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Which drives to get for new ReadyNas?

Kimius
Aspirant

Which drives to get for new ReadyNas?

So I need a new NAS. This is going to be expensive...

TL:DR at bottom of post

A bit of background info first. I have an NVX Business edition that I've had for a little over 2 years. I got it with 2 1tb drives because that was the only bundle available at the time, and immediately replaced them with 4 1,5tb Seagate drives off the HCL. This unit has been behaving a little strange from day 1, with the unit periodically deciding to hang during startup, before even showing any lights beyond the blue power button. Hard shutdown would then be required to fix that, and the next power-on works fine. This happens maybe once every month or so, and has done so since I got the unit.

I called Netgear support once to get some help with it but was basically ignored, with the only advice being to pull all the drives, put the original drives back in, doing a factory reset and seeing if that would help, which would take me weeks to test. Being unable to use the unit or access my data for weeks on end is not acceptable, so that idea went out the window. I'm guessing the unit is outside warranty now, so that means new unit to fix the problem, but it's rare enough that I've decided to just live with it.

However, recently I learned that the unit is having more problems. For a few weeks now, when I copy files to the unit it will sometimes hang for several minutes, with nothing being accessible. Not even the web admin pages respond. Usually I need to reboot the unit to fix it, or wait upwards of 5 minutes. I originally thought the problem was with my pc, but I just noticed that the drive activity light goes berserk whenever the unit hangs. SMART status says the drives are fine, firmware upgrade did nothing either, so I'm guessing it's the motherboard that's having problems.

At this point I cannot trust the unit anymore. I've been burned by data loss often enough that I won't trust anything that works less than flawlessly. I am working on backing up all my data off the NVX to an NV+ that I've had for many years without problems. So now I need a new NAS to replace the unstable NVX.

Despite my bad experience with Netgear support, I still like them enough that I will stick with them for at least one more purchase. Stability issues aside, the NVX was great. I've decided to get another NV+ though, simply because it's cheaper and, in my experience at least, more reliable. performance doesn't matter too much since these units will eventually become offsite backup for a custom built NAS with a ton of drives. I might be persuaded to get an ultra 4 just to check it out, but I don't really see the point.




So here is my problem. I need to upgrade to 2tb drives for both the new unit and the old NV+, and I am stuggling with choosing which drives to go for. The HCL shows 6 drives to choose from. The cheapest three are not viable, with the following reasoning:

Seagate Barracuda LP - ST32000542AS: not available anymore.
WD Caviar Green - WD20EARS: can't guarantee that I will get the right revision.
Seagate Barracuda LP - ST2000DL003: massive problems with firmware, avoiding like the plague.

That leaves me with 3 choices, the Hitachi Deskstar, the Seagate Barracuda XT or the Hitachi Ultrastar. I'm leaning towards the Ultrastar, because it's the only actual enterprise raid disk of the three and should be much more reliable, but it's really expensive. The other ones are rated for "desktop RAID", but that's just RAID 0 or 1, if I've understood correctly.


So what should I go for? I can afford to get any of them, but because I need to upgrade my old NV+ and the new NAS i'm getting at the same time, that makes 8 drives. With the prices on the Ultrastar being so high, it's hard to justify. Do I really need enterprise RAID disks, or will the desktop RAID disks be enough?



TL:DR

Which of these 3 drives should I go for with an NV+?

Hitachi Ultrastar A7K2000 2 TB
Hitachi Deskstar 7K2000 2 TB
Seagate Barracuda XT 2 TB
Message 1 of 37
PapaBear1
Guide

Re: Which drives to get for new ReadyNas?

Kimius - first, welcome to the forum.

As to the NVX BE - it has a five year warranty, and since you have only had it for two years, it is still in warranty. (The NVX Pioneer has a three year warrant and would still be under warranty as well).

A couple of suggestions.
1. Keep backing up your data. That is a good idea anyway. If your NV+ has the capacity to maintain a complete backup of your data, once you have all your shares backed up, convert the backup job to rsync. It is the greatest thing since sliced bread to maintain a backup. It basically synchronizes the files between the two units, so only the changes to files and new files are copied over. Files deleted on the source are deleted on the target when the backup job runs. (I have two NVX units, a BE and a Pioneer, the Pioneer is the oldest, just now one year old, both with 2x3TB Hitachi HDS5C3030ALA630 and 2x1TB Seagate ST31000528AS drives) and it only takes a few minutes to perform the backup of each share.

