Seagate Enterprise NAS 6TB HDD Four Disk RAID Review

by - 4 years ago

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Introduction


NAS 6TB

We’ve already had the pleasure of a single drive review of Seagate’s Enterprise NAS 6TB HDDs and today it has become time for the RAID review. Thecus provided me with five of these drives, but I’ll only be using four in this review today. Four is a magic number when it comes to RAID and the fifth drive would most likely be set as global spare in most systems anyway, so no point in added it. Four drives also give us a great consistency with other RAID reviews done in the past.

Seagate_eNAS6TB_RAID-Photo-hdd all five

Seagate’s Enterprise NAS drives come in capacities ranging from 1TB and all the way up to 8TB, but I only got the 6TB models in today. The Enterprise NAS series is designed for cloud-based systems and NAS application. They offer support for the use in systems with up to 16 drive bays which is a double up compared to what consumer NAS drives offer. It is very important to use a drive that is properly suited for your area of operation and not just pick any random cheap drive from the shelve. A farmer wouldn’t use an SUV to plow his fields either, it’s just not built for the task. So forget all about misleading Backblaze reports as the figures, features, and warranties speak for themselves here.

Thecus_N7770-10G-Photo-hdd top angle

The 6TB Seagate Enterprise NAS HDD comes with 128MB cache and a spindle speed of 7200RPM. This is quite a bit more than the variable speeded drives that come with a maximum speed of 5400RPM. This makes the drives a little louder, but the Enterprise NAS HDD is surprisingly silent compared to other 7200RPM drives and only generates 2.5 bels during idle and 2.7 bels maximum during seek operations.

The average seek times are set to 8.5ms reading and 9.5ms writing. The performance is rated with up to 216MB/s sustained data rate and an average read/write rate of 154MB/s. You can run the drive in harsher environments as the Enterprise NAS HDD will work from zero to 70 degrees and can withstand up to 70Gs shocks at 2ms read and 40Gs at 2ms write. This 6TB version is built with 12 heads total for the 6 1TB disks it houses.

Thecus_N7770-10G-Photo-hdd bottom

The Enterprise NAS drives have a long endurance and great workload ratings. The endurance is rated for 300TB a year and they have a 1.2 million hour mean time before failure rating. Seagate is also backing these drives with a 5-Year warranty and also offers optional 5-Year Rescue Data Recovery options.

The available Rescue Data Recovery Service options can save the day when the worst case scenario happens. It is an extra feature that you might want to consider when dealing with your important data. Any company is more or less lost when they lose their digital data. Seagate Recovery Services (SRS) can save the day in the following situations: RAID controller failure, Lost RAID configuration, accidental reconfiguration, accidental re-initialization of the RAID array, power surges that cause multiple drive failures simultaneously, missing RAID partitions, reformatted RAID partitions, virus damage, natural disaster, human error and drive failures. Most data can be recovered in-lab with a nearly 90% success rate.

Thecus_N7770-10G-Photo-hdd connector

The drives are built on customer proven technologies coupled with the newest density platters that allow for lower power consumptions, smaller overall footprint, and lower total cost of ownership over previous drive generations. The RV sensors provide strong reliable performance and the controller is flashed with NAS-optimized firmware for balanced reads and writes.

The drives naturally support ATA8 streaming commands, NCQ, and are performance tuned for RAID applications. On-the-fly ECC algorithms make sure that the data arrives as it should and S.M.A.R.T. allows you to check on the drives status and health.

Thecus_N7770-10G-Photo-hdd apart

The PCB of the Seagate Enterprise NAS 6TB HDDs is well protected and the HDD controller and motor controller both feature heat transfer pads to help them stay cool in hot environments. The 128MB cache on the HDD is provided by an SK Hynix chip.

