. But when I copy files in the other direction from the 3TB array to the machine with the 4TB drives, it only averages about 850-900GB per second. Thus, I conclude that the 4TB drives are slower than the 3TB drives. Go figure.
Pros: Great data transfer speeds.
RAID 6 and RAID 60 for extra redundancy.
Extremely reliable, especially compared to cards I've tried from other manufacturers.
Cons: Gets hot when doing multi-terabyte copies from one RAID array to another, but the card still performs reliably.
Other Thoughts: I own 3 of these cards. Currently, 2 cards are in one computer, and the 3rd card is in a second computer, but when Kaby Lake is released I'll build a 3rd computer and transfer one of the cards from the first machine to the new (3rd) machine. I'll also buy 10Gbit Ethernet cards to plug into PCIe x8 slots on the motherboards to facilitate rapid transfer of data. 1Gbit Ethernet just isn't fast enough for large data transfers.
I bought 3 of these cards (not all at once) because I'm a big believer in maintaining multiple copies of ALL my data. In 30 years I've permanently lost data 3 times because I didn't have complete backups. I've finally learned my lesson. No matter how reliable your current/favorite brand of hard drives, eventually they DO fail.
Note that RAID6 and RAID60 provide redundancy, but REDUNDANCY is NOT the same thing as a FULL BACKUP.
The first card is running 24 3TB HGST NAS drives in a RAID 60 configuration (12 drives in each of two RAID 6 arrays that are then striped together for RAID 60). This yields 54.5TB of usable storage, with 4 drives for redundancy.
The 2nd card currently has 20 4TB HGST NAS drives, in RAID 6. Later I will add 4 more drives, but reconfigure to RAID 60 for extra redundancy. The current configuration yields 65TB of usable storage, with 2 drives for redundancy. Since this array is essentially used to back up the first one, I think I'm pretty safe for now, but when I add 4 more drives, I'll switch to RAID60 to give even more redundancy.
The 3rd card currently has 16 6TB HGST NAS drives in RAID 60 (8 drives per RAID 6 array, striped together). Eventually I will buy 8 more drives and re-configure the array into three RAID 6 arrays of 8 drives each, then stripe them together in RAID 60, thus allowing up to 6 drives to fail (2 per RAID6 stripe) without losing data. The current 16 drive configuration also yields 65TB of usable storage, so it's a perfect match to the storage array on the second card - the one with the 4TB drives.
Of course, I keep at least one spare hard drive of each capacity on hand so I can instantly replace a failed drive. So far I haven't had any HGST NAS drives fail on me, but the oldest array (the one with the 3TB drives) is only 2 years old, so it will be interesting to see if all 24 drives survive the 3 year warranty period.
We're well into the 2nd decade of the 21st Century, and its astounding to realize how much of our lives are stored in digital format. Not just business data, but personal records - tax returns, music, photos, home videos - it all adds up, and I would be devastated to lose ANY of it. It has taken 2+ years to get to the point where I feel like I have a fairly good data protection strategy in place. My next step after building the Kaby Lake computer will be to transfer one of the computers to another location so that I have protection against fire, flood or theft. I have a fast Verizon FiOS connection, and so does my brother, so it will be interesting to see if our 90 Megabit connections will provide adequate bandwidth. So long as I copy data on a regular basis, the day-to-day transfers shouldn't overwhelm our bandwidth. (Hopefully.)
I've bought RAID Controller cards from other manufacturers in years past, starting with 8-drive RAID5/RAID50 cards, and eventually trading up to these 24-drive Areca cards as my storage requirements outgrew 8-drive solutions. I won't mention the other companies by name, but suffice to say that their controller cards failed at VERY inconvenient times (isn't that always the way?). I'm not saying that other companies don't have good 24-drive cards, but I'm not interested in experimenting. I'm satisfied with Areca and will stick with them.
Pros: Good price when they go on sale, which happens several times a year.
Fast, quiet and reliable.
3 year warranty
Cons: None so far
Other Thoughts: I bought 16 of these drives over a two month period (January and February 2016). Put them into production on my newest file server in late February, after performing a low-level format and stress testing the drives to make sure I didn't have any weak ones that would die early. The drives are configured as RAID 60 (two sets of eight drives in RAID 6 striped together). This means any two drives in either RAID 6 stripe could fail and I still wouldn't lose my data. Theoretically, you could have a total of 4 failed drives (2 on each of the RAID 6 stripes) without losing data, but of course, in real life, you'd replace a failed drive immediately to regain the 2-drive redundancy.
These disks have been running 24/7 since I put them into production and I haven't had any drives fail on me yet. I'm very happy with HGST NAS drives. I also have twenty 4TB HGST NAS drives on another file server and twenty-four 3TB HGST NAS drives on a 3rd older server. I've tried many brands over the last 20 years and have had successes and failures with all brands, but at the moment it seems that HGST NAS drives are the best.
Keep in mind that REDUNDANCY is not the same as a BACKUP. That's why, over the years, I've gotten to the point where I have 3 files servers, one primary server and 2 backup servers. I don't EVER want to lose data again. It was bad enough in the 80's when you could lose a few Megabytes, and worse in the 90's when we started thinking in terms of Gigabytes. But we're well into the Terabyte age of Personal Storage. It's getting to the point where we can store (and lose) our entire lives if we don't get serious about protecting our data.