FreeNAS disk recommendations

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Evening all,

Been a while since I last posted but I've got my teeth stuck into building a FreeNAS box and wanted some advice on selecting disks...

I've blown the dust off an old AM2 Sempron and motherboard and will chuck 2GB or 4GB RAM in so that I can run ZFS in software RAIDz1.

Current thought process is to go with 4 disks and achieve a RAID volume capacity of around 1-2TB (in this ball park will be fine). The box will act as an iSCSI target so performance needs to be "decent" (striking a balance against cost).

With this in mind I guess my first question is; what drives do you guys recommend for a NAS setup?

I've got veloco raptors and sammy F1's in my main rig. Unfortunately I've seen too many sammy's fail in recent months so I'm a little reluctant to use them. Raptors are simply too expensive for this project.

So onto my second question; does anyone have experience with 2.5" drives in a NAS box? Is the MTBF high enough for these disks (I guess the answer to that one is reason but real life feedback is always valuable!)? What about 2.5" performance in contrast to the "green" disks that are available these days?

Not the most succinct post but hopefully you get me drift and can impart some useful knowledge!

Thanks in advance.

Dan.
 
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Performance and reliability the WD RE Enterprise series are hard to beat, though the Caviar Blacks are damn good too. Basically if you are serious about quality of drives then always buy the 5 year warranty Enterprise versions (believe the Seagate ones have a very good rep too).

That said given the RAID setup provides cover for drive failure cheaper and larger drives are fine for most setups. I am pretty sure my Gigabit LAN is the limiting factor in my WHS server and I use The WD Green drives where possible (same experience with Sammys failing). You only need better performing drives for lots of users random accessing different areas so I you don't have that then save your cash.

As to 2.5" drives, I would have thought the failure rate would be similar or lower. The drives are designed to take rougher handling so it is hard to imagine them having a shorter mean time to failure. That is obviously a combination of guesswork and opinion though, maybe the OCUK RMA squad could answer that one better for you.
 
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Thanks for the feedback. If you don't mind me asking how many WD Greens are you using. Like you say the NIC is likely to be the limiting factor so I'm guessing a certain number of, albeit slow, spindles should exceed the performance of the NIC.

There will be some random IO ops but this will be for test and dev so not too important. The data volume will house backup data and an itunes library.

Any one else go experience with 2.5" drives? There are becoming prominent in the server market, driving power consumption down, so I'm applying the same thought process to the NAS box...
 
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