2. Once you have the backup complete, shut down the NVX (you can run off the NV+ if need be) and test each drive individually by connecting it to an SATA port on your PC and running SeaTools for Windows. You can run the short test first, but the long generic will probably need to be run. It will take several hours to run the test, and if the drive fails, in the report it will give you a code that will need to be used to RMA a drive.

3. If all the drives pass with flying colors, try a direct connection. I had a problem with my NVX Pioneer when I first set it up. Copying files to the NVX from my desktop (wired) were blinding fast compared to my NV+, but when I tried to copy a file back it was dog slow. I didn't notice it on normal small files, but when I tried to copy a video file back, it was <1KB/s!. I worked with tech support and they were about to issue me an RMA to use to push a return to the vendor. I posted on this forum and a direct connect was suggested. (They had to tell me how to do it). With a direct connection, I had absolutely no file transfer problem. It turned out a gigabit switch by another manufacturer was at fault. I dropped back to my old FS105 switch until my new Netgear GS108 switch arrived and have not had a problem since. If you have the problem with a direct connection, then you know it is the unit.

As to support, sometimes they do drop the ball, you just have to keep bugging them at times. If you determine it is the unit and not a flaky drive, open an on line case with them and when you get a case number, edit your first post and add the case # to the end of the header. That will help catch the eye of any Jedi passing by as well as other experienced members who can chime in with suggestions.
Message 2 of 37
Kimius
Aspirant

Re: Which drives to get for new ReadyNas?

I would like to do a test of the drives, but that is made more complicated by my NV+ having less space than my NVX BE and my collection of data being bigger than either unit can handle. As it stands I've had to keep some shares exclusive to the NV+, some exclusive to the NVX BE, with only the most important being synced between both. This is why I need new drives.

Once I find a way to get a backup of all my stuff off the NVX BE I will try to test the drives, but that might take a while to work out.

As for RSYNC, I'm assuming that would be the built-in backup task scheduler? I am already running that for my important stuff, and will use that for all my shares once I have the disk space.
Message 3 of 37
PapaBear1
Guide

Re: Which drives to get for new ReadyNas?

Read back through your initial post and found I did not respond to "desktop RAID". While I don't know exactly where you picked that phrase up, but, the ReadyNAS is a desktop RAID unit as opposed to a commercial rackmount RAID unit. I do know that WD has stated that they do not recommend the consumer grade drives, especially the "green" drives for use in a RAID application. Part of this is the electronics on the drive try to control when the drive spins down, whereas in the NAS application, the NAS tries to control that and you have a conflict.

Seagate's approach and I believe Hitachi's as well is different and uses the lower RPM of the drive to save energy.

Yes, I was referring to the backup task scheduler in Frontview.

If you are looking at a second NV+, you might then install 3TB drives in the NVX which would give you a volume twice as large as it would be with 1.5TB drives, and then both NV+ units could be used as a backup for separate shares with the 1.5TB drives. My two NVX units are configured currently with 2x3TB and 2x1TB drives for a net volume of 4.5TB (single redundancy) with the Pioneer being the backup target of the BE. The NV+ is a secondary backup of the critical (non-video) data. I had the unit and the drives are the ones removed during the upgrade of the NVX units.

You can also use large drives connected to a PC and copy files over to that drive via the network. This is a time consuming process and one I use to periodically backup my files before I went to the backup scheduler using rsync.
Message 4 of 37
Kimius
Aspirant

Re: Which drives to get for new ReadyNas?

The reason for the term "desktop RAID" is from the marketing blurb for the Deskstar and the Barracuda XT. Essentially those drives are rated and approved by the manufacturer for "desktop RAID" scenarios, which means RAID 0 or 1. Using those drives for RAID 5 would be outside the "approved use" limitations, which seems to mean that they will refuse to fix or replace them if the drives were used in RAID 5 or anything similar. The Ultrastar on the other hand is rated for "Enterprise RAID" use, which does include RAID 5.

At least, that's what I've understood from reading up on the marketing material.

As to getting 3TB drives for the NVX and having two NV+ with 1.5TB drives as backup for the NVX, that could work. Problem there is that I would then need to buy 3TB drives, which cost more per GB. Not to mention I would also need another set of 1.5TB drives. And a replacement NVX. I can certainly afford it, but it's getting close to my limits of reasonable spending.


I guess I should have clarified my first post a bit. I know that all the drives on the HCL will work with the NV+. I just don't know how reliable they are. According to the manufacturers, the cheap low power drives are not reliable, which has me worried. I have not had any problems with this yet, but still. At the end of the day I just want a set of drives that I can trust that will not break simply from being in a RAID 5 for more than a few weeks, or drop from the RAID from an unexpected delay in processing some random task. Does that make sense?
Message 5 of 37
PapaBear1
Guide

Re: Which drives to get for new ReadyNas?

