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Thread: SSD's for storage vs spinners

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    SSD's for storage vs spinners

    Got a drive that threw a SMART error this weekend, 6Tb WD Red, thinking of replacing it with a 4tb Samsung 870 QVO drive, and doing the same with my other drives as they need replacing over the next 18 or so months (this is the second drive to be removed as already had a 4Tb SMART error earlier in the year, but didn't replace it as had enough space to move stuff around)...

    Thinking SSD's will give me a performance jump, drop noise, and make the options for shrinking the rig easier as 2.5 vs 3.5....


    Thoughts?

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    Re: SSD's for storage vs spinners

    I don't see me buying any more spinning rust tbh.

    At work, I fairly recently set up a new machine with 4TB of storage. The old machine was a pair of mirrored 4TB HDD, giving 4TB of data. The new one, bought before SSD prices bottomed out but had fallen a fair bit, has three SATA 2TB SSDs in a raid 5 stripe giving 4TB of total storage.

    So far I've been very happy. The old machine relied on having 96GB of ram to run its virtual machines, but performance sometimes tanked. New machine is Ryzen 7900 based and so much faster than the old 2600X based PC that the demands on storage are way higher, yet the cheap SSDs are coping just fine.

    I'm running MX500 drives, which these days are QLC. If I were building today, I think there are other drive options that are TLC which I would go for.

    Positives? Noise, size, power consumption, reliability.

    Negatives? If an SSD does fail, it is likely to utterly die on you.

    I'm trying to work out how I can start building a Ceph storage cluster at work using SSDs, but I need a bit more hardware to get started.

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    Re: SSD's for storage vs spinners

    I've been looking at doing the same, mainly because my HDD is too slow to run modern games, now.
    Prices seem to be about equal for 2.5" SATA SSDs and M.2 PCIe Gen4 drives, so I was considering the latter as my board has several slots. Gen3 drives are cheaper, but still pretty fast as well.
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    Re: SSD's for storage vs spinners

    I have just purchased a 2TB Crucial P3 NVME Gen3 SSD from Ebay and fitted it (today), because for 60 quid it was quite a 'why not moment', given my computer's processor that will be working on it cost considerably more and many other factors around my history with PCs. Also it matches my 2TB HDD, which I've not really made the most of, mainly due to their speed.
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    Re: SSD's for storage vs spinners

    For drives up to 4TB then yeah I'd go SSD where possible for the advantages you outline.
    Just need to make sure you cater for backups as when they go, they go.

    Bigger drives for all my data & backups then I will still use spinning rust for the cost factor.
    Most of my HDDs have gone the distance and have 5 years with these current Toshiba drives I've been slowly getting. A little noisy but cheaper than the WD Golds/Ultrastar equivalent.

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    Re: SSD's for storage vs spinners

    I bought a single drive for now, I'll probably run 3x4tb SSD's and then a spinner as a 'backup' drive...

    Oddly the drive that threw the SMART error, evacuated it, did a full format, and now its not showing any SMART errors, which is weird as I would expect it to still show the SMART error regardless of what I do with the drive...

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    Re: SSD's for storage vs spinners

    Quote Originally Posted by [GSV]Trig View Post
    I bought a single drive for now, I'll probably run 3x4tb SSD's and then a spinner as a 'backup' drive...

    Oddly the drive that threw the SMART error, evacuated it, did a full format, and now its not showing any SMART errors, which is weird as I would expect it to still show the SMART error regardless of what I do with the drive...
    If you run your manufacturers diagnosis software it should give an accurate report of what exactly triggered the SMART warning. There are logs stored on the drive that it will be able to read.
    If it was a bad sector, for example, Windows could have repaired it for you, or if the drive got too hot that can also trigger a warning.

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    Re: SSD's for storage vs spinners

    Quote Originally Posted by [GSV]Trig View Post
    Thinking SSD's will give me a performance jump, drop noise, and make the options for shrinking the rig easier as 2.5 vs 3.5....

