SMR hard drive becomes popular on the market; many manufacturers including Western Digital and Seagate added this technology to its hard drive products. So what does SMR mean exactly? I will introduce it to you and list some hot SMR hard drives.
Though the SSD is increasingly popular in recent years, there are still huge demands for the large spinning disks among both enterprises and home users. That is to say, hard disk drives are still needed by many people.
What does this mean exactly? Please keep reading. SMR, the acronym of Shingled Magnetic Recordingrefers to a data recording technology to increase the storage density of hard disk drives.
In fact, the SMR drive is your best choice when it comes to the cost per gigabyte. Resilvering refers to the action of adding a new disk drive to the existing RAID array the data and metadata will be rebalanced across the new and larger RAID group. The technology may result in slow data write speeds, but like Western Digital, the Seagate Technology PLC also decides not to tell this to the public.
Facebook Twitter Linkedin Reddit Summary : SMR hard drive becomes popular on the market; many manufacturers including Western Digital and Seagate added this technology to its hard drive products.Please keep in mind that we are here to help you build a computer, not to build it for you.
Hi all, I have had a slew of systematic hard drive failures over the last few days and have had the joy of sourcing replacements for all of them. All of my drives were in excess of 5 - 8 years old and less than 1TB in capacity SMR is a relatively new technology used to increase platter density and therefore the size of drives. There is a good description of the technologies here. It is also thought that SMR reduces reliability of the drive. SMR drives are however very good for sequential writes, so in a 'write once, read often' scenario make great backup drives at affordable costs.
I am quite frankly very angry at the shady practices employed by primarily Seagate and also Western Digital in order to conceal which drives employ SMR technology.
This is the only resource on the internet that I have found so far that has a consolidated list of drives, their model numbers and whether they utilise SMR technology. I have pulled the information for the most common 3. I have excluded NAS drives, enterprise etc. All are available on Amazon UK right now. If the model number of the drive you are looking to buy is not listed below, please check the database.
I am also not here to debate the pros and cons of SMR technology. It has been discussed hundreds of times before. Neither am I here to debate why we should migrate to SSDs in any format. HDDs are still valid for a lot of purposes and are cheap.
What is Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR)?
I'm in the same boat. I bought the same drive in before this was on my radar at all and now don't know what use it for since I replaced it in my media server with a larger drive but now because of this I don't want to put it in my desktop.
I took a look at the database but couldn't realise if a particular drive was smr or pmr. How do you know?SMR is a technology that allows vendors to eke out higher storage densities, netting more TB capacity on the same number of platters—or fewer platters, for the same amount of TB.
Until recently, the technology has only been seen in very large disks, which were typically clearly marked as "archival". Storage vendors appear to be getting much bolder about deploying the new technology into ever-smaller formats, presumably to save a bit on manufacturing costs. A few weeks ago, a message popped up on the zfs-discuss mailing list:. There has been speculation that the drives got kicked out of the arrays due to long timeouts—SMR disks need to perform garbage-collection routines in the background and store incoming writes in a small CMR-encoded write-cache area of the disk, before moving them to the main SMR encoded storage.
It's possible that long periods of time with no new writes accepted triggered failure-detection routines that marked the disk as bad. In the weeks since this issue first began cropping up on mailing lists, Western Digital has responded differently in different venues. The same user who reported difficulties in the zfs-discuss list opened a smartmontools ticket and reported an emailed response from Yemi Elegunde, an enterprise and channel sales manager for Western Digital UK:.
Just a quick note.
The only SMR drive that Western Digital will have in production is our 20TB hard enterprise hard drives and even these will not be rolled out into the channel. With SMR Western Digital would make it very clear as that format of hard drive requires a lot of technological tweaks in customer systems. This morning, Elegunde replied with a correction in the form of an official statement from Western Digital. Emphasis below is ours, not Western Digital's:. Shingled magnetic recording SMR is a hard drive technology that efficiently increases areal density and capacity for users managing increasing amounts of data, thus lowering users' TCO.
There are both device-managed and host-managed types, each for different use cases. Our customers' experience is important to us.
We will continue listening to and collaborating with the broad customer and partner communities to innovate technologies that enable better experiences with, more efficient management of and faster decisions from data.
We would be happy to work with customers on experiences they may have, but would need further, detailed information for each individual situation.
The writing on the wall here seems clear. Yes, Western Digital slid SMR drives into traditional, non-enterprise channels—and no, the company doesn't feel bad about it, and you shouldn't expect it to stop. What really grinds our gears about this is that the only conceivable reason to shift to SMR technology in such small disks—lowered manufacturing costs due to fewer platters required—doesn't seem to be being passed down to the consumer.
Western Digital doesn't appear to be the only hard drive manufacturer doing this—blocksandfiles has confirmed quiet, undocumented use of SMR in small retail drives from Seagate and Toshiba as well.
