The following is the price of the 4TB NL-SAS drive offered by Dell for PowerEdge 720xd.

4TB 7.2K RPM Near-Line SAS 6Gbps 3.5in Hot-plug Hard Drive [$663.38]

It seems to be too expensive. A similar drive is much cheaper (only ~ $300) on amazon.


Does anybody know whether the Seagate Drive from amaozon is considered as NL-SAS drive? If so, why there is such a huge difference in terms of price.

Also, if so, is it common to only purchase the minimal number of disks from Dell and purchase HDD from other venders and add these disks to the RAID later?

I'm considering the following RAID controllers. Do all of them allow me to add HDD later (or rebuild the RAID from scratch)? Thanks.

PERC H310 Integrated RAID Controller
PERC H710 Integrated RAID Controller, 512MB NV Cache
PERC H710P Integrated RAID Controller, 1GB NV Cache

  • Oh man. Yeah. Last time I thought about buying RAM from Dell, the price was2.5x market rate. WHen asked I was told that gives me great service - replacement parts in the data center within 4 hours. Like - I can not buy 2.5x the RAM for the same money and have the replacement parts already waiting. Secondary equipment prices from reselling mainline manufacturers are sometimes over the border to the crazy side.
    – TomTom
    Dec 26, 2013 at 20:43
  • 1. Similar != Same. 2. Purchasing drives form vendors other than Dell for use in Dell servers may create some headaches for you in getting support for HDD related problems (drives, controllers). 3. Make sure that the drives you purchase are supported for your particular controller.
    – joeqwerty
    Dec 27, 2013 at 17:11

1 Answer 1


You can buy the Seagate, but you probably shouldn't...

  • If you want to stay within vendor support guidelines, you should buy the Dell part.
  • If you want consistency or predictability, you should buy the Dell part.
  • If you are willing to self-support your configuration and understand the risks of doing so, buy the cheaper drive.

And yes, the Seagate disk you listed is a nearline SAS drive.

  • Or, if you want to be free, do not buy a Dell and live under those nice conditions.
    – TomTom
    Dec 26, 2013 at 20:44
  • @TomTom I know you are a SuperMicro proponent and build your own boxes regularly, but a lot of people aren't as knowledgable about HCLs, component interoperability, etc. Building white box can be an option for some, but I think there is value in letting a vendor like Dell or HP worry about compatibility and support for the majority of admins out there.
    – MDMarra
    Dec 26, 2013 at 20:58
  • @MDMarra The big vendors are getting more restrictive, though. It's bad... So there's a point where it does make sense to self-support if it works within the business and cost contexts.
    – ewwhite
    Dec 26, 2013 at 20:59
  • 1
    It would be less actually insulsing if most of the components that are offered would not just be resold stuff. Adaptec or LSI raid cards, hard discs from the known manufacturers. Plus - there is a world between. THere are a LOT of smaller manufacturers that will gladly sell you a server AND support preconfigured and don't make such jokes. No need to work with HCL etc. I can name you some european ones (Thomas Krenn for example, look them up - just as example - thomas-krenn.com/en/index.html). WHen I can not even put a intel SSD into a server then there is a line that gets crossed.
    – TomTom
    Dec 26, 2013 at 21:06
  • Personally - I do a lot of self build, and also have some Dell stuff in the basement ;) But I make sure I am not getting into that trap that I have to spend ouch amounts of money for stuff I Can get for reasonable pricing. Ram, Discs are among those "off limit" areas. And I am willing to buy from a tier 3 "component builder" that does resell (in my example supermicro). Not sure there is any value in getting a lock in on hard drives or RAM.
    – TomTom
    Dec 26, 2013 at 21:08

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