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We're looking at using velociraptor 10k SATA drives in a Dell Poweredge R720.

The late-2012 1 TB WD velociraptors seem like a great fit for our situation (need 10s of TBs of storage in a 2.5" format for servers with solid performance).

I can't find any examples online of people using these disks in a 2.5" server RAID configuration, but I see at Switch SATA disks in DELL PowerEdge R410 suggesting that only certain Velociraptor models have the right connection for a Poweredge backplane setup.

Does anybody know if there will be problems connecting the new velociraptors to the server backplane? Are there issues combining the 4k sector "advanced format" design with a standard RAID card?

We would go with a Dell H710P.

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closed as not a real question by Tom O'Connor, MadHatter, Dave M, mdpc, Alex Jan 24 '13 at 17:14

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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Why use CONSUMER 2.5" 10krpm disks in a server when you can buy SERVER-SPECIFIC 2.5" 10krpm disks for most servers anyway? You do know those disks aren't designed to be worked more than 30% of the time and they're designed for single-user applications not deep-queue server applications? Sounds like a recipe for disaster, just use the supported disks. –  Chopper3 Jan 24 '13 at 9:36
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But they're still hamstrung by the SATA protocol and its poor queuing compared to SAS disks. You can get 1.2TB SFF 10k SAS disks now, if performance is a concern you should be using these. If performance isn't a concern just use NL-SAS. –  MDMarra Jan 24 '13 at 13:15
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@Mxx, you're 100% incorrect, talking rubbish - firstly many if not most enterprise 2.5" disks run at 15krpm, 50% faster than the velociraptor's 10krpm and they use SCSI based interfaces such as FC and SAS which have considerably higher queue depths and are specifically designed to handle out of order requests - whereas Velociraptors use the consumer oriented SATA protocol which is designed for far lower concurrency operations. So your statement that they're the 'fastest bar none' is just incorrect. –  Chopper3 Jan 24 '13 at 14:46
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@Mxx There isn't a single SAS 10k or 15k disk, or enterprise SSD measured in that link... Are you sure you know what you're talking about? Also, it looks like they benched heavily in single-user scenerios, not multi-user workloads like you see in servers. –  MDMarra Jan 24 '13 at 15:03
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@Mxx That review contains ZERO 15krpm disks, only 10krpm and lower. Are you simply not aware of the existence of 15krpm disks? Are you also not aware that serverfault is FILLED with people who ONLY buy enterprise storage, that's their only job, and they spend millions per year doing this, and none of them buy velociraptors over 15krpm disks, as they're not fit for purpose when performance is key. It's like you're claiming BMW M5's (a very quick saloon car) is the fastest of all cars, ignoring say racing cars, just blind to what you don't know. –  Chopper3 Jan 24 '13 at 15:05
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4 Answers

Yes, they will work. Everything will fit and will be recognized by the controller, etc.

But please consider using proper SAS drives or the actual Dell-branded models. Don't pay retail. You can find them for less.

If you need capacity, go with nearline SAS disks (7.2k).

If you need performance, go with enterprise SAS disks (10k or 15k RPM).


Why?

How can a single disk in a hardware SATA RAID-10 array bring the entire array to a screeching halt?

SAS vs Near-line SAS vs SATA

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If you want a disk that will definitely work in a brandname server, you should look into what that brandname vendor has to offer. These disks are usually more expensive, but you get replacement support and an assurance that these disks were tested with the hardware you are purchasing.

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Most of the Dell PERC controllers are OEM versions of LSI, Adaptec... units, so it would help to consult the HCLs for these...

Be sure to understand the difference between RAID optimized and desktop/single-disk-server optimized drives (TLER and vibration handling!), and research if there are tools available to configure the relevant settings (with some drives you can with others you cannot).

Also, SAS systems usually handle unorthodox failure modes of drives in an array better (a SATA drive with the right kind of electronics fault can freeze some RAID controllers solid).

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I would say yes, those drives will work fine with your configuration. I say that based on the fact that I went to Dell's website and configured R720 with H710P controller, RAID 5 or 6 setup and 16 500GB SATA drives. If it accepted these drives, I see no reason why it would not accept Velociraptors.

Having said that, if you need a lot of storage, have you considered R720xd servers? They support up to 26 drives (instead of 16 in R720). With that kind of setup you'll be able to get more spindles(or even SSDs), which gives you more IOPS, and you won't have to buy 'maximum capacity' drives which usually have a significant premium in $/GB.

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