Jump to content

  • Log in with Twitter Log in with Windows Live Log In with Google      Sign In   
  • Create Account

Photo

Do I start buying 8TB archive drives or not?


Best Answer Christopher (Drashna) , 12 December 2015 - 09:21 PM

To clarify here (and mark as answered):

 

The Seagate Archive drives get great read speeds. But beacuse of how they work, they get atrocious write speeds.  

 

They're great for long term storage, "sneaker nets" and for the pool.  

 

But if you do use them with the Pool, you don't want them to be written to first. You will want to use the SSD Optimizer to write to other drives first. Be it SSDs or spinning HDDs.  

 

This way, you get good write speeds to the pool, and StableBit DrivePool will handle the horrible writes. And considering that StableBit DrivePool uses a background priority for file transfers, and it runs in the background, invisibly, this may work out VERY well. 

 

 

You can get the SSD Optimizer Balancer here:

https://stablebit.co...ivePool/Plugins

 

 

 

 

As for performance:

For reads, I got about 160-190MB/s from the drives, consistently. (using large, sequential files, and using 64k allocation unit sizes when formatting the disk).

For writes, closer to 80MB/s but would stall frequently during writing, decreasing the overall speed.

Go to the full post


  • Please log in to reply
26 replies to this topic

#1 Chris Downs

Chris Downs

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 13 posts

Posted 02 December 2015 - 07:48 PM

The time has come for more space in my Plex server...

At present, it has three 4TB drives (just consumer grade). I was going to stick to 4TB drives (or maybe the 6TB WD reds), but "upgrade" to NAS versions, but I've been wondering about the 8TB archive drives from Seagate. Has anyone been using them for a decent amount of time with Drivepool?
In theory they seem ideal for a Plex server, mostly used for reads.

 

They also seem very good value in cost/TB. I reckon I'm using space at a rate of about 3.5 to 4TB per year now. A 4TB drive is about 109 at present. The 8TB is 178, which is 89/year if I assume 4TB/yr. It's clearly better value.

However, I do wonder about whether the archive drives are suited to a system that can either run continuously, or be powered up and down fairly regularly (it varies but once a day is usual). 
I welcome thoughts and advice on this!



#2 Umfriend

Umfriend

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 373 posts

Posted 03 December 2015 - 11:44 AM

I use them for Server Backup. Drashna has them in his server as part of his Pool. There is a write-penalty but truth be told, I can not think of many use-cases where one would notice. For spinners, they read like crazy. If it mainly write-once / read many then I would say these offer the best value for money indeed.


  • Chris Downs likes this

#3 TwoEdge

TwoEdge

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 20 posts

Posted 03 December 2015 - 10:06 PM

the write-penalty will hit you hard, once you want to write more than 50gb in one go to them.

the write performance crumbles to about 30mb/s or less.

so if you push big backups often, this gets annoying.

 

apart from that, i guess you will only notice it when initially filling them or while balancing big amounts



#4 Umfriend

Umfriend

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 373 posts

Posted 04 December 2015 - 09:11 AM

Actually, there is a non-SMR cache of 20GB, so writing more might incur a write penalty. However, that only goes when areas of the HDD are re-written. If it is just write-once and no deletions then it should be fine AFAICS.

 

As an example, a recent Server Backup wrote 1.53TB in 3:34 hrs. That is, OTOH, about 120MB/s. I have yet to come across a use-case where it would hit you noticable, let alone "hard". In what circumstances have you experienced that?



#5 Christopher (Drashna)

Christopher (Drashna)

    Customer and Technical Support

  • Administrators
  • 8,208 posts
  • LocationSan Diego, CA, USA

Posted 04 December 2015 - 08:10 PM

I've actually seen where the writes drop off. They hit 0 bytes/sec for a few seconds and then bounce right back up. And do this repeatedly.  So there is definitely a write issue with the drives.

 

That said, I get ~180-190MB/s read from these drives when I switched the allocation unit size to 64k.  Worth doing (manually). 

