Seagate Enterprise NAS HDD 6 TB Reviewby Ganesh T S on December 10, 2014 8:00 AM EST
- Posted in
Introduction and Testbed Setup
Hard drives continue to remain the storage medium of choice for applications where capacity and cost factors outweigh performance requirements. Vendors have also realized that enterprise hard drives are an overkill for some applications, but the recently launched NAS-targeted drives do not deliver the necessary performance for those. In order to cater to that market, Western Digital introduced the WD Red Pro lineup a few months back. Last week, Seagate launched their competitor, the Enterprise NAS HDD.
We have already had comprehensive coverage of a number of 4 TB NAS drives and a few 6 TB ones. In this review, we will look at what the Seagate Enterprise NAS HDD (ST6000VN0001) brings to the market and how it compares against the other 6 TB drives that have been evaluated before.
The correct choice of hard drives for a NAS system is influenced by a number of factors. These include expected workloads, performance requirements and power consumption restrictions, amongst others. In this review, we will discuss some of these aspects while comparing the Seagate Enterprise NAS HDD against other drives targeting the NAS market. The list of drives that we will be looking at today is listed below.
- Seagate Enterprise NAS HDD 6 TB [ ST6000VN0001-1SF17Z ]
- Western Digital Red 6 TB [ WDC WD60EFRX-68MYMN0 ]
- Seagate Enterprise Capacity 3.5 HDD v4 6 TB [ ST6000NM0024-1HT17Z ]
- HGST Ultrastar He6 6 TB [ HUS726060ALA640 ]
Prior to proceeding with the actual review, it must be made clear that the above drives do not target the same specific market. For example, the WD Red targets 1- 8 bay NAS systems in the tower form factor. The Seagate Enterprise NAS HDD is meant for rackmount units up to 16 bays, but is not intended to be a replacement for drives such as the Seagate Enterprise Capacity v4 meant for higher-end enterprise use. The HGST Ultrastar He6 targets capacity-sensitive datacenter applications.
Testbed Setup and Testing Methodology
Our NAS drive evaluation methodology consists of putting the units to test under both DAS and NAS environments. We first start off with a feature set comparison of the various drives, followed by a look at the raw performance when connected directly to a SATA 6 Gbps port. In the same PC, we also evaluate the performance of the drive using some aspects of our direct attached storage (DAS) testing methodology. For evaluation in a NAS environment, we configure three drives of each model in a RAID-5 volume and process selected benchmarks from our standard NAS review methodology. Since our NAS drive testbed supports both SATA and SAS drives, but our DAS testbed doesn't, only SATA drives are subject to the DAS benchmarks.
We used two testbeds in our evaluation, one for benchmarking the raw drive and DAS performance and the other for evaluating performance when placed in a NAS unit.
|AnandTech DAS Testbed Configuration|
|Motherboard||Asus Z97-PRO Wi-Fi ac ATX|
|CPU||Intel Core i7-4790|
|Memory||Corsair Vengeance Pro CMY32GX3M4A2133C11
32 GB (4x 8GB)
DDR3-2133 @ 11-11-11-27
|OS Drive||Seagate 600 Pro 400 GB|
|Optical Drive||Asus BW-16D1HT 16x Blu-ray Write (w/ M-Disc Support)|
|Add-on Card||Asus Thunderbolt EX II|
|Chassis||Corsair Air 540|
|PSU||Corsair AX760i 760 W|
|OS||Windows 8.1 Pro|
|Thanks to Asus and Corsair for the build components|
In the above testbed, the hot swap bays of the Corsair Air 540 have to be singled out for special mention.
They were quite helpful in getting the drives processed in a fast and efficient manner for benchmarking. For NAS evaluation, we used the QNAP TS-EC1279U-SAS-RP. This is very similar to the unit we reviewed last year, except that we have a slightly faster CPU, more RAM and support for both SATA and SAS drives.
The NAS setup itself was subjected to benchmarking using our standard NAS testbed.
