Desktop SATA drives in SATA <-> FC array

Posted by chris on Server Fault See other posts from Server Fault or by chris
Published on 2010-02-07T15:34:15Z Indexed on 2010/03/18 19:31 UTC
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Let's assume you've got a box like one of these with space for 24 SATA disks.

What are the best bits of advice for deploying this?

For instance, should you be greedy and go for the 1.5 or 2tb disks or are they just not reliable enough to be used in an array like this and you should stick with 640gb or 750gb disks instead?

Also, I know that FC (or generically, "enterprise class") disks have a different error recovery strategy than desktop disks. An enterprise disk will fail a read quickly and report to the controller that it wasn't able to read that block, and the RAID controller will quickly regenerate the info from the parity disk and mark the block as bad. A desktop disk, on the other hand, will try and try and try again to get the data, and in pathological cases this may cause a raid controller to fail the whole disk because the read operation times out.

So there are a couple aspects to this question:

  1. What's the best sort of disk to get today? (ie specific disks on the market in Feb 2010)

  2. Generically, what should someone look for when trying to buy something like this that kinda walks the line between enterprise and consumer?

  3. Lastly -- is there anything that can be done with current "consumer" disks to make them more suitable for array use? IE can you use a SMART configuration to change the error recovery strategy used by the disk?

Thanks!

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