First, if a drive fails, in my experience, they don't ask what service they were in. I have never used Enterprise class drives in any of my ReadyNAS units, and have had to replace two Seagates (a ST3500630AS four years ago after a month in service and ST1000528AS last fall, again after a month in service). I replaced the 630AS with the same model to bring my two drive array back up to redundancy and those two drives then ran for over 24,000 hours until replaced with larger drives because of space limitations. I replaced the ST31000528AS with a spare purchased when I bought the drives. I have a second drive that needs to go back now for replacement by Seagate. This is two of this model, but I do have 10, 8 in use and two spares.

The consumer class drives are more prone to failure, but use in Raid5 use will not cause a failure. I use X-Raid in my NV+ and X-Raid2 in the two NVX units. When I started with the NV+ it was a two drive raid, so was the equivalent of Raid1, and lost a drive. The 1TB drive was lost in a four drive array (equivalent of Raid5). On the Seagates, you run SeaTools and when it fails the long generic the report gives you a code that is used when you apply for the RMA. You then get a download that details packaging requirements, return instructions and a mailing label. When they get the drive you get an e-mail that it has been received, another e-mail when they are shipping the replacement. In both of my cases, it was less than 10 days from the time I sent off the failed drive until I had the replacement drive. The replacement is generally a refurbished drive.

It is recommended that for rack mount ReadyNAS units only enterprise class drives be used, but for desktop ReadyNAS units both consumer and enterprise class drives are on the HCL.

Once you get the NVX fully backed up, connect the drives and run both short and long tests in SeaTools and see what the results are.
Message 6 of 37
WhoCares_
Mentor

Re: Which drives to get for new ReadyNas?

Kimius wrote:
For a few weeks now, when I copy files to the unit it will sometimes hang for several minutes, with nothing being accessible. Not even the web admin pages respond. Usually I need to reboot the unit to fix it, or wait upwards of 5 minutes.

This sounds like sectors are being reallocated by one or more of the drives. You may be able to verify this by checking your log files.

Kimius wrote:
Hitachi Ultrastar A7K2000 2 TB
Hitachi Deskstar 7K2000 2 TB
Seagate Barracuda XT 2 TB

My choice would be the Ultrastar and if I couldn't afford it then the Deskstar.

-Stefan
Message 7 of 37
Kimius
Aspirant

Re: Which drives to get for new ReadyNas?

PapaBear wrote:
The consumer class drives are more prone to failure, but use in Raid5 use will not cause a failure.


That's all I needed to know. Seems I will need to get some enterprise drives then.


WhoCares? wrote:
This sounds like sectors are being reallocated by one or more of the drives. You may be able to verify this by checking your log files.


The log files show no increase in reallocated sectors. That's one of the first things I check.
Message 8 of 37
PapaBear1
Guide

Re: Which drives to get for new ReadyNas?

Kimius wrote:
PapaBear wrote:
The consumer class drives are more prone to failure, but use in Raid5 use will not cause a failure.


That's all I needed to know. Seems I will need to get some enterprise drives then.


Please note that I said "more prone", not prone. The enterprise class drives have also been known to fail, in fact if I recall correct there was one member wondering if his ReadyNAS was failing because he had suffered two failures out of four enterprise class drives, and was under the impression that they don't fail. Please understand, all drives are subject to failure. In fact, this acceptance of the fact that all drives will fail is why we have RAID with single and even double redundancy (an option in ReadyNAS units with 6 or more bays).

I for one am not convinced that enterprise class drives are cost effective in a home environment. In my example, I could have purchased 16 Seagate 1TB consumer drives for less than the cost of 8 enterprise class drives necessary to populate my two NVX units. I chose to purchase 10 instead, giving me two spares. Now, that I have started to upgrade the size of my disks, all those extra drives would be going to waste. Yes, I have suffered two drive failures, but I also purchased two spares. The refurbished drives I have received to replace the two failed drives will be put to other uses - maybe as a data drive in a PC.

I was able to buy 5 Hitachi HDS5C3030ALA630 drives for a total of $660. The first one came from Amazon for $140 and then Newegg had a sale so the final 4 cost me $520. If I were to have purchased 4 x 7K3000 the HUA7230303ALA640 it would have cost me $1400 ($350 each). (Note: Newegg lists the HDS5C3030ALA630 by its OEM PN 0S03230, but the photo of the top of the drive shows the model no. HDS5C3030ALA630 and that is the drive I received. For some reason both Amazon and Newegg are now listing the newer Hitachi drives by their OEM P/N as Hitachi uses an opaque anti-static bag with a printed label with the OEM PN and serial numbers listed. The OEM PN does not appear on the disk label).