    Thoughts?
    At the risk of stating the bleeping obvious, yup, they'll sure drop the noise. By how much depends on the drives being replaced - the WD Reds are far from the world's noisiest HDs. BUT .... another factor is where the drives are. Assuming they're in your PC, the obvious queswtion is where's your PC? If it's sitting on your desktop 18" from your lugholes, well, no-brainer. My current 'work' PC is an SSD-based laptop, but the bulk of my data is in a 4 x 12TB NAS, and they're WD DC Ultrastars. Fast, but as they're designed for data centers, they don't exactly run in stealth mode. But seeing as the NAS is in a different room .... See what I'm getting at with noise? There's more than one way to skin the proverbial feline. My rather loud DC drives are, for all day-to-day practical purposes, quieter than SSDs.

    I'd also suggest thinking about what you're using the storage for? If it's games, well, fast SSDs will make a very distinct differece to some games but be barely noticeable on others. Fir video editing, assuming you can afford the needed working capaciity, SSDs are a big difference but a lot of my NAS is my video, and to some degree, music library. As the PC can pull video (and even more so, music) off the NAS, across the network, there would be little or no performance benefit from SSDing it all, but 48TB of SSD? Not cheap. And for what?

    Oh, a couple of SSDs in the NAS FOR caching? Well, fair enough .... but not for my video streaming needs.

    By and large, for most general purpose uses and most users, SSDs are probably going to be an attractive optin and though they still come at a price premium (mostly) though not much of one, unless you need a LOT (my new NAS will be 18TB drives (seems to be the current high-ish capacity sweet spot), 6-bay for that much storage and yup, you need a friendly bank manager, or one you have ... umm, 'data' on, to SSD it). Kidding, obviously.

    I'm not saying don't go SSD. Just, be sure it's the best approach both in the 'right now' and the next few years. I always advise buying for what you're going to need, not what you currently do. My normal method is what I think I'll need for 3-5 years, then add 50-100% on top.
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    Re: SSD's for storage vs spinners

    Quote Originally Posted by [GSV]Trig View Post
    I bought a single drive for now, I'll probably run 3x4tb SSD's and then a spinner as a 'backup' drive...

    Oddly the drive that threw the SMART error, evacuated it, did a full format, and now its not showing any SMART errors, which is weird as I would expect it to still show the SMART error regardless of what I do with the drive...
    It's been a few years, but when attempting to return a Seagate drive you had to run the manufacturers diagnostic program to get a code to fill out the RMA. The diagnostic program "fixed" the drive by swapping out the multiple bad sectors and then reporting that the drive was just fine and dandy, clean bill of health. With a mutter of "No you flippin' don't" (or similar), I just re-ran the diagnostic on full scan until the creeping death that I knew was going to be spreading across that platter took out more sectors than it could swap, and it gave me the code.

    So yeah, the errors can go away, but I'm ordering a replacement drive anyway thanks.

    Other companies may also pull that anti-customer rma tactic, and that leopard may have changed its spots.

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    Re: SSD's for storage vs spinners

    I know that most manufacturers will have their own tools, I'll run the WD one when I'm back in the country, but, I thought that anything that showed up in the SMART tables was permanent, so yes, you might have a bad sector, and that sector might be swapped out, but, it'll still show a bad sector marker in the table, this, appears not too...

    I'll have a proper play when I'm back in the UK but just thought I'd see if anyone else had seen this before. The drive will still be removed because, as you say, SMART errors reproduce pretty quickly...