Thecus_N7770-10G-Photo-hdd pcb

Features:

  • Enterprise-class reliability and performance for cloud-based storage and NAS applications in 1- to 16-bay enclosures
  • 1.2 million hours MTBF for enterprise-class reliability
  • 300TB-per-year workload rating for mid-range NAS and cloud-based storage
  • Backed by the Seagate 5-Year Limited Warranty
  • 7200-RPM spindle speed performance
  • Double the cache size, 256MB multisegmented on 8TB capacity, 128MB on the other sizes
  • Dual-stage actuators to deliver precision seeks every time
  • SATA 6Gb/s interface for easy integration into NAS and RAID rackmount systems
  • RV sensor for sustained performance and reliability
  • Optional 5-year Rescue Data Recovery Service plan protects against data loss in NAS and RAID environments.

Specifications

The specifications are taken directly from the manufacturers homepage at the time of the review and might as such be subject to possible future changes.

Thecus_N7770-10G-SShdd-specs

–~~~~~~~~~~~~–

Test Procedure


I will be creating each possible RAID array through the Intel RAID tool and fully initialize it through the IRST control panel before running each test. I will be running a series of benchmarks with the software mentioned above on each array before destroying it and moving on to the next.

I’ll be using four drives in all the tests except RAID 1 mode that only allows two disks to be used. The SSD with the operating system is running on a different SATA controller to avoid possible performance impact. Each of the following pages will display a list of screenshots from each test as well as comparison charts for a quick overview.

Test system:

We would like to thank our sponsors for supplying us with our test system components that make these reviews possible.

I’ll use a row of different software applications to gain the broadest spectrum of results and allow for the fairest testing possible.

Software used:

  • AIDA64 Engineer
  • Anvil’s Storage Utilities
  • AS SSD Benchmark
  • ATTO Disk Benchmark
  • CrystalDiskMark
  • HD Tach
  • IOMeter
–~~~~~~~~~~~~–

AIDA64 Engineer


AIDA64 is a streamlined Windows diagnostic and benchmarking software for home users. It provides a wide range of features to assist in overclocking, hardware error diagnosis, stress testing, and sensor monitoring.

It has unique capabilities to assess the performance of the processor, system memory, and disk drives and is compatible with most Microsoft Windows operating systems. It also has a disk benchmark tool, and that is the one we’ll be using.

Seagate_eNAS6TB_RAID-Chart-AIDA_access

RAID 0 Performance

Seagate_eNAS6TB_RAID-Bench-raid0-aida suite

Seagate_eNAS6TB_RAID-Bench-raid0-aida read access

Seagate_eNAS6TB_RAID-Bench-raid0-aida write access

RAID 1 Performance

Seagate_eNAS6TB_RAID-Bench-raid1-aida suite

Seagate_eNAS6TB_RAID-Bench-raid1-aida read access

Seagate_eNAS6TB_RAID-Bench-raid1-aida write access

RAID 5 Performance

Seagate_eNAS6TB_RAID-Bench-raid5-aida suite

Seagate_eNAS6TB_RAID-Bench-raid5-aida read access

Seagate_eNAS6TB_RAID-Bench-raid5-aida write access

RAID 10 Performance

Seagate_eNAS6TB_RAID-Bench-raid10-aida suite

Seagate_eNAS6TB_RAID-Bench-raid10-aida read access

Seagate_eNAS6TB_RAID-Bench-raid10-aida write access

–~~~~~~~~~~~~–

Anvil’s Storage Utilities


Anvil’s Storage Utilities is a relative new benchmarking utility that has the ability to test mainly hard drives and solid state drives, but also any other form of storage medium that you can throw at it. It is completely free as well, which is a nice thing

As well as testing the drive in a variety of benchmarking tests, it also has a drive endurance test that consistently reads and writes data to the selected medium to give days, months and potentially even years of use in a shorter period of time to see how the drive handles in the long run.

