Question HDD for Significant Torrenting

needhelp111111

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Context
The main drive I use for downloading to is beginning to experience errors, which I'm assuming is a harbinger of failure, so I'm looking for a replacement. Considering high-capacity drives can be expensive, I'm looking for a replacement that is going to be able to handle an intense workload and won't die out any time soon. I'm looking for at least 8TB, and likely in the range of 8TB to 10TB. Notably, I do not use RAID, nor am I interested in using it for the time being.

Usage
On average I torrent anywhere from as little as 750GB to 1.5TB per month.
My torrent client is usually active anywhere from a 3 to 14 hours per 24 hours.

Questions
  1. Which is preferable, NAS or surveillance?
  2. Consumer or enterprise?
  3. Which models (e.g. IronWolf, Red, Skyhawk, Purple, Exos) are recommended?
 

Barty1884

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Torrenting of legal content, right?

While HDDs aren't listed in TBW makes it a tougher one to judge, but given comparable workloads, I'd suspect you'd want to look at drives more geared to surveillance equipment.
NAS class drives are aiming for long-term storage, with small(ish) frequent writes. Surveillance drives are really built for 24/7 writing. Not exactly the same use-case, but probably the most similar to your use-case.
 
Was about to post then saw above -

Agreed completely with above.

Surveillance is specifically geared to basically being operational 24 hours a day. NAS whilst similar, usually are set up more for RAID environments.
In reality, you probably won't see much difference, but the operation of one is probably slightly more geared to your needs.

Enterprise drives would be more geared to improving overall reliability, as it's effectively working off the premise that a workplace could stop should a drive fail. So it tends to put more features in place to increase reliability of the unit, and in most tests, they do tend to have a lower annaulised failure rate - but you also pay for these extra features. You may also find the enterprise drive has an increased warranty.

And have to iterate the above also, this is legal content right?
 
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needhelp111111

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Was about to post then saw above -

Agreed completely with above.

Surveillance is specifically geared to basically being operational 24 hours a day. NAS whilst similar, usually are set up more for RAID environments.
In reality, you probably won't see much difference, but the operation of one is probably slightly more geared to your needs.

Enterprise drives would be more geared to improving overall reliability, as it's effectively working off the premise that a workplace could stop should a drive fail. So it tends to put more features in place to increase reliability of the unit, and in most tests, they do tend to have a lower annaulised failure rate - but you also pay for these extra features. You may also find the enterprise drive has an increased warranty.

And have to iterate the above also, this is legal content right?
Of course it's legal content. I've read that WD's NAS drives are built for almost constant use too?

Notably, there is going to be significantly more writing, almost if not constant, whereas reading from the drive will be much fewer and farther between.
 
Not speaking directly about the WD drives, but as Barty has mentioned above, they are both made more for 24 hour usage, but surveillance is specifically geared to constant writing to it 24 hours - NAS drives are more built for RAID storage with less intense writing usually - but lots of random multiple writes - I.e. like a server in a workplace, with lots of users writing to the server at different times.

Surveillance is typically also geared for sequential read/write, whereas NAS is more geared to random read/write. Surveillance is made just for constant writing to it. Usually it's mainly firmware that differs.
 

Barty1884

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Of course it's legal content. I've read that WD's NAS drives are built for almost constant use too?

Notably, there is going to be significantly more writing, almost if not constant, whereas reading from the drive will be much fewer and farther between.
There is no "of course", when it comes to torrenting. No assumptions will be made, as we do not allow any discussion on torrenting pirated material here, so I wanted to clarify.

I wasn't getting into specifics on brands initially ,just pointing out what you should be looking towards.
While WD's NAS drives (Red) as marketed for "24/7 usage", they're not quite the same. The 24/7 in their Red drives, is 24/7 uptime. Which is typical NAS behaviour. You're rarely reading/writing 24/7 - there will be spikes, there will be overnight full backups etc.
On the other hand, surveillance class drives 24/7 usage has a much stronger emphasis on 24/7 constant writes. A surveillance drive could theoretically be writing tens through hundreds of GB/day, per camera (depending on resolution, frame rate and bit rate) and would be rated/warranted as such for their typical 3-5year warranty periods.

With a 750GB-1.5TB.month writing (not to mention reading if you're seeding), you're averaging 25-50GB/day, every day. Much more in line with surveillance than NAS, IMO.
 