You might also want to reboot the NVX and trigger the disk test from the boot menu when you reboot. This will take several hours to run.
Message 9 of 37
asteffens
Aspirant

Re: Which drives to get for new ReadyNas?

Any Idea when the compatibility list will be updated with the 3TB drives for the 4200 units.
Message 10 of 37
mdgm-ntgr
NETGEAR Employee Retired

Re: Which drives to get for new ReadyNas?

The 4200 only supports 3TB drives on channels 1-4 due to a hardware limitation.
Message 11 of 37
asteffens
Aspirant

Re: Which drives to get for new ReadyNas?

Thanks mdgm, but which make and model drives can I slot into those 4 slots?
Message 12 of 37
mdgm-ntgr
NETGEAR Employee Retired

Re: Which drives to get for new ReadyNas?

Probably any 3TB disks on the compatibility list for the 3100 but if you have issues NetGear will refuse to help as the disks are not qualified for your model.
Message 13 of 37
PapaBear1
Guide

Re: Which drives to get for new ReadyNas?

There is a Hitachi Ultrastar and a Seagate Constellation models on the HCL.
Message 14 of 37
Kimius
Aspirant

Re: Which drives to get for new ReadyNas?

Right. Just got a new NV+. Starting to regret it already...

Ended up getting the Seagate Barracuda XT drives, since the Ultrastar drives shot up in price before I could get them. Seems like they are working fine. Not so much for the NV+.

After setting everything up, testing the memory, syncing the drives and making every setting as close to the other NV+ I have as possible, I ran the update that the thing was nagging so much about. Now it's on 4.1.7, and going poorly. I have some shares on my old NV+ that I wanted to back up first, before getting to the NVX. Call it a test.

It failed. Miserably.

Right before updating to 4.1.7 I tested the built-in backup without any problems. Grabbed a small share with ISO files with ease from my old NV+. After the update, I went in and tried to modify the old backup job to point to a different share. Should be easy, right? Well, no matter what I did, it refused to connect. Cancelling out and reloading the original backup job still wouldn't let me connect to the old NV+. Both of them are accessible from my windows machine, but the new NV+ refuses to see the old one anymore. Tried every permutation possible for how to write out the path string, to no avail.

Testing from the old NV+ to the new one still works. The old one is on 4.1.6 though. So apparently the 4.1.7 update broke the backup service.

At this point I can't even trust a brand new NAS to handle a backup job. This is getting ridiculous.
Message 15 of 37
mdgm-ntgr
NETGEAR Employee Retired

Re: Which drives to get for new ReadyNas?

What protocol are you using? Have you checked the configuration for that protocol for the share on the "remote NAS"?
Message 16 of 37
Kimius
Aspirant

Re: Which drives to get for new ReadyNas?

Everything is using CIFS. Configurations are fine as far as I can see. I haven't changed anything from how it's been on my other NAS units, and those settings have worked for years.
Message 17 of 37
PapaBear1
Guide

Re: Which drives to get for new ReadyNas?

When setting up a backup job from NAS to NAS you should enable both NFS and Rsync in the file format on both machines. CIFS is used for file transfer to and from a Windows machine, not between NAS units.

Reviewing my backup jobs set up on my NV+ (NAS3, IP 192.168.1.203) pulling from my NVX2 (NAS2, IP 192.168.1.202). On the NV+ backup job, the backup source is set to Remote:Rsync server. (Note: for the first backup it should be Remote:NFS server for the increased speed). The host name is set to the IP of the source, 192.168.1.202. The path is set to the share name being backed up. I do not have unique userid and passwords on the source, so those fields are blank. For destination NAS (NAS3) the destination is set to the share to which the backup is going. All other fields are blank.

But, you also have to set up other items. In order to do the initial backup with NFS, for each share being backed up, on the source NAS, you should enable NFS as read/write and check the box in front of "Hosts allowed access" and enter the IP of the NAS pulling the files. Without this, the source NAS will not allow access to the files. You will also need to do the same thing for rsync for the incremental backups. Rsync is very fast for the incremental as it only copies over the changes in the files rather than the entire file again. It synchronizes the files on the two systems. It does copy new files added to the source and will delete from the backup NAS files that have been deleted from the source, but only if that box is checked on the job settings.