 

 

And if write performance is an issue, then get a couple of SSDs and use the SSD Optimizer balancer. This way, data is written to the SSDs and then moved off. You'll never see the issue then. ;)

 

 

(I'm up to 5x 8TB Seagate Archive driver and am very happy with them)


Christopher Courtney

aka "Drashna"

Microsoft MVP for Windows Home Server 2009-2012

Lead Moderator for We Got Served

Moderator for Home Server Show

 

This is my server

 

Lots of "Other" data on your pool? Read about what it is here.


#6 TwoEdge

TwoEdge

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 20 posts

Posted 09 December 2015 - 11:27 PM

 In what circumstances have you experienced that?

Pretty much every time i wrote more than 50gb. I repeated this multiple times on 2 different drives with the same results.

 

I've actually seen where the writes drop off. They hit 0 bytes/sec for a few seconds and then bounce right back up. And do this repeatedly.  So there is definitely a write issue with the drives.

This is exactly what i have seen which averaged to a little lower than 30mb/s if i recall correctly.



#7 Christopher (Drashna)

Christopher (Drashna)

    Customer and Technical Support

  • Administrators
  • 8,208 posts
  • LocationSan Diego, CA, USA

Posted 10 December 2015 - 03:21 AM

Pretty much every time i wrote more than 50gb. I repeated this multiple times on 2 different drives with the same results.

 

This is exactly what i have seen which averaged to a little lower than 30mb/s if i recall correctly.

 

I didn't really do a lot of testing. I was more concerned with reads than writes.  Namely because I knew the writes were probably going to be crap to start off with.  

 

Basically, if it's really an issue, use the SSD Optimizer Balancer Plugin. Write to a copy SSDs and let StableBit DrivePool handle the slow write speeds of these drives. :)


Christopher Courtney

aka "Drashna"

Microsoft MVP for Windows Home Server 2009-2012

Lead Moderator for We Got Served

Moderator for Home Server Show

 

This is my server

 

Lots of "Other" data on your pool? Read about what it is here.


#8 Umfriend

Umfriend

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 373 posts

Posted 10 December 2015 - 07:17 AM

Pretty much every time i wrote more than 50gb. I repeated this multiple times on 2 different drives with the same results.

 

This is exactly what i have seen which averaged to a little lower than 30mb/s if i recall correctly.

Oh, I know that. I was more wondering about when do you, as a user, have I/O in excess of 50GB that you are actually waiting for to complete? I mean, I use them as Server Backup HDDs and I am certain I get that write penalty over and over but I don;t care because the backup process is automated and does not affect my user experience (restoring is different of course). Strangely enough, these backups run way faster on the 8TB HDD then on a 4TB WD Red...



#9 Umfriend

Umfriend

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 373 posts

Posted 11 December 2015 - 12:29 PM

As an example, a recent Server Backup wrote 1.53TB in 3:34 hrs. That is, OTOH, about 120MB/s.

I just realised this is simply false. The backup "transferred" 1.53TB but that does not mean that amount of data was written to the HDD, that would have been far far (FAR!) less. Sry.

 

I still agree with everything else I wrote here.

 

The SSD optimizer plug-in would indeed help should you encounter write-performance issues. Of course, only until writes exceeds the size of the SSDs + HDD cache and PMR cache. But I am pretty sure you could use a 4TB HDD you already own as cache as well with that plug-in. That might actually be the best setup of all.



#10 Christopher (Drashna)

Christopher (Drashna)

    Customer and Technical Support

  • Administrators
  • 8,208 posts
  • LocationSan Diego, CA, USA

Posted 11 December 2015 - 07:51 PM

The SSD optimizer plug-in would indeed help should you encounter write-performance issues. Of course, only until writes exceeds the size of the SSDs + HDD cache and PMR cache. But I am pretty sure you could use a 4TB HDD you already own as cache as well with that plug-in. That might actually be the best setup of all.

You could absolutely use a couple of HDDs for this.  And for the most part, that would be fine.  Over the network (if that's you're use case) may be the limiting factor anyways.

 

But yes, small SSDs may get filled rapidly, depending on how much data you're dumping onto the pool, and depending on your balancing setting.s


Christopher Courtney

aka "Drashna"

Microsoft MVP for Windows Home Server 2009-2012

Lead Moderator for We Got Served

Moderator for Home Server Show

 

This is my server

 

Lots of "Other" data on your pool? Read about what it is here.