Seagate_eNAS6TB_RAID-Chart-Anvils_compr

Seagate_eNAS6TB_RAID-Chart-Anvils_incompr

RAID 0 Performance

Seagate_eNAS6TB_RAID-Bench-raid0-Anvils compr

Seagate_eNAS6TB_RAID-Bench-raid0-Anvils incompr

RAID 1 Performance

Seagate_eNAS6TB_RAID-Bench-raid1-anvils compr

Seagate_eNAS6TB_RAID-Bench-raid1-anvils incompr

RAID 5 Performance

Seagate_eNAS6TB_RAID-Bench-raid5-anvils compr

Seagate_eNAS6TB_RAID-Bench-raid5-anvils incompr

RAID 10 Performance

Seagate_eNAS6TB_RAID-Bench-raid10-anvils compr

Seagate_eNAS6TB_RAID-Bench-raid10-anvils incompr

–~~~~~~~~~~~~–

AS SSD


The AS SSD software determines the performance of Solid State Drives (SSD). The tool contains five synthetic and three practice tests. The synthetic tests determine the sequential and random read and write performance of the SSD. These tests are performed without using the operating system caches. In Sequential tests, the program measures the time it takes to read and write a 1 GB file respectively. To give a clearer picture of the drives tested, I’ve chosen to include all tests. Special the copy test is one that I think is relevant on the consumer level as it gives the user a view

To give a clearer picture of the drives tested, I’ve chosen to include all tests, also the copy test. While it isn’t the most static test, I think it is a relevant test in the eyes of consumers, giving them a view into one of the operations they’re going to be doing many times.

Seagate_eNAS6TB_RAID-Chart-ASSSD_seq

Seagate_eNAS6TB_RAID-Chart-ASSSD_ran

RAID 0 Performance

Seagate_eNAS6TB_RAID-Bench-raid0-asssd combined

Seagate_eNAS6TB_RAID-Bench-raid0-asssd compr

RAID 1 Performance

Seagate_eNAS6TB_RAID-Bench-raid1-asssd combined

Seagate_eNAS6TB_RAID-Bench-raid1-asssd compr

RAID 5 Performance

Seagate_eNAS6TB_RAID-Bench-raid5-asssd combined

Seagate_eNAS6TB_RAID-Bench-raid5-asssd compression

RAID 10 Performance

Seagate_eNAS6TB_RAID-Bench-raid10-asssd combined

Seagate_eNAS6TB_RAID-Bench-raid10-asssd compr

–~~~~~~~~~~~~–

ATTO


The ATTO Disk Benchmark is a performance measurement tool is for Windows. It measures storage systems performance with various transfer sizes and test lengths for both reads and writes. It has multiple options available to customize your performance measurement, including queue depth, overlapped I/O and even a comparison mode with the option to run continuously.

ATTO can be used to test any manufacturers RAID controllers, storage controllers, host adapters, hard drives and SSD drives so it is a popular tool everywhere.

Seagate_eNAS6TB_RAID-Chart-ATTO

RAID 0 Performance

Seagate_eNAS6TB_RAID-Bench-raid0-atto

RAID 1 Performance

Seagate_eNAS6TB_RAID-Bench-raid1-atto

RAID 5 Performance

Seagate_eNAS6TB_RAID-Bench-raid5-atto

RAID 10 Performance

Seagate_eNAS6TB_RAID-Bench-raid10-atto

–~~~~~~~~~~~~–

CrystalDiskMark


CrystalDiskMark is a small HDD benchmark utility for your hard drive that enables you to rapidly measure sequential and random 4KB/512KB read/write speeds.

Seagate_eNAS6TB_RAID-Chart-CDM

RAID 0 Performance

Seagate_eNAS6TB_RAID-Bench-raid0-cdm

RAID 1 Performance

Seagate_eNAS6TB_RAID-Bench-raid1-cdm

RAID 5 Performance

Seagate_eNAS6TB_RAID-Bench-raid5-cdm

RAID 10 Performance

Seagate_eNAS6TB_RAID-Bench-raid10-cdm

–~~~~~~~~~~~~–

HD Tach


HD Tach is a program that tests the sequential read, random access and interface burst speeds of the attached storage device (hard drive, flash drive, removable drive etc.). Drive technologies such as SCSI, IDE/ATA, IEEE 1394, USB, SATA, and RAID are all supported.

Version 3.0.4.0 is sadly the final version and the software has reached its end-of-life support. It’s still a nifty benchmarking tool and it can’t hurt to include it in our tests.