We suspect the greater ire aimed at Western Digital is due both to the prominent NAS branding of the Red line and the general best-in-class reputation it has enjoyed in that role for several years. You must login or create an account to comment. Can you guess which one?
Buyer beware—that 2TB-6TB “NAS” drive you’ve been eyeing might be SMR
Xelliz wrote:. Jim Salter Jim is an author, podcastermercenary sysadmin, coderand father of three—not necessarily in that order. Email jim. Channel Ars Technica.News emerged last week that WDSeagate and Toshiba are all shipping hard drives using Shingled Magnetic Recording SMRa slower form of HDD technology that can result in reduced performance in some types of workloads, but without disclosing that critical bit of information in marketing materials or specification sheets.
The backlash has been swift, and now WD is striking a conciliatory tone with its customers in an update to its blog. The new disclosure comes on the heels of WD's blog post yesterday that outlined its stance on using SMR drives. The company contends that SMR technology is adequate for the applications the drives are designed for, but that is certainly an open matter of debate with many users claiming the drives cause problems in RAID arrays.
The issues purportedly stem from the slow random write speeds, which do cause a measurable reduction in performance, and background activities that are purportedly responsible for the drives dropping from RAID arrays. Quick explainer at the bottom of the article here.
Methods of SMR Data Management
In either case, The WD blog advised users they should step up to more expensive models designed for heavier workloads if they have more demanding needs. Today the company updated its blog with a more conciliatory tone, and also disclosed all of its drive models that are shipping with SMR tech. Both models are designed for desktop PCs and laptops, with the former coming as a value drive while the latter is designed for high-performance users. WD acknowledged the recent brouhaha surrounding the fact it was shipping drives without disclosing they use the slower recording technology, stating:.
As a team, it was important that we listened carefully and understood your feedback about our WD Red NAS drives, specifically how we communicated which recording technologies are used.
Your concerns were heard loud and clear. Here is that list of our client internal HDDs available through the channel:". Importantly, the blog states, " Thank you for letting us know how we can do better. We will update our marketing materials, as well as provide more information about SMR technology, including benchmarks and ideal use cases.
That's a welcome announcement for users who want to make the decision of when, and where, to use SMR drives in their systems and NAS arrays. SMR does result in lower performance, but it enables cost savings that are attractive to some users, and if used in the correct types of workloads, those savings are worth the exchange of gaining access to deeper capacity.
However, using SMR tech for desktop and laptop boot drives will likely remain a topic open for debate, as their underwhelming performance in sustained random write workloads could hamper performance in standard operating systems. WD's blog also says the company will share further data in the future, including benchmarks that might prove otherwise, so we'll have to wait to see what the company shares. As usual, the proof will be in independent third-party benchmarks, but it is encouraging to see WD confront the recent issues head on and promise to be more forthcoming in the future.
We hope the other remaining HDD vendors follow suit. Image credit: WD News emerged last week that WDSeagate and Toshiba are all shipping hard drives using Shingled Magnetic Recording SMRa slower form of HDD technology that can result in reduced performance in some types of workloads, but without disclosing that critical bit of information in marketing materials or specification sheets.
WD acknowledged the recent brouhaha surrounding the fact it was shipping drives without disclosing they use the slower recording technology, stating: "The past week has been eventful, to say the least.
Topics Storage. See all comments I guess I can pull them and return them but I have to order two new drives to replace them and that will be a mess.
Or I'll have to buy a new Parity drive just to be on the safe side. Sure as hell won't be WD. I've been reading on reddit how people are having all kinds of problems with the ZFS Raid.What's new New posts New resources Latest activity.
Yorick Neophyte Sage. Joined Nov 4, Messages 1, Hard drives that write data in overlapping, "shingled" tracks, have greater areal density than ones that do not. The tracks are perpendicular, they are also shingled - layered - on top of each other. SMR allows vendors to offer higher capacity without the need to fundamentally change the underlying recording technology. The first drives are expected inin either flavor. SMR is well suited for high-capacity, low-cost use where writes are few and reads are many.
SMR has worse sustained write performance than CMR, which can cause severe issues during resilver or other write-intensive operations, up to and including failure of that resilver. It is often desirable to choose a CMR drive instead. This thread attempts to pull together known SMR drives, and the sources for that information. As a rule of thumb, avoid DM-SMR drives, unless you have a specific use case where the increased resilver time a week or longer is acceptable, and you know the drive will function for ZFS during resilver.By binarDecember 12, in Storage Devices and Controllers.
I do not trust hard drives that use Shingled magnetic recording SMR technology to store my data. Lastly, I need to buy 5 hard drives for the Unraid system I am building.