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needhelp111111

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Not speaking directly about the WD drives, but as Barty has mentioned above, they are both made more for 24 hour usage, but surveillance is specifically geared to constant writing to it 24 hours - NAS drives are more built for RAID storage with less intense writing usually - but lots of random multiple writes - I.e. like a server in a workplace, with lots of users writing to the server at different times.

Surveillance is typically also geared for sequential read/write, whereas NAS is more geared to random read/write. Surveillance is made just for constant writing to it. Usually it's mainly firmware that differs.
Wouldn't torrenting constitute random r/w more so than sequential r/w?
 

Barty1884

Titan
Moderator
Wouldn't torrenting constitute random r/w more so than sequential r/w?
Not 100% sure, honestly.

At first thought, I would've thought sequential - as you're moving a single, large file (or various, larger files). And if typically small files, then random.

BUT, IIRC most torrent clients download in random, and recompile at completion. So... probably random. Not 100% sure though.
 

needhelp111111

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There is no "of course", when it comes to torrenting. No assumptions will be made, as we do not allow any discussion on torrenting pirated material here, so I wanted to clarify.

I wasn't getting into specifics on brands initially ,just pointing out what you should be looking towards.
While WD's NAS drives (Red) as marketed for "24/7 usage", they're not quite the same. The 24/7 in their Red drives, is 24/7 uptime. Which is typical NAS behaviour. You're rarely reading/writing 24/7 - there will be spikes, there will be overnight full backups etc.
On the other hand, surveillance class drives 24/7 usage has a much stronger emphasis on 24/7 constant writes. A surveillance drive could theoretically be writing tens through hundreds of GB/day, per camera (depending on resolution, frame rate and bit rate) and would be rated/warranted as such for their typical 3-5year warranty periods.

With a 750GB-1.5TB.month writing (not to mention reading if you're seeding), you're averaging 25-50GB/day, every day. Much more in line with surveillance than NAS, IMO.
Duly noted about the specs. Thanks.
 
BUT, IIRC most torrent clients download in random, and recompile at completion. So... probably random. Not 100% sure though.
Valid point - I guess it depends on how your torrent deals with said files

If you do them in a kind standard order, then you'll benefit from sequential. If it is in random blocks like many torrenters do, then probably random. Irrespective of that, the suirvellance drives are usually more suited still to being written to constantly in the manner you describe. It'd be interesting to see if there would be a significant difference for this application.

Again, usually the difference between the 2 is firmware, which if I'm not mistaken is usually geared towards RAID setups.

In reality, will you notice a huge difference between the 2? I'd probably guess not.
But with enterprise - from the tests I've seen - are less likely to encounter failure sooner.
 

needhelp111111

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Valid point - I guess it depends on how your torrent deals with said files

If you do them in a kind standard order, then you'll benefit from sequential. If it is in random blocks like many torrenters do, then probably random. Irrespective of that, the suirvellance drives are usually more suited still to being written to constantly in the manner you describe. It'd be interesting to see if there would be a significant difference for this application.

Again, usually the difference between the 2 is firmware, which if I'm not mistaken is usually geared towards RAID setups.

In reality, will you notice a huge difference between the 2? I'd probably guess not.
But with enterprise - from the tests I've seen - are less likely to encounter failure sooner.
To what extent are surveillance more geared towards sequential writes than NAS drives? And if you're not sure, is this info available anywhere?
 

needhelp111111

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I agree with the surveillance drive recommendation.
For instance, the WD Purple.
https://www.wd.com/products/internal-storage/wd-purple-surveillance-hard-drive.html

"180TB/year"
10 times your stated use case.

The 8-10-12TB models..."an enhanced workload rating of up to 360TB/yr "

You'll be fine with one of those.
My key concern right now is that people have said that surveillance drives are more geared towards sequential writes? However, I've also watched some videos talking about surveillance drives being used for multiple cameras at once, which seems more realistic? In the environment that I'll be using it, there will be many things being written to disk simultaneously, and I also might be viewing a video file and transferring a file at the same time as all those other files being written to disk. You still believe surveillance would be suitable for this?

Really appreciate your guys feedback.
 
I'd rather have a pair of 4 TB drives over a single 8 TB Drive....