Seagate_eNAS6TB_RAID-Chart-HDtach speed

Seagate_eNAS6TB_RAID-Chart-HDtach times

RAID 0 Performance

Seagate_eNAS6TB_RAID-Bench-raid0-hdtach quick

Seagate_eNAS6TB_RAID-Bench-raid0-hdtach long

RAID 1 Performance

Seagate_eNAS6TB_RAID-Bench-raid1-hdtach quick

Seagate_eNAS6TB_RAID-Bench-raid1-hdtach long

RAID 5 Performance

Seagate_eNAS6TB_RAID-Bench-raid5-hdtach short

Seagate_eNAS6TB_RAID-Bench-raid5-hdtach long

RAID 10 Performance

Seagate_eNAS6TB_RAID-Bench-raid10-hdtach quick

Seagate_eNAS6TB_RAID-Bench-raid10-hdtach long

–~~~~~~~~~~~~–

IOmeter


IOMeter is an I/O subsystem measurement and characterization tool for single and clustered systems. It is used as a benchmark and troubleshooting tool and is easily configured to replicate the behavior of many popular applications. One commonly quoted measurement provided by the tool is IOPS.

IOMeter allows the configuration of disk parameters such as the ‘Maximum Disk Size’, ‘Starting Disk Sector’ and ‘# of Outstanding I/Os’. This allows a user to configure a test file upon which the ‘Access Specifications’ configure the I/O types to the file.

Random Drive Performance

Seagate_eNAS6TB_RAID-Chart-IOmeter_ran

Sequential Drive Performance

Seagate_eNAS6TB_RAID-Chart-IOmeter_seq

–~~~~~~~~~~~~–

Final Thoughts


Pricing

At the time of writing, the Seagate Enterprise NAS 6TB HDD can be found at NewEgg for $399.89, at Overclockers UK for £179.99, or starting at €314.95 through Geizhals.

Conclusion

Storage is one place where you certainly don’t want to compromise while building your direct or network attached storage system. When you need a lot of drives and they need to have a lot of capacity, then you’ll have to look at the enterprise sector offerings such as these Seagate Enterprise NAS 6TB hard disk drives. The drives are rated for usage in systems with up to 16 drives which can equal up to 96TB raw capacity with these 6TB drives or even up to 128TB raw capacity when using the larger 8TB models.

The Seagate Enterprise NAS drives can work in such environments thanks to intelligent sensors and motors that keep everything balanced despite vibrations from all the other drives. The 7200 RPM spindle speed gives it an extra boost in speed aided by the 128 MB cache. We saw a hard disk that scaled extremely well in our RAID tests and even on this relative simple Intel RST setup they performed great. A proper hardware RAID controller would be able to squeeze even more performance out of these drives.

You should be able to enjoy these drives for a really long time after you purchased them as they come with great endurance and warranty ratings. Seagate is backing the Enterprise NAS HDD series with a 5-year warranty while the drives are rated for 300TB total bytes written (TBW) and they have a 1.2 million hour mean time before failure (MTBF) rating. For a relative cheap premium, Seagate also offers extended recovery services for the drives in case the worst should happen and a drive should fail.

Pros

  • Great RAID scaling
  • 7200RPM spindle speed, 128MB cache
  • 5-year warranty, 300TB TBW, 1.2m hours MTBF
  • Low total cost of ownership
  • Supports up to 16 drive bays

“Seagate’s Enterprise NAS HDD showed equally great performance as it did in the single drive review. A good scalability will provide you with plenty of performance and storage alike.”

Extreme-Performance

Seagate Enterprise NAS 6TB HDD Four Disk RAID Review

Thanks to Thecus for providing us with these sample drives

Article Index

  1. Introduction
  2. Test Procedure
  3. Aida64
  4. Anvil's Storage Utilities
  5. AS SSD
  6. ATTO
  7. CrystalDiskMark
  8. HD Tach
  9. IO Meter
  10. Final Thoughts
  11. View All

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Add a Comment

2 Comments on Seagate Enterprise NAS 6TB HDD Four Disk RAID Review

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