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SEAGATE 8TB ARCHIVE DRIVE
01-06-2016, 03:03 PM
Post: #1
SEAGATE 8TB ARCHIVE DRIVE
Hi Folks

I am currently using a Drobo 5D with two WD 6TB Red drives, I would like to fill the other three slots and found that you offer a 8TB Archive drive.

Has anyone had a chance to try or heard about the drives?
I'm not great understanding the spec info, can be used as NAS drives?
Will they work in the Drobo 5D?
Would you recommend it for this use?

Thank you in advance, regards Liam.
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01-06-2016, 03:25 PM (This post was last modified: 01-06-2016 03:25 PM by Docchris.)
Post: #2
RE: SEAGATE 8TB ARCHIVE DRIVE
under no circumstances try these drives in your drobo (until they issue a firmware update to let Drobo correctly identify them)

Generally these drives are poor in RAID because of their "unique" design.. and they tend to be very slow at writing.

Because Drobos are particularly fussy about what they accept, when these drives stop responding for a little while (which they do regularly.. trust me I have 8 of them) Drobo assumes that they have failed and kick them out of the array.
On a similar note however, WD Red are absolutely perfect for use in Drobos

My Avatar is my Panther Chameleon named 'Leon.

I have a owned a Drobo v1, v2, DroboPro, Drobo 5D, DroboFS, Drobo 5N and DroboPro FS

I currently have a Windows 2016 Server with 8 x 8TB Seagate Archive Drives, 14 x 8TB WD Red and 3 x 8TB WD Gold
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01-06-2016, 03:51 PM
Post: #3
RE: SEAGATE 8TB ARCHIVE DRIVE
(01-06-2016 03:25 PM)Docchris Wrote:  under no circumstances try these drives in your drobo (until they issue a firmware update to let Drobo correctly identify them)

Generally these drives are poor in RAID because of their "unique" design.. and they tend to be very slow at writing.

Because Drobos are particularly fussy about what they accept, when these drives stop responding for a little while (which they do regularly.. trust me I have 8 of them) Drobo assumes that they have failed and kick them out of the array.
On a similar note however, WD Red are absolutely perfect for use in Drobos

Thats clear sense, thank you Leon.
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01-06-2016, 05:58 PM
Post: #4
RE: SEAGATE 8TB ARCHIVE DRIVE
(01-06-2016 03:51 PM)razorpix Wrote:  
(01-06-2016 03:25 PM)Docchris Wrote:  under no circumstances try these drives in your drobo (until they issue a firmware update to let Drobo correctly identify them)

Generally these drives are poor in RAID because of their "unique" design.. and they tend to be very slow at writing.

Because Drobos are particularly fussy about what they accept, when these drives stop responding for a little while (which they do regularly.. trust me I have 8 of them) Drobo assumes that they have failed and kick them out of the array.
On a similar note however, WD Red are absolutely perfect for use in Drobos

Thats clear sense, thank you Leon.
I have been trying to install these drives for the last few days and had this problem (failed). I already sent one drive back to B&H as the Drobo said that it failed. Received a new one today and now the Drobo says the other 8TB has failed. Sad, wished that I had known this before I bought 2 of them.
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01-06-2016, 06:26 PM
Post: #5
RE: SEAGATE 8TB ARCHIVE DRIVE
So... (the below is a bit over simplified but gives you an idea of what is going on)

When a "desktop" hard disk cant read some data.. it will keep trying and trying... sometimes for up to 30 seconds... which is good - because you want to get back your only copy of the data that is on the disk! while it is doing this thought.. the computer may seem to hang because its waiting for the disk to tell it whether it can read it or not.. and the disk isn't replying because its trying to decide whether it can read it or not. This causes a problem for some raid arrays (including drobo) as they sometimes think that the fact the drive has stopped responding means its failed.. so they kick it out of the array.

"NAS" hard disks (like Seagate NAS drives or the WD Red line), if they cant read some data.. they will try.. but not for very long.. usually 7 seconds (I think some drives it may be as short as 3!), WD Called this TLER (Time Limited Error Recovery). So the drive wont spend too long trying to read unreadable data - because its in a RAID array, if that data is unreadable it can just be recreated. so it gives up quickly and tells the controller "i couldn't read that" and then the controller can use the parity to recreate what was lost and everything continues in a lovely fashion.

So that is why you should really stick to NAS type drives in RAID arrays (Yes Drobo and other RAID arrays are usually smart enough to deal with the gracefully now - Drobos can read the model number and allow drives longer to respond. I know the synology units actually go so far as to change the setting in the firmware of the drives - disabling the long recover when they are first inserted!)

This brings us onto the unique characteristics of the Archive drive. the reason its called "archive" is because its not meant to be written to a lot, but it can be read from a lot. This is because data is stored on these drives in what is called SMR (The S is "shingled") This means that rather than laying down the data tracks next to each other .. in fact they overlap! this mens you can get more data on the disk. the drawback is if you want to change data on a track which is half "underneath" another track... you first need to read the outer track and store that somewhere safely.. then re-write your new data to the inner track.. then re-lay the data back on the outer track. so as you can see there is potential for the write performance to REALLY suck!

it is beautifully explained here, including the re-writing when you change data, with pretty pictures:

http://www.seagate.com/gb/en/tech-insigh...http://www.seagate.com/gb/en/tech-insights/breaking-areal-density-barriers-with-seagate-smr-

To avoid this, the Seagate drives have a little trick up their sleeves. part of the drive, 20GB , is reserved as a NON shingled cache... so when you write to the disk.. it writes as fast as a normal disk.. because its writing it to the non shingled cache area. then once you are not writing .. the drive starts shuffling around all the data internally.... that is why you might see people on forums complaining that the drive seems to be going crazy when they aren't even doing anything to it.

the problem arises if you try and write more than 20GB to the drive at once...