#11 TwoEdge

TwoEdge

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 20 posts

Posted 11 December 2015 - 09:58 PM

Oh, I know that. I was more wondering about when do you, as a user, have I/O in excess of 50GB that you are actually waiting for to complete?

 

One such Occasion was backing up 5 VMs from a laptop.

"Throw SSDs at the problem" can't be the answer :)

 

I was expecting bad write rates at some point, just not THIS bad.

For now, i have replaced the drives.



#12 Umfriend

Umfriend

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 373 posts

Posted 12 December 2015 - 09:04 AM

Ah, yes, I can see that happening and you waiting for it. Still, a bit of an exception I would say.



#13 Christopher (Drashna)

Christopher (Drashna)

    Customer and Technical Support

  • Administrators
  • 8,208 posts
  • LocationSan Diego, CA, USA

Posted 12 December 2015 - 09:02 PM

One such Occasion was backing up 5 VMs from a laptop.

"Throw SSDs at the problem" can't be the answer :)

I don't know. It's a pretty good solution for most issues. :P

 

 

I was expecting bad write rates at some point, just not THIS bad.

For now, i have replaced the drives.

 

Yeah, it definitely can be. It's not a great backup drive.  And yeah, the writes are pretty bad overall.  

 

But it's a great storage drive (Archive drive, even! :P) and it would make a great "sneaker-net" drive, as well). 

 

But yes, if you do plan on using these drives and writing a lot of data in the pool, then grabbing a smaller, faster drive for write caching would be a fantastic idea, and HIGHLY recommended (if not needed outright). 


Christopher Courtney

aka "Drashna"

Microsoft MVP for Windows Home Server 2009-2012

Lead Moderator for We Got Served

Moderator for Home Server Show

 

This is my server

 

Lots of "Other" data on your pool? Read about what it is here.


#14 Christopher (Drashna)

Christopher (Drashna)

    Customer and Technical Support

  • Administrators
  • 8,208 posts
  • LocationSan Diego, CA, USA

Posted 12 December 2015 - 09:21 PM   Best Answer

To clarify here (and mark as answered):

 

The Seagate Archive drives get great read speeds. But beacuse of how they work, they get atrocious write speeds.  

 

They're great for long term storage, "sneaker nets" and for the pool.  

 

But if you do use them with the Pool, you don't want them to be written to first. You will want to use the SSD Optimizer to write to other drives first. Be it SSDs or spinning HDDs.  

 

This way, you get good write speeds to the pool, and StableBit DrivePool will handle the horrible writes. And considering that StableBit DrivePool uses a background priority for file transfers, and it runs in the background, invisibly, this may work out VERY well. 

 

 

You can get the SSD Optimizer Balancer here:

https://stablebit.co...ivePool/Plugins

 

 

 

 

As for performance:

For reads, I got about 160-190MB/s from the drives, consistently. (using large, sequential files, and using 64k allocation unit sizes when formatting the disk).

For writes, closer to 80MB/s but would stall frequently during writing, decreasing the overall speed.


Christopher Courtney

aka "Drashna"

Microsoft MVP for Windows Home Server 2009-2012

Lead Moderator for We Got Served

Moderator for Home Server Show

 

This is my server

 

Lots of "Other" data on your pool? Read about what it is here.


#15 hansolo77

hansolo77

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 190 posts

Posted 14 December 2015 - 05:35 PM

I just read through this, as I too will probably be looking into getting one of these come tax season.  However, I don't feel like the OP's question was answered, or even touched upon by the responses.  Still, this is a very informative thread. 

 

So, to re-ask the OP's question...  How well do these drives operate in a server environment that's not on 24/7, with occasional power cycles or sleep times?  Do the constant power on spinups, etc have any major detrimental effects on the performance or longevity of the drives?



#16 Christopher (Drashna)

Christopher (Drashna)

    Customer and Technical Support

  • Administrators
  • 8,208 posts
  • LocationSan Diego, CA, USA

Posted 14 December 2015 - 10:33 PM

I just read through this, as I too will probably be looking into getting one of these come tax season.  However, I don't feel like the OP's question was answered, or even touched upon by the responses.  Still, this is a very informative thread. 