Prices for the two are close together. So I would appreciate any opinions relating to which of the two is the most reliable? Thanks in advance for the help. Was there something specific you had seen or experienced that made you technology shy to SMR drives? Note that all current 3. Good luck on this one. I am going to refer you to this blog from Backblaze as they are the only ones who have ever posted up any data on drive failure rates.
As you can see from this, the failure rates of all drives are very low. There are variations between models from the same manufacturer. While I have not analyzed the data that closely for this quarter, it often seems that this model variation may be larger than between manufacturers. Now you also have to realize that Backblaze usage pattern is not exactly like the one of the typical Unraid user but it is the only data that is available in the 'wild' for large numbers of drives.
I believe that their purchase decision is primarily made on pricing. They are looking for the lowest cost per TB! That could be why there are fewer WDC drives in the recent reports. You would have to read the older quarterly reports to find if this supposition is true. That is also why you don't find any 'Enterprise' class drives in their data.
I believe they think as I do that all hard drives have basically the same quality and only difference is the marketing strategy-- pricing vs warranty costs. I will make a couple of more observations. First, every hard drive manufacturer will have manufacturing lots of drives that have lower quality levels. Therefore, you can protected yourself from buying into one of these lots by not buying a larger quantity of drives at the same time from the same source. Concealed shipping damage is another issue.
We all know that packing practices varying between vendors and even between individual packers at the same vendor and the physical abuse that the package receives varies with each carton, so buying from different sources at different times may be wise. There are grains of truth in what you wrote. Just think of the forces inside a hard drive, how hard they spin, and how much engineering it takes to write and read the data on the platters.
I came from a background in precision optics, which requires incredibly precise tolerances, and was shocked to learn that hard drives are designed in an equally precise tolerance range, yet are made in the millions and sold as a commodity. I had on one of their enterprise differential SCSI drive lines.
That was a dark time persoanally. I have learned there are currently three type of recording technologies which I have listed below:. I called Western Digital again and this time the tech told me he could not disclose which of the three recording technologies their 12TB an 14TB Gold Label server grade hard drives use. So I'm back to square one. Can anyone out there please point me to a website that will clarify for me what recording technologies do 12tb and 14tb hard drives use categorized by Hard Drive Manufacturer.
What I have noticed is hard drive manufacturers do not really want to disclose this information and I believe as a consumer I have the right to know such details. Any help will be greatly appreciated.SMR uses a mapping system for LBAs that want to get written randomly to only writing them sequentially.
Within each Zone, writes should be sequential. In order to overwrite data, it is necessary to first reset the zone, similar to an erase block in an SSD. What happens when non-sequential writes are sent to a Zone varies depending on the type of SMR implementation. There are three categories SMR drives fall into, or more accurately, three types of management drive vendors can employ. Each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. The first type is known as drive managed, also known as transparent.
Drive managed has the advantage of not needing a host that is SMR aware, the drive managed SMRs are compatible with almost everything making them the most simple to deploy. This is the type of SMR management we expect to see generally available in the initial consumer market release as there are no commercially available OSs or file systems that support SMR drives as of this writing. The downside to drive managed is that performance is unpredictable as the drive handles its background processes when it needs to, regardless of the IO requests.
Additionally, since inbound random writes are not coalesced into sequential writes on the host side, the drive is under more duress, and thus lower performing in sustained workloads, than it would be if the host was SMR aware.
The ways of incorporating this space on SMR drives can vary widely though, leading to significantly different performance profiles depending on the target market of each drive and manufacturer.
The next type of management is known as host managed. With this type of management the host uses commands and Zone information to optimize the behavior of the SMR drive by managing IOs to ensure writes are always sequential within a Zone. If a host sends a non-sequential write within a Zone the drive will reject it and return an error.
This gives the drive more predictable performance and would be more likely to be seen initially in enterprise and hyperscale applications. That means file systems need to be adapted to support SMR drives.Anonymous vs Scientology - Tales From the Internet
This is occurring, first in the hyperscale space where the largest players in the world have the ability to modify their storage stacks to account for SMR, and now also in the mainstream open source space. In the same event, Hannes Rienecke of Suse presented a Zone caching mechanisms that can allow current filesystems to work with host managed SMR drives. The final type of management is known as host aware. In a nutshell, host aware is a combination of the two types of management above. In this case if the drive receives a non-sequential write from the host it will accept the request but then the performance from the request can be unpredictable.
Host aware has the advantage of being backward compatible and gives the host some control. Host aware is likely to be the model of choice for most client and traditional enterprise systems, taking over all drive managed deployments, while host managed is starting to appear as the choice for modern distributed storage solutions.
Discuss this story. Adam is the chief news editor for StorageReview. Enterprise HDD. Drive managed The first type is known as drive managed, also known as transparent. Host Managed The next type of management is known as host managed. Host Aware The final type of management is known as host aware.
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