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We are looking at getting a new file server in the office.

When looking at HD's the ones that HP sell are twice or more than just buying a drive and getting a caddy to hold it in the server. When we mentioned that to the company supplying the server they said putting our own drive in might invalidate the warranty.

Is there any truth in that? Is there any benefit to the HP own HD's that would cause them to cost so much more than other drives?

Thanks, Chris

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That depends on the warranty, if you have on site for example, if you have all HP parts, you'll have less issues if you need to get support or have a tech on site. –  NickW Mar 27 '13 at 9:44

3 Answers 3

You can do as you wish. Your server chassis warranty will be fine.

Using non-HP disks in certain situations (very-large disks or high-end Solid-State drives) used to make sense with previous generations of HP ProLiant servers because the drive caddies/carriers/sleds were plentiful and easily-acquired.

You will have a difficult time finding the individual carriers for use with the HP ProLiant Gen8 server SmartDrive. Considering that the ProLiant ML350e is a lower-end server, you're probably not doing this for high-end or solid-state drives.

I would suggest not cutting corners... Do this the right way and buy supported HP parts, get a warranty on your disks (which will fail at some point). If you don't like the price, shop around. Nobody pays retail! HP warranties cover the chassis and any HP parts installed inside... Even used or refurbished disks. Keep that in mind.

Don't you value your data?

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We would be using 2TB disks, which seem like they are fairly normal in size. Looks like we should go for the proper ones - good tip on the refurbished models. Thanks! –  Chris Scott Mar 28 '13 at 10:05

No, using non-HP parts as drives would not invalidate your HP warranty. But of course, the non-HP parts would not be covered by HP's system warranty as would be the case with genuine HP disks.

Also, keep in mind that with complicated issues the HP technical support might ask you to remove all non-HP parts and reproduce the problem before proceeding with troubleshooting.

So if you do not have (or cannot spare) replacement parts, redundancy and on-site personnel for maintenance, it might be a much better idea to use HP parts - it will keep a bunch of worries away. Note that only SAS drives are fully covered by HP system's warranty - SATA drives' warranty is restricted to 1 year and you would have to take care of them yourself anyway after the first year is over.

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The warranty will still be valid - but if it's a drive related issue, HP may refuse to support it until you have removed all non-HP drives and verified the problem is still there. That can be very time consuming to do, and cause a lot of downtime.

Most manufacturer's also make modifications to the drive's firmware - sometimes to fix compatibility issues with their servers, sometimes to add more monitoring features. I know on many Dell servers, tools like RAID monitoring and SMART won't work properly with non Dell drives - the RAID monitoring will complain about non-OEM drives, and may not warn you if a drive is failing. That alone is a good reason to pay the extra money.

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The HP servers won't complain about firmware. And support has no way of knowing what types of drives are installed. There's no technical impediment to using non-HP disks, but the OP doesn't have a good reason not to. –  ewwhite Mar 27 '13 at 12:42

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