Question CMR or SMR drives for storage PC ?

sati-edimax

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Mar 22, 2017
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Hi

I have an option to buy for like 20$ a prebuilt HP 280 G1 PC and convert it into a backup/storage PC for me and my family. The OS will be OpenMediaVault booted from USB*. I have 1Gbs ports on my router and did some tests with this setup (using one 320GB and one 4TB drives I could find) showed me 100-130MB/s RW speed, which is ok for me. Power consumption is like 29-33W with 2 drives, not a problem for me. Running noise is acceptable.

(I could probably switch the 280 G1 for a HP 3500 for similar price, but the 280G1 case has 2 3.5" bays in it so I wouldn't have to make workarounds to stick 2 drives in the 3500 case :confused_old:)

I'm assuming at the start (at least half a year/one year, maybe even more until we will get used to it being the main storage place, if ever ;) ) that the Storage-PC will be booted maybe 1-2 times per week (or maybe even less often) to just backup stuff on it, copy something that is needed and then power off until next time. It won't work 24/7 or even during "day hours" (8-24, power off for night). For actual storage of data that we need for daily usage we have SSDs/HDDs in our PCs/laptops. Crucial data for us will also be stored on external HDDs (each one of my family members has a dedicated external drive for that ;)), so most important stuff will have at least 2 copies (one on Storage-PC and one on external drive). We don't want to buy 3-4 more externals for storage and then shuffle them, that's why we want to use one place for it (and since the PC costs like 20$ then it is super cheap vs getting actual NAS).

Now for the question:
I plan to stick 2 HDDs there (most likely 2x 8TBs as it has the best price-available storage-current storage needs-future storage needs ratio compared to 6TBs or 10TBs drives).

Should I get CMR or SMR drives?

Since the storage PC won't work as a streaming platform, data won't be read/write to it on constant matter, I won't enable disk spindown or config power management on it etc so I think that the cheaper SMR might be an good option for this, as it costs less where I live. Disk at the moment which I compared:
2x SMR Seagate BarraCuda 8 TB (ST8000DM004)
2x CMR WD Purple 8 TB (WD84PURZ)
2x CMR WD Blue 8 TB (WD80EAZZ)
2x CMR WD Black 8 TB (WD8001FZBX)

And the BarraCuda cost 22% less than WD Purple, 37% less than WD Blue and 84% less than WD Black...

Thank you, have a nice day

* I plan to have at least 2 USB sticks with OMV configuration 1:1 on them so if one fails I can plug the 2nd USB. Though if in the long run the USBs sticks due to power on/power off cycles would fail rather fast I will get a small SSD and boot from it (and use the 3rd SATA port on it if it won't be already used for a 3rd HDDs).
 

Karadjgne

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WD Purple are meant for raid, with constant traffic at slow rates, on 24/7. Red are meant for NAS type raid/traffic. Blue is general use, Black is higher performance, better error control, better warranty/reliability than Blue. Green is meant for mass storage where performance isn't a requirement. Gold is the equivalent of Black to Red or Purple.

It's your backup drives. You decide how much that backup data is worth. To me, it's a backup, has to be perfect, reliable, error free as possible or is useless. If my main system gets corrupted, fails, crashes, gets bugged, I want to know the backup is pristine and works when I need it to, so it's worth the price paid. Has to be 100% because anything less means I take my chances on failure, which makes the reason for a backup, moot.
 

sati-edimax

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Mar 22, 2017
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Yes I agree with your backup approach, but like I said this PC (and thus those drives) is firstly for storage, secondly for backup, and for stuff that I can recover. If it was only for me I would just buy another drive and just put it into my PC, but having to coordinate files on like 4 PCs and 2 laptops and know what is where :D

With this storage I will actually have:
  • one central place with files
  • 3 places (work PC, storage PC, external drive) where I can keep certain files
  • certain crucial stuff which I can't lose I have backed up on more then 1 external drive, this PC will be another place for this
  • certain stuff is also additionally backed up on normal spare HDDs (like when I changed HDDs into SSDs on 2 laptops I have 2 spare HDDs drives with very low amount of power cycles and total work hours) that can be connected via any SATA<>USB adapter or directly into PC, not like some external drives which are sealed with the usb-sata connectors.
So I would probably need to be super unlucky that all that will fail at the same time. When it comes to backup of important stuff I'm kind of paranoid :)
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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Basic concept of backups...3-2-1
3 copies, on at least 2 different media, 1 offsite or otherwise inaccessible.

 

Karadjgne

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For that kind of storage, in normal ahci, I'd use Black drives, but that's just me. If you were going for a more NAS type storage, using 4 drives, I'd go with Reds in raid 10. You have work files, critical files other important files that may or may not get backed up to more secure storage with any regularity, some p do it automatically every night during downtime, some do it once a week, it varies depending on your paranoia. Most smarter ppl will only do a full off-site backup after verifying the integrity of the primary backup, that way off-site files stand the best chance of remaining uncorrupted, unmalwared, unvirused.
 

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