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Some advice on Seagate 8TB for uber newb

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Morning Forum,


Would like feed back from members re the seagate 8TB Archive.


I've read the threads on them here. I've also spent a day and half reading threads and feed back all over the web on them - they seem to be loved by some and hated by others.


Some swear by them others swear at them!


Its really hard to come up with a go/no go decision on these.


In my particular case i have to have data loaded on them in Europe and shipped to me in the middle of Africa. Shipping is expensive, but these drives have 33% more volume then 6TB - it adds up as i plan to bring in a drive per month for the next 18 months. But cheap is expensive if i ship them in and they fail on me here - shipping them back is more expensive then getting the money back on them (well almost - its very close by time you do customs clearances out etc)


Given i can only do 1 per month - cant ask for too much on the Europe side as its too time consuming for my setup there - i really like the extra volume per drive. My cost per GB also has to include shipping, customs clearances, and import duty. So the lower cost for the 8TB is really attractive.


So have to weigh up the extra volume for the lower cost Vs other 8TB drives that dont seem to get a negative review anywhere .... the WD Reds/Blacks and Hitachi drives whatever they call them now . Or i could just stick with 6TB drives - but what does that format down to ? 5TB?


So given all that i have to consider - are the 8TB Seagates performing for you guys under unraid or are some of you getting the failure rate i read about at other places around the WEB?


So far (unless i missed it in my blurred vision after so much reading) i am not reading about much hate for them here in this comunity



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The 8TB archive drives are fine ... the issue some have is with their performance in situations where their usage results in frequently filling the persistent cache, which results in VERY poor write speeds for quite a while until the cache has been emptied.    As I assume you know from your research, the persistent cache is a non-shingled area of the disk used as a write cache -- it's the primary mechanism Seagate uses to overcome the significant write speed penalties for the shingled technology.


If your use case is to simply fill the drives with data; then use them as effectively read-only drives after that, they'll work just fine for you.



... So have to weigh up the extra volume for the lower cost Vs other 8TB drives that dont seem to get a negative review anywhere .... the WD Reds/Blacks and Hitachi drives whatever they call them now.


There aren't any 8TB WD Reds or Blacks (yet).    There are some 8TB non-shingled drives available from HGST (both Helium filled and not) and from Seagate, but they are a LOT more expensive than the shingled technology drives (more than double the cost).



...  Or i could just stick with 6TB drives - but what does that format down to ? 5TB?


A 6TB drive has 6TB of space, just as a 4TB has 4TB and an 8TB has 8TB.  I presume what you're referring to is the common misunderstanding about the difference in the "units" that disk drive manufacturers and computer engineers use, where a "KB" (and thus MB, GB, TB, etc.) has a DIFFERENT meaning depending on which definition you're using.  e.g. in computer terms, a KB is 1024 bytes [2^10] ... and the other terms build from there -- i.e. a MB = KB x KB,  a GB =KB x MB, etc.    Disk drive manufacturers define a KB as 1,000 bytes.    So, for example, a 3TB drive has 3,000,000,000,000 bytes ... but if you look on a PC at its size you'll see listed as 2.72TB, because in "computerese" a TB = 1024 x 1024 x 1024 x 1024 bytes (1099511627776 bytes) ... and 3,000,000,000,000 / 1099511627776 = 2.72    Any drive you buy will show this differential when you look at its reported size on a PC -- you're not "losing" any space ... it's just the difference between "disk-drive-maker-ese" and "computerese"  :)


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Gary, Thx for your thoughts on this.


Yes my  primary use case is to load up the drives with 40-50 GB Blue Ray files as a way to get those large files down to me as cost effectively as possible - my Internet speeds just cant handle such files (another 50 years here?).


I estimate about 130 -150 BR titles per HDD. Remuxes, not encodes.


The large amount of space per HDD seems ideal - the price cant be argued with.


Use case is to store the remuxes on them forever and copy the files off  them to an encoding workstation HDD for custom encodes as needed (Android tablets, IPAD's, phones, laptops etc). New devices keep coming along so custom encodes to suit a device seem to be the way going forward - hence wanting the untouched original source material. But that material is HUGE, hence the dilemma .....


Not sure how i will get them into an unraid setup though - guess they will have to travel with data on them to me, then i copy the data off somewhere while i put the drives through the tests required to go into an unraid setup then copy the data back to them in an unraid setup. Then its to be mostly read only.


So with all that as my particular scenario, they seem to be ideal, but the high failure rate i read about around the net is worrying me.


Why are you guys here not seeing this failure rate?


I cant run an unraid box in Europe - so how do i test the drives while plugged into a server? It really makes sense to test these drives in the country they are purchased in before loading them up and sending them down here with the high failure rate i read about


...remember...uber newb here.......

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Probably the reason why most of us are not seeing the failure rates with Seagate drives that others are reporting is that most of the time, the drives, while they are under power, are actually spun down.  The mechanical parts (which are the most likely to fail) are 'resting'.  The electronics are the most rugged part of any hard drive after they have survived the 'infant mortality' phase of their expected life span.


Why not use just two drives in the data transfer process----  One being loaded with data in Europe and the other one in Africa being uploaded onto your unRAID server.  When you are finished the transfer in Africa, simply  delete all the files on that drive before sending it back.  That way, you could use locally sourced drives for your array. (Remember, however, that package handling during shipment may well be a very big contributor to drive failures--- and smaller packages tend to see the most abuse!)

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Wild thought.  Have you considered using the USB drives that use 2.5" Hard drives?  They are small and light, and relatively rugged as their intended usage was in laptops.  2TB and 3TB ones are not very expensive these days.  They would be cheaper to ship...


EDIT:  USB was UBS.  (Thanks, garycase!)

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I believe Frank means USB drives  :)


Not sure what the customs issues are that you have to deal with -- the size & weight of the package probably isn't as significant as the value, so using smaller drives may not save anything.


As for testing the drives without using UnRAID ... any computer that can run a manufacturer's diagnostic utility like WD's Data Lifeguard or Seagate's SeaTools will work fine -- the important thing isn't that you use a particular testing utility; but that you TEST the drives to identify any infant mortality issues.


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