[Beowulf] Re: Consumer vs. Enterprise Hard Drives in Clusters

David Mathog mathog at caltech.edu
Thu Jan 22 10:02:11 PST 2009

Reuti <reuti at staff.uni-marburg.de> wrote:

> I found that sometimes the granted warranty is longer for enterprise  
> drives, up to 5 years. But you have to contact the vendor, not the  
> dealer, to get a replacement free of charge.

This relates to the other thread about how long to keep cluster nodes. 
If, like me, you have to run it into the ground, then it is definitely
worth having the longer warranty, since all drives will fail with age,
and some of them will do so within the longer warranty but outside of
the shorter one.  If the extra cost for the enterprise drive is nominal
(and it often is), why not go for the longer warranty?  On the other
hand, if the nodes are not going to be in service in 3 years, the longer
warranty is not an issue.

The failure rate that matters with respect to the warranty is not the
DOA, or even the first year failures, but the failures with age.  I
suspect only the disk manufacturers have accurate numbers on that since
end users will be returning disks that fail at 4 years to the
manufacturer and not to the system integrator.  Unfortunately the real
"reliability at 4 years" number is never known for any new disk, so the
best one can do is buy a bit of insurance with the longer warranty.


David Mathog
mathog at caltech.edu
Manager, Sequence Analysis Facility, Biology Division, Caltech

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