If you are still getting an error when testing the connection, post back with the settings you have on the two machines.
Message 18 of 37
Kimius
Aspirant

Re: Which drives to get for new ReadyNas?

Turns out I was wrong. It wasn't the backup service that was broken after all. It was the web page.

Basically, the 4.1.7 update breaks compatibility with IE9. Any backup jobs made with IE9 refuse to work properly. Be it CIFS or NFS, it makes no difference. Make the same job in Firefox though, and everything works great. 4.1.6 Works fine with IE9, but update to 4.1.7 and the GUI to add a backup job changes, and stops working. Opening it in Firefox shows the GUI as it was in 4.1.6, and it works.

So now, in addition to Opera not working with ReadyNAS, IE9 is useless too.

I will need to test with IE8 to see if the same happens there.


Oh, and I tested the NFS backups. Couldn't get it to work with passwords, so that's not good enough. Will be sticking with CIFS until I find a better solution.
Message 19 of 37
Grievous
Aspirant

Re: Which drives to get for new ReadyNas?

Kimius wrote:
Turns out I was wrong. It wasn't the backup service that was broken after all. It was the web page.

Basically, the 4.1.7 update breaks compatibility with IE9. Any backup jobs made with IE9 refuse to work properly. Be it CIFS or NFS, it makes no difference. Make the same job in Firefox though, and everything works great. 4.1.6 Works fine with IE9, but update to 4.1.7 and the GUI to add a backup job changes, and stops working. Opening it in Firefox shows the GUI as it was in 4.1.6, and it works.

So now, in addition to Opera not working with ReadyNAS, IE9 is useless too.

I will need to test with IE8 to see if the same happens there.


Oh, and I tested the NFS backups. Couldn't get it to work with passwords, so that's not good enough. Will be sticking with CIFS until I find a better solution.


NFS doesn't use passwords, you need to configure which hosts have access.

I'm also not entirely sure what the error is you're experiencing, because I literally just before typing this reply created a backup job on 4.1.7 using IE9 and ran it, worked fine. What exactly is it that's somehow not getting saved?
Message 20 of 37
Kimius
Aspirant

Re: Which drives to get for new ReadyNas?

Too bad there is no way to upload images to the forum. Would be easier to show you.


Found this off google images. It shows how the backup window should be. I see this when I use Firefox, and IE9 with 4.1.6. When I see this, I can fill in the information I need, and it all works. The test connection button also functions as it should.

When I use IE9 and 4.1.7 though, I see something different. The host field is gone, the path field is extended and the browse button is gone. In the path field I see this filled in by default for CIFS: "Example: //host/share/path"
For NFS I see "Example: host:/path"

When I see this, I cannot get the backup job to work, no matter what I do. The test connection button always reports a failure, and none of the dozens of permutations I have tried to type out have worked.

Any job that I make in Firefox or with 4.1.6 will be possible to start, stop and delete from IE9 with 4.1.7, but editing it in any way breaks it.
Message 21 of 37
Grievous
Aspirant

Re: Which drives to get for new ReadyNas?

It's supposed to be filled in with the examples, and then you can change them.

You can use an image host like tinypic.com and it doesn't require making an account.
Message 22 of 37
Kimius
Aspirant

Re: Which drives to get for new ReadyNas?

I know that it's just examples, and I have changed them. In every way I can think of. It still doesn't work.
Message 23 of 37
Grievous
Aspirant

Re: Which drives to get for new ReadyNas?

Well then you'll need to show us what's going on, as I mentioned tinypic.com doesn't require making an account to post screenshots.
Message 24 of 37
PapaBear1
Guide

Re: Which drives to get for new ReadyNas?

I just upgraded to IE9 on this laptop, and tried changing the setup. When I first changed it and tried the test connection, I got an error. I thought it might be from the certificate error (ReadyNAS units do not have certificates), but when I made the change it deleted my path. Once I restored my path, it took the change. I did pull two images of Frontview - before and after the change. But then realized that you had pointed out it was not Frontview, but the browsers. What I did was change Remote:Rsync server to Remote:NFS server.

I do not know why changing the backup job in IE9 does not work, but if it works in Firefox, then I would use Firefox. But, then, I use Firefox almost all the time anyway. Once thing I really like about FF5 over IE9, is that in FF5, I can make an exception to the fact that the NAS has not certificate, but in IE9 you cannot do that. There is obviously something not right in your IE9 connection and I don't know what it is.The irony is that Frontview is noted for working better with IE than with FF.
Message 25 of 37
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