Beware of Shingled media recording (SMR) disk drives

jack_christie

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Sometimes not labeled clearly.

SMR drives


Shingled media recording (SMR) disk drives take advantage of disk write tracks being wider than read tracks to partially overlap write tracks and so enable more tracks to be written to a disk platter. This means more data can be stored on a shingled disk than an ordinary drive.


However, SMR drives are not intended for random write IO use cases because the write performance is much slower than with a non-SMR drive. Therefore they are not recommended for NAS use cases featuring significant random write workloads.
https://blocksandfiles.com/2020/04/14/wd-red-nas-drives-shingled-magnetic-recording/

https://www.reddit.com/r/DataHoarder/comments/g455zk
https://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/06/09/hgst_packs_shingles_to_make_10tb_drive/
 

Redliner

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It's been a while since I last read an article and had NO IDEA what the fuck was going on.
 

Matt2000

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Will keep an eye on this when I come to buying new disks for my server, currently have older WD Red. I could imagine these for WD Green or Purple but it doesn't seem right for Red. :hmm:
 

leviathan

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Well, this is well-timed... I was just thinking of upgrading my 2-bay NAS to a 4-bay by adding two more 4 TB WD Reds and switching to RAID5. Checked the exact model numbers: both of mine are WD40EFRX, which should be the previous (non-SMR) generation, the new SMR ones being WD**EFAX. This means I either look for another pair of exact same previous-gen drives, or just swap them for larger (6 or 8 TB) non-SMR units and maybe even keep the enclosure the way it is for a while longer... decisions, decisions.
 

argatoga

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Matt2000

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Seagate has said none of their Ironwolf drives use SMR, so I might look into that when the next drive dies.
Now there's something that I never thought I'd hear any time soon, I still avoid Seagate like the plague they always have been and we're still chasing their dying Barracuda disks at work. Admittedly their Ironwold drives should be damn good.

Red Pros do seem to be a good step up from regular Red, maybe I'll bite the bullet and get those next time. Just got a 2 camera CCTV system in and I bought it with a 1TB disk before checking the prices for diskless systems, I could've actually saved money by buying diskless and putting a 1TB WD Purple in, kicking myself a bit now but hopefully the presumably Chinese disk inside doesn't shit the bed on me too soon...
 
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