Now I own 8 of these disks.. and I've been moving a LOT of data from a large array of very fast drives onto these archive drives.. I'm talking a total move of over 100GB...

and I can tell whether its writing to the archive drives.. or to my WD Reds by watching the transfer rates.. the reds are pretty steady at over 100MB/sec. The archive drives actually go up to 140MB/Sec.... for quite a while... then they just STOP.. 0MB/sec.. sometimes for quite a long time (like a minute) then they will just carry on going again., actually the drive had filled its write cache and was moving data into the shingled area ready to accept the next lot of writes.

However if drobo is doing its internal optimising/relay out.. or you are writing to.. and a drive simply stops responding for a minute or two.. Drobo will think it has died, and will kick it / mark it as failed.

So the two main points are:

1) archive drives aren't great for RAID because they are erratic .. and if one fails and then you replace it.. that new drive is going to be hit with a long continuous write while will run into terabytes as the data is rebuilt onto it.. and they don't really like that

but also:

2) there is no reason why they could not be made to work in Drobo.. it just needs for the next Drobo firmware to be programmed to recognise that "this is an archive drive... it does the follow strange behaviours: etc.." and then it will be fine. but at the moment Drobos do not know about archive drives.. so Drobo freak out when they see the Archive Drives being odd.. and kick them from the array thinking they are failing/have failed

My Avatar is my Panther Chameleon named 'Leon.

I have a owned a Drobo v1, v2, DroboPro, Drobo 5D, DroboFS, Drobo 5N and DroboPro FS

I currently have a Windows 2016 Server with 8 x 8TB Seagate Archive Drives, 14 x 8TB WD Red and 3 x 8TB WD Gold
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01-07-2016, 12:10 PM
Post: #6
RE: SEAGATE 8TB ARCHIVE DRIVE
btw i saw on another raid site where they listed lots of hard drives and models, and that under the special notes sections, it seemed that only the smr drives had a caveat saying something along the lines that they are only supported to work if within the drives temperature range, whereas the other drives didnt specifically mention that....

it might be worth keeping an eye on your smrs docchris, for temperature, or to maybe position them in a ventilated area.
(or to put some kind of ceramic drinks coaster underneath or on top of the enclosure etc to act as an extra heat sink like i sometimes do) Smile - just remember not to put a drink on the coaster Big Grin

(btw i have XP home SP2, a Drobo v1 with 2x 1TB/2x 1.5TB WD greens, & a bkp Drobo v2 with the same + a DroboShare: unused)
& a DroboS v2 with 3xWD15EADS &2x1TB in DDR mode on win7, & a drobo5D (all usb)
  • btw i did a sustained (write) operation for about 6 hours, and got 13.2MB / sec ...objection? "sustained" :)
    (16.7MB/s on a v2 & 47-96MB/s drobo-s)
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01-07-2016, 12:24 PM
Post: #7
RE: SEAGATE 8TB ARCHIVE DRIVE
they're all between 35-40C.. there's 6 fans blowing on them

My Avatar is my Panther Chameleon named 'Leon.

I have a owned a Drobo v1, v2, DroboPro, Drobo 5D, DroboFS, Drobo 5N and DroboPro FS

I currently have a Windows 2016 Server with 8 x 8TB Seagate Archive Drives, 14 x 8TB WD Red and 3 x 8TB WD Gold
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01-07-2016, 12:43 PM
Post: #8
RE: SEAGATE 8TB ARCHIVE DRIVE
nice one

(btw i have XP home SP2, a Drobo v1 with 2x 1TB/2x 1.5TB WD greens, & a bkp Drobo v2 with the same + a DroboShare: unused)
& a DroboS v2 with 3xWD15EADS &2x1TB in DDR mode on win7, & a drobo5D (all usb)
  • btw i did a sustained (write) operation for about 6 hours, and got 13.2MB / sec ...objection? "sustained" :)
    (16.7MB/s on a v2 & 47-96MB/s drobo-s)
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05-09-2016, 02:46 PM
Post: #9
RE: SEAGATE 8TB ARCHIVE DRIVE
Is there any way around this to make drobo recognize the archive drive currently?
I just bought one.
I'm wondering if there's a workaround?
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05-09-2016, 02:47 PM
Post: #10
RE: SEAGATE 8TB ARCHIVE DRIVE
No.

My Avatar is my Panther Chameleon named 'Leon.

I have a owned a Drobo v1, v2, DroboPro, Drobo 5D, DroboFS, Drobo 5N and DroboPro FS

I currently have a Windows 2016 Server with 8 x 8TB Seagate Archive Drives, 14 x 8TB WD Red and 3 x 8TB WD Gold
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