|AnandTech NAS Testbed Configuration|
|Motherboard||Asus Z9PE-D8 WS Dual LGA2011 SSI-EEB|
|CPU||2 x Intel Xeon E5-2630L|
|Coolers||2 x Dynatron R17|
|Memory||G.Skill RipjawsZ F3-12800CL10Q2-64GBZL (8x8GB) CAS 10-10-10-30|
|OS Drive||OCZ Technology Vertex 4 128GB|
|Secondary Drive||OCZ Technology Vertex 4 128GB|
|Tertiary Drive||OCZ Z-Drive R4 CM88 (1.6TB PCIe SSD)|
|Other Drives||12 x OCZ Technology Vertex 4 64GB (Offline in the Host OS)|
|Network Cards||6 x Intel ESA I-340 Quad-GbE Port Network Adapter|
|Chassis||SilverStoneTek Raven RV03|
|PSU||SilverStoneTek Strider Plus Gold Evolution 850W|
|OS||Windows Server 2008 R2|
|Network Switch||Netgear ProSafe GSM7352S-200|
We thank the following companies for helping us out with our NAS testbed:
- Thanks to Intel for the Xeon E5-2630L CPUs and the ESA I-340 quad port network adapters
- Thanks to Asus for the Z9PE-D8 WS dual LGA 2011 workstation motherboard
- Thanks to Dynatron for the R17 coolers
- Thanks to G.Skill for the RipjawsZ 64GB DDR3 DRAM kit
- Thanks to OCZ Technology for the two 128GB Vertex 4 SSDs, twelve 64GB Vertex 4 SSDs and the OCZ Z-Drive R4 CM88
- Thanks to SilverStone for the Raven RV03 chassis and the 850W Strider Gold Evolution PSU
- Thanks to Netgear for the ProSafe GSM7352S-200 L3 48-port Gigabit Switch with 10 GbE capabilities.
Post Your CommentPlease log in or sign up to comment.
View All Comments
Supercell99 - Friday, December 12, 2014 - linkMost cloud providers are very slow if you use their storage solutions based on HDD. I am referring to in-house shops that run Dell/HP with Vsphere or Oracle DB's. Anything needing a lot of storage and decent I/O. The price difference to make a drive with SAS interface and SATA is very minimal, but the performance difference can be big when under a lot of simultaneous requests.
MrSpadge - Thursday, December 11, 2014 - linkSure, SAS enterprise HDDs are faster.. but at QD > 32 any HDD is just crawling. For such high loads you really want your hot data to be on flash.
hlmcompany - Thursday, December 11, 2014 - linkExactly. That's why real Enterprise Storage manufacturers, like HGST, provide a host of flash storage, including HH-HL, high capacity, PCI-E storage or low capacity flash caching for large HDD farms.
shodanshok - Thursday, December 11, 2014 - linkWD Red drivers seems to have some serious performance bottleneck, even taking into account the slow (5400 RPM) spindle speed.
They seem to suffer from an underpowered controller and simplified firmware, as it seem to be unable to coalesce multiple 512B writes in one 4K sector. For example, see how bad the WD Red fares in HD Tach 512B random write test:
WD RED: 25.475 ms
Ent NAS: 6.646 ms
While the enterprise NAS has a larger cache (128 MB vs 64 MB), it is difficult that the cache alone can account for such a large performance improvement in a random write scenario.
On the other side, the random read test is in-line with the different spindle speed (~18.5 ms vs ~14.5 ms)
@ganesh: any possibility to ping WD about that?
theKai007 - Thursday, December 11, 2014 - linkIntel announced the Intel IoT Platform, a reference model end-to-end designed to unify ans simplify connectivity and security for the Internet of Things. http://bit.ly/1yCMSnB
BPB - Thursday, December 11, 2014 - linkAre any of these suitable for DVR-type applications? I'd like to get a bigger drive for my WMC setup. I've been using the WD AV-GP series since they are geared towards non-stop I/O in DVR-type usage.
Visual - Monday, December 15, 2014 - linkNot at all. Raid helps distribute the data across drives and get some speedup at most linear to the number of drives, but random access is still random access, and is still slow.
What romrunning "invented" is a software stack that remaps sectors to make random logical access be physically sequential. I believe some company, maybe Fusion IO, did have something like this, though now that I look for it I can not find anything that is not Flash-based.
The idea can definitely work pretty well for speeding up random writes, but for reads it needs some quite good analysis and statistics about what the commonly read sequences are and does not seem too feasible. Maybe that's why they dropped it and use flash caches.
Visual - Monday, December 15, 2014 - linkAnd why this did not appear as a reply to the post i clicked 'reply' on (in a new tab)? Anandtech... get some web devs with a brain... it is not rocket science.
shodanshok - Monday, December 15, 2014 - linkModern copy-on-write filesystems as ZFS and BTRFS (and, to a limited extent, even classical filesystems as EXT4 and XFS) do exactly that. They transform random writes in sequential one, using the available space similar to a circular log buffer.
For write-intensive, read-insensitive workload they are a great choice, but for some common scenario (eg: databases) they performs quite poorly. Moreover, the resulting files are often very, very much fragmented, leading to very log read performance (when used on top of spinning disks).
For more information and some benchmarks:
akula2 - Thursday, December 18, 2014 - linkThis review has some misses w.r.t Enterprise segment. Hardware architecture isn't great. Most importantly this implementation isn't suitable to employers with hundreds of employees accessing data from multiple nations. Lastly, based on my five years of experience in deploying NAS solutions in my businesses I observed Seagate drives fail more than their Hitachi counterparts.