[Beowulf] Consumer vs. Enterprise Hard Drives in Clusters

Joe Landman landman at scalableinformatics.com
Wed Jan 21 17:00:42 PST 2009

Greg Lindahl wrote:
> On Wed, Jan 21, 2009 at 04:19:55PM -0800, Jon Forrest wrote:
>> The
>> last time I checked, the enterprise drives were ~25%
>> more expensive than the consumer drives. This difference
>> might have changed since then.
> Last time I checked, it was +$10 on a $300 drive. I bought
> the enterprise drives.
> My local system reseller claims there's a substantial difference in
> return rate. I'd love to have harder data.

We don't see that.  Similar return rates on both.  Higher margins 
(generally) on the enterprise drives.

Firmware is generally the same, apart from TLER and other things.  There 
are lots of interesting (and spurious) claims running around as to what 
is and isn't different.

As someone who puts out their fair share of drives (and deals with 
returns on a daily/weekly basis), I can honestly say that we don't 
really see much different in return rates for Enterprise vs Commodity 
drives.  I can say that the failure rates for both are *higher* than the 
  manufacturer suggested AFR.  We are seeing occasional 'batch effects' 
(more failures in some batches than others).  As we whallop the heck out 
of the drives *before* we ship we generally don't get too many DDDTS 
(drive deaths due to shipping).  These scale at about the AFR.  We see 
small amounts of field based infant mortality.  Usually we see marginal 
drives die in the first 3-6 months of usage, then systems are fairly 
rock solid after that.

Joseph Landman, Ph.D
Founder and CEO
Scalable Informatics LLC,
email: landman at scalableinformatics.com
web  : http://www.scalableinformatics.com
phone: +1 734 786 8423 x121
fax  : +1 866 888 3112
cell : +1 734 612 4615

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