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    Re: SSD's for storage vs spinners

    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen999 View Post
    At the risk of stating the bleeping obvious, yup, they'll sure drop the noise. By how much depends on the drives being replaced - the WD Reds are far from the world's noisiest HDs. BUT .... another factor is where the drives are. Assuming they're in your PC, the obvious queswtion is where's your PC? If it's sitting on your desktop 18" from your lugholes, well, no-brainer. My current 'work' PC is an SSD-based laptop, but the bulk of my data is in a 4 x 12TB NAS, and they're WD DC Ultrastars. Fast, but as they're designed for data centers, they don't exactly run in stealth mode. But seeing as the NAS is in a different room .... See what I'm getting at with noise? There's more than one way to skin the proverbial feline. My rather loud DC drives are, for all day-to-day practical purposes, quieter than SSDs.

    I'd also suggest thinking about what you're using the storage for? If it's games, well, fast SSDs will make a very distinct differece to some games but be barely noticeable on others. Fir video editing, assuming you can afford the needed working capaciity, SSDs are a big difference but a lot of my NAS is my video, and to some degree, music library. As the PC can pull video (and even more so, music) off the NAS, across the network, there would be little or no performance benefit from SSDing it all, but 48TB of SSD? Not cheap. And for what?

    Oh, a couple of SSDs in the NAS FOR caching? Well, fair enough .... but not for my video streaming needs.

    By and large, for most general purpose uses and most users, SSDs are probably going to be an attractive optin and though they still come at a price premium (mostly) though not much of one, unless you need a LOT (my new NAS will be 18TB drives (seems to be the current high-ish capacity sweet spot), 6-bay for that much storage and yup, you need a friendly bank manager, or one you have ... umm, 'data' on, to SSD it). Kidding, obviously.

    I'm not saying don't go SSD. Just, be sure it's the best approach both in the 'right now' and the next few years. I always advise buying for what you're going to need, not what you currently do. My normal method is what I think I'll need for 3-5 years, then add 50-100% on top.

    The 'server' sits under the TV in the front room, drives are a mix of WD Reds and Seagate something or others, noise wise, they're not too bad, the noisiest thing in there at the mo is the fan on the PSU, but, thanks to Zak, I'll be swapping all of the fans out when I get home to Noctuas..

    Its pretty much storage for media, I'm thinking a handful of SSD's and then a single spinner that will be an in machine backup for the important stuff, although Drivepool will let me duplicate folders across multiple drives and stuff like that which will make me feel a it better without going down the whole backup device route.

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    Re: SSD's for storage vs spinners

    Quote Originally Posted by [GSV]Trig View Post
    The 'server' sits under the TV in the front room, drives are a mix of WD Reds and Seagate something or others, noise wise, they're not too bad, the noisiest thing in there at the mo is the fan on the PSU, but, thanks to Zak, I'll be swapping all of the fans out when I get home to Noctuas..

    Its pretty much storage for media, I'm thinking a handful of SSD's and then a single spinner that will be an in machine backup for the important stuff, although Drivepool will let me duplicate folders across multiple drives and stuff like that which will make me feel a it better without going down the whole backup device route.
    Large approval on Noctua from me. Not that they're the only quiet option but very good fans too. Not the cheapest, but, it's an example of getting what you pay for and for my money, worth it every time.

    As for media serving, me too. I guess next question involves data volumes. I have quite a lot. If I included everything (which I'm not), about 3000 (maybe 3500) DVDs worth. Plus a load of CDs, but they're a fraction of the video. It's, oh, several decades of buying 'content' on DVD. It adds up to a capacity requirement that would make me wince if all SSD. There's 'general' data on there too, but that's trivial in size terms.

    "in machine backup for the important stuff" makes me nervous, though, especially for important stuff.

    All I'll say, 'cos you know it anyway, is that there's a trade-off, with cost and convenience on one side, and safety/peace of mind on the other.

    For my peace of mind, personally, there's too may ways for an in-machine backup to go wrong, including one or two that've happened to me, like an (suspected) electrical surge. I suspect lightning, but it could just be PSU failure. Whatever the original, it fried a 4-drive hardware RAID board (back in ATA days), which fried 3 out of 4 hard drives. Fortunately, at that time, DAT tape was my friend.

