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What are the metrics and their priorities to compare various hard drives and their accessories for servers?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

The metrics:

  • Drive type: SSD or conventional hard disk
  • Drive connection type: SATA vs. SAS nowadays, maybe FC?
  • Capacity
  • Rot. speed 5500/7200/10000/15000 RPM
  • seek time (is more or less dependent on rot. speed)
  • Cost/GB

Not sure what you mean by accessories, though, so some guesses:

  • Hot swap case for drives
  • RAID controller
  • RAID box (i.e. 16disk SATA->FC etc).

Priorities are totally dependent on what you need the server to do and what your budget is.

I.e. if you just need a box to dump files on, without the need for zero downtime and high speeds, you could use server class SATA drives and a software RAID, but if you have a medium-sized database where you need extremely fast query times, you might use a fast SSD drive. So please tell us what you want to do so you can get more helpful infos.

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Thank you for answer. I'm going to host websites and need zero downtime. I can't choose between 4x 120gb SSD and 4x 300gb SAS drives. Capacity doesn't matter since I have a seperated storage layer. I have heard SSDs aren't reliable for a server. Thanks. – Jeff Nov 28 '10 at 21:57

There are many comparison factors such as:

1- Speed / RPM.

2- HD drive is hot-swappable or not.

3- Capacity.

4- Form factor.

5- Interface.

6- Power consumption.

7- Cost.

The priority depends mainly on your needs / requirements.

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Thanks for answer. For my specific needs, reliability matters. – Jeff Nov 28 '10 at 21:58

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