 

So, to re-ask the OP's question...  How well do these drives operate in a server environment that's not on 24/7, with occasional power cycles or sleep times?  Do the constant power on spinups, etc have any major detrimental effects on the performance or longevity of the drives?

Well, which part?

 

Aside from writes, the drive is just like any other disk.  It should respond just fine, aside from the mentioned write issues.

 

And yes, you should be able to use it continually or to turn it off frequently. Both without issues.

 

The best comparison is the MTBF and warranty:

http://www.wdc.com/w...2879-800002.pdf

http://www.seagate.c...34-3-1411us.pdf

 

They're not as "good" as NAS drives, but they should be fine with always on functionality.


Christopher Courtney

aka "Drashna"

Microsoft MVP for Windows Home Server 2009-2012

Lead Moderator for We Got Served

Moderator for Home Server Show

 

This is my server

 

Lots of "Other" data on your pool? Read about what it is here.


#17 propergol

propergol

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 80 posts
  • LocationFrance

Posted 15 December 2015 - 01:36 PM

So can we asume that this disk is a good hardware choice for movie libraries?

Movies are 99% of the time written once then only read from time to time.



#18 Umfriend

Umfriend

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 373 posts

Posted 15 December 2015 - 03:58 PM

I would say yes. I can not find a "normal" 6TB HDD that is cheaper than these 8TB HDDs and they read like crazy (for spinners, certainly at 5.9Krpm). And if you write about 1 movie a day (assuming they are less than say 25GB) then you won't even suffer a write-penalty). Or per hour. Or per ten minutes I would think. And if you have a number of them in a Pool and don't use file-placement rules it gets even better still I would speculate.


  • Christopher (Drashna) likes this

#19 propergol

propergol

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 80 posts
  • LocationFrance

Posted 15 December 2015 - 06:27 PM

I wonder if with SSD pluggin acting as write cache they couldn't be use for more general purpose like storing family pictures/movies that can be sometimes deleted, created.

My actual setup use 4x4TB WD Red + 1 4TB Green and 3x240GB SSD as cache. The more I think to it the more I wonder if its not a waste of money and power draw.

Maybe with 3x8TB archive drives + 3x240GB SSD I wouldn't see any difference with my actual setup... :huh:



#20 Christopher (Drashna)

Christopher (Drashna)

    Customer and Technical Support

  • Administrators
  • 8,208 posts
  • LocationSan Diego, CA, USA

Posted 15 December 2015 - 07:06 PM

So can we asume that this disk is a good hardware choice for movie libraries?

Movies are 99% of the time written once then only read from time to time.

Definitely. 

 

I would say yes. I can not find a "normal" 6TB HDD that is cheaper than these 8TB HDDs and they read like crazy (for spinners, certainly at 5.9Krpm). And if you write about 1 movie a day (assuming they are less than say 25GB) then you won't even suffer a write-penalty). Or per hour. Or per ten minutes I would think. And if you have a number of them in a Pool and don't use file-placement rules it gets even better still I would speculate.

And yea, if it's rather small-ish, then you shouldn't see the write issue at all.  I did, because I was copying a large number of large files. 

 

I wonder if with SSD pluggin acting as write cache they couldn't be use for more general purpose like storing family pictures/movies that can be sometimes deleted, created.

My actual setup use 4x4TB WD Red + 1 4TB Green and 3x240GB SSD as cache. The more I think to it the more I wonder if its not a waste of money and power draw.

Maybe with 3x8TB archive drives + 3x240GB SSD I wouldn't see any difference with my actual setup... :huh:

Absolutely. That's exactly what I do, and I see great performance from my pool.  Though, I'm using 120GB SSDs (I had them already). 

 

As for power draw, I'm not sure about in usage, but peak power draw is a bit higher for the Seagate Archive drives.   Your current sent is probably as power effecient as swapping the drives out of the Archive drives.   But I'm not 100% sure.


Christopher Courtney

aka "Drashna"

Microsoft MVP for Windows Home Server 2009-2012

Lead Moderator for We Got Served

Moderator for Home Server Show

 

This is my server

 

Lots of "Other" data on your pool? Read about what it is here.





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users