At least you limit your likely risk of data loss to (statistically) only half of it in the event of a failure...

In any event, WD's 8 TB drives are currently about $225 on Amazon/Newegg, while WD 4 TB Red drives are $109 each...
 

needhelp111111

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Not 100% sure, honestly.

At first thought, I would've thought sequential - as you're moving a single, large file (or various, larger files). And if typically small files, then random.

BUT, IIRC most torrent clients download in random, and recompile at completion. So... probably random. Not 100% sure though.
Do you have any experience with HGST Ultrastar drives??
 

needhelp111111

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I'd rather have a pair of 4 TB drives over a single 8 TB Drive....

At least you limit your likely risk of data loss to (statistically) only half of it in the event of a failure...

In any event, WD's 8 TB drives are currently about $225 on Amazon/Newegg, while WD 4 TB Red drives are $109 each...
I only have one more SATA port available. All six are currently being used. One drive is going bad, which is why I'm replacing it.
 
What about enterprise drives?
Enterprise drives usually have more features in them to increase longevity of the drives such as vibration reduction, heat reduction etc. My previous quote also covers some of this:
it tends to put more features in place to increase reliability of the unit, and in most tests, they do tend to have a lower annaulised failure rate - but you also pay for these extra features. You may also find the enterprise drive has an increased warranty.
From the tests I have seen, they do tend to have lower annualised failure rates.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
I think you're overthinking the differences between the drives, and the performance differences.

Yes, in aggregate, the enterprise drives have a lower fail rate
But that means little if your specific drive is one of the outliers and dies early.


What is the use case for this?
Personal torrenting,or a business enterprise?

I'd consider offloading this function to a dedicated NAS box.
Fill it with whatever size drives you need. WD Red, Seagate Ironwolf.\ NAS drives.
Or, WD Purple and the equivalent Seagate.

The Synology and Qnap boxes have a dedicated torrent application.
And very robust mirroring/RAID/whatever functions.
 
I think you're overthinking the differences between the drives, and the performance differences.
Well all I'm trying to stipulate is that on tests, they tend to have a lower annualised failure rate. Obviously not overall failure rate.

Yes, in aggregate, the enterprise drives have a lower fail rate
But that means little if your specific drive is one of the outliers and dies early.
Completely agreed, and that's all my point is, that outside of anything else, they just have more features in them to try and increase longevity. Outside of that, I'm not aware of many other differences (except some enterprise drives I see have increased warranties), but certainly not all of them. But yes, I agree.
 

needhelp111111

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Enterprise drives usually have more features in them to increase longevity of the drives such as vibration reduction, heat reduction etc. My previous quote also covers some of this:

From the tests I have seen, they do tend to have lower annualised failure rates.
Well, NAS drives also have a better anti-vibration functionality too. That's where all of this stuff gets confusing to me. Enterprise has anti-vibration, so does NAS. Surveillance is for 24/7 operation, yet so is NAS. I guess the failure rates of enterprise compared to NAS is the key takeaway nonetheless.
 

needhelp111111

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I think you're overthinking the differences between the drives, and the performance differences.

Yes, in aggregate, the enterprise drives have a lower fail rate
But that means little if your specific drive is one of the outliers and dies early.


What is the use case for this?
Personal torrenting,or a business enterprise?

I'd consider offloading this function to a dedicated NAS box.
Fill it with whatever size drives you need. WD Red, Seagate Ironwolf.\ NAS drives.
Or, WD Purple and the equivalent Seagate.

The Synology and Qnap boxes have a dedicated torrent application.
And very robust mirroring/RAID/whatever functions.
Primarily extensive torrenting is the use case. Unfortunately, other than the SATA port that will be freed up due to this dying drive, all of the other ports are occupied. And I'm really only interested in replacing the one drive, not necessarily spending boat loads of money to set up an external RAID NAS system.

I just read somewhere else that apparently the Seagate Exos are smooth as butter, at least compared to the HGST Ultrastars.

I don't think the titles are as literal as you make them out to be (i.e. if you're using it for a business, get an enterprise drive, at least not in my use case). It's extremely difficult to determine whether or not the 24/7 writing capable of surveillance drives is better suited to my use case than, say, a NAS drive, which although it might be suited for 24/7 use, isn't necessarily suited for 24/7 writing.
 

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