HDD necessities when building a RAID

By flea13153
Jan 25, 2012
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  1. When building a RAID array, any type, do the discs need to be identical, such as make and model wise, or do only the specs of the drives need to be identical, such capacity, interface, and cache?
  2. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,158   +599

    Almost anything works, but dissimilary specs will reduce the RAID to the lowest common denominator.
    • different RPM or r/w speeds
    • capacity -> lowest
    • caching? not really effective anyway
    so you get a 'better' RAID by matching the specs (vender doesn't matter).

    Be advised: Even Microsoft discourages RAID for the boot volume; use it for data only.
  3. flea13153

    flea13153 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the reply!

    We're trying to maintain this file server that the drives keep failing on among other things. But the HDD that it was built with are now discontinued, so we're looking for a cheaper solution than paying $250 for a discontinued.

    But as long as the technical specs of the drive match up, there's no real need to worry about the make and model?
  4. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,158   +599

    correct :)

    google for HDD Failures; there seems to be a rash of vender specific drives failing early in life. Good indicator is the warrantee period.
  5. gguerra

    gguerra TS Maniac Posts: 317

    HDD prices have been high lately due to the flooding in Thailand (long story). I will assume you are talking about SATA drives. If that is the case then I would recommend Western Digital. They are the most reliable IMO. It is important to get the same interface (obviously) but also RPM should be the same. If you are speaking of SCSI drives (older technology) then the make is not as important. They are usually built to higher quality standards (and are more expensive). What type of drive are you looking to replace?

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