    But it's a risk-assessment thing, innit? Personally, I'd suggest at least a large external USB hard drive and back it up periodically, AND physically disconnect that USB drive when not actually backing up or restoring.

    That's my current main backup, though "important" stuff gets more than that. It's also why I'm doing the second NAS - each will have certain services / servers running, each backing up to the other. Some very "important" data is then cloud-backed-up (yeah, I know what I've said about cloud) but, it's separately encrypted up the wazoo and back down again before getting 'clouded'. I DO NOT rely on encryption on the cloud, though the implementation by some is MUCH better than others. But clouding the bulk of my media is just not economically viable. Or desirable.

    That said, the second NAS is a long way from a cheap option, and still not a perfect solution. What about fire? Theft? As I said, it's a risk assessment thing, and a call that's different for everybody. Just .... "in machine backup"? Sends a shiver down my back, for "important stuff". It might protect against some risks, like an individual drive failing, but offers zero protection against a lot of other risks, from virus attack to the machine being physical nicked.

    My advice, Trig, for what it's worth .... how important is the "important stuff?" Rhetorical question, by the way.
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    Re: SSD's for storage vs spinners

    Yeah, when I say in machine backup, in real terms its about 50gb worth of stuff, so not a huge amount, but, Drivepool lets me duplicate certain folders on multiple drives to cover drive failure, and because of the way Drivepool works, each disk is still NTFS and holds completed files, so if something goes sideways, you can stick the drive into any other machine and there are whatever files were on that drive, so while its not an actual true backup, having important stuff on all of the drives in a pool kinda covers me for anything other than some sort of theft or some type of rapid unplanned disassembly..

    I really would recommend looking at Stablebits stuff if you haven't before, but that's a bit OTT for where I'm at..

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    Re: SSD's for storage vs spinners

    I can see how it can appeal in certain sets of circumstances, but I'm already configured in a way not conducive to that kind of arrangement, including paid backup software (Macrium Reflect), in addition to the free options included with the NAS.

    My data is, in one sense, a lot less important than it used to be. Being retired, I'm not liable to get strung up by the dangly bits by HMRC either over PAYE or VAT these days, and I'm not sitting on either confidential client data or NDA'd press stuff either. It's either personal stuff, which might be imortant to me but isn't financially a liability, or it's the meda server stuff. That latter is very important to me but in a very different way, mainly that it's taken a LOT of hours of my time to get as far as I have with digitising my media collection, though I'm still not finished. But, there's no way I'm willing to risk having to do all that again. It's important solely in terms of the utility I get out of it (listening to music or watching films, TV series etc) and in terms of the time investment in doing it.

    So it's on the NASs, which are effectively mirrored (though, technically, that's not quite how it's set up). I've also got individual PCs backed up via Macrium to NAS and external HD, and NASs backed up to each other. I'm well past the point of messing with collections of old disk drives (or software RAID type stuff in Windows PCs with newer larger drives). They're secure-wiped, and either sitting in a drawer, or already gone.

    The NASs are in different locations connected via LAN, are different in type so a security breach affecting one isn't likely to affect the other, and a LAN that's primarily 2.5Gb but with a backbone between locations running at 10Gb, with 10/2.5Gb switches.

    It's probably overkill for my needs but it was fun sorting it all out.
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    Re: SSD's for storage vs spinners

    So, oddly, even the WD tool comes back on that erroring drive as all clear after a full scan...

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    Re: SSD's for storage vs spinners

    Quote Originally Posted by [GSV]Trig View Post
    So, oddly, even the WD tool comes back on that erroring drive as all clear after a full scan...
    Just had a look at the WD Dashboard, it's definitely not as detailed as it used to be!
    I just stupidly updated mine from version 3 to 4, and 4 is inferior in every way.


    A better tool would be Crystal Disk Info
    https://crystalmark.info/en/software/crystaldiskinfo/

    Out of interest what actually told you, in the first instance, that you had a SMART error, was it during POST?

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