In the quest for bigger profits, many storage companies are moving to a logistics model where a drive is not tested in the storage array until it arrives at the customer site. Others are phasing out the rigorous qualification and ongoing screening process that once was commonplace. Some no longer perform specific qualification checks between drive hardware and firmware revisions, and the hardware and firmware revisions of all the components of the storage array. This is a recipe for disaster, especially with large numbers of drives at a site.
You want to make sure the disk drives you are getting are “enterprise-class,” not consumer grade. Enterprise-class disk drives are those that pass the manufacturer’s highest quality and reliability tests. Frequently, new drive technology appears in consumer products before they are released in storage systems designed for data centers, and rightly so. Ask about testing and quality standards in place.
With a variety of storage devices available today, it can be difficult to match drives with data types and data center environments. You have to consider factors such as random access performance, sequential performance, cost, density and reliability, and often more. With so many considerations, market hype could steer you toward a fad. Gary Watson, chief technology officer at Nexsan, outlines five best practices to consider when selecting drives for your storage deployment to ensure the best price and performance for your needs.
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