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How long before you retire a HDD ?

Discussion in 'Storage & Backup' started by Yehat, Jul 14, 2020.

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How long before you change hdds in your PC or NAS ?

  1. Only when a drive has failed or failure is imminent

    22 vote(s)
    53.7%
  2. Only when an upgrade is required due to additional requirements (e.g. capacity, speed, tech)

    9 vote(s)
    22.0%
  3. Periodically - Whenever the warranty runs out

    1 vote(s)
    2.4%
  4. Periodically - After a certain amount of usage/time (please specify)

    3 vote(s)
    7.3%
  5. Whenever I feel like it

    1 vote(s)
    2.4%
  6. Never / Not Applicable

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  7. Other (please specify)

    1 vote(s)
    2.4%
  8. I like dragons

    4 vote(s)
    9.8%
  1. Yehat

    Yehat Member

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    For home use machines (e.g. PC, NAS) typically how long would you tend to run a hdd (either mechanical or solid state) before retiring it ?

    Are people generally preemptively swapping them out on a regular basis, on an adhoc basis (upgrades), or only when something breaks (or seems about to). With the fallback that critical data is backed up to other device(s) (e.g external USB, other HDD/system, cloud etc) ?

    There's no right answer I'm just curious regarding others thoughts on this and how you're presently managing it.
     
  2. bart5986

    bart5986 Member

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    I only retire a hard drive when it fails. I also use snapraid and cloud backup to protect my data though.

    My oldest drives would be my three 2TB drives that have a powered on time of 8 years and 55 days!

    Seems like a waste of money to upgrade a working drive.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2020
  3. power

    power Member

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    capacity
    speed
    age
    failure

    all of the above depending on the specific use cases.
     
  4. Tinian

    Tinian Member

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    When consolidation made more sense. Throwing in a 10Tb drive and moving stuff from three years old 2TB drives to free up space. That and when they die.
     
  5. flain

    flain Member

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    When my ZFS array starts to perform poorly usually it's a drive on the way out. A quick iostat -en usually shows the culprit.
     
  6. blankpaper

    blankpaper Member

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    If a drive is showing signs of death, or if the price point of newer/faster/better drives is attractive enough to justify an upgrade... whichever of those 2 come first.
     
  7. cvidler

    cvidler Member

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    I budget to replace the drives in my NAS/server every 5 years. less sticker shock having to replace several thousands $ worth of drives when the money has been put aside pay by pay.

    The drives I use for off site backups, get replaced every year, with the old ones becomes an offline archive. again budgeted for.


    SSDs usually become too full/slow (as in new ones are much faster rather than any performance degradation) before they die.
     
    Jaco likes this.
  8. Matthew kane

    Matthew kane Member

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    Only when a drive is on its way out. I'm running > 400TB offsite tiered storage with multiple SAN's that I've recently had some issues with drives on its way out. The drives starting to fail are older Seagate Constellation ES.3 4TB's which have clocked on more than 50k power on hours so they are starting to show there age. I don't bother upgrading the drives in the SAN's once the data is rolled over to other storage nodes (new SAN nodes with bigger drives) as its more viable to just buy a new SAN completely itself.

    For my home servers and drives, I take a different approach. I have incremental backups set to various locations and the cloud and my drives rarely fail. I tend to try consolidate the drives after 3-4 years to single bigger drives. I've gone from 1TB > 2TB > 3TB currently most my stuff is on various 4 and 5TB enterprise drives and I'm about to migrate over to 2 x 8TB, the plan is to be on 15 x 8TB by Q1 next year. And hopefully 20 x 8TB and 20 x 12TB late next year.

    Don't get me started on SSD's, if copie is the king of 3.5" drives on this forum than I'm the king for SSD's. I rotate/upgrade through SSD's like bread and butter.
     
  9. power

    power Member

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    speaking of, i'm annoyed at how long 8TB has been the best price point.
     
  10. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Brisbane
    I kick 'em out when SMART 5, 187, 188, 197 and 198 tell me to:
    https://www.backblaze.com/blog/what-smart-stats-indicate-hard-drive-failures/

    We're at a point where for "regular people" hard disks beyond that are totally unnecessary, and that in itself is for a bunch of reasons.

    I keep annoying PC Master Race with this, but PC sales are down year on year since their peak in 2011. There's a bunch of reasons for that - GFCs and tightening budgets, a change in CPU design from single cores getting faster to the GHz race dying and switching to multi-core and regular desktop performance stagnating, a mass-market switch to mobile and the cloud and "storage" becoming an automatic thing where my home photos and videos get backed up somewhere in outer space, COVID19 etc, etc. Certainly no "one thing" to point the finger at, but the data speaks much more loudly than emotion.

    But the fact remains that beyond 8TB sizes, you're straight out of "regular people" territory and into enthusiast / video editor / mass piracy territory, none of which are big enough to drive economies of scale like trends of old.

    Moore's Law has consistently applied to processors, including CPUs and GPUs for a long time. But it's also applied to hard disk storage (capacity to cost ratios over time). I genuinely think the storage side of that is dead for the consumer market. Indeed, even large businesses are struggling to get hard drives at scale any more, and mostly because cloud vendors are vacuuming them up at rates that nobody else can touch.

    The reasons for all of this aren't the same as they used to be. Once upon a time it was about physical manufacturing limits and the predictable delay between what was just released and what the price point of last year's release was at. Today, very little of that applies when the jumps from regular person to enthusiast, enthusiast to enterprise, and enterprise to cloud vendor are orders of magnitude larger than they were 10 years ago.

    Change is the only constant, and a lot of the values that folks who inhabit these forums base their computing habits on are disappearing out from under us. Give it another 10 years, and we'll all be like those people who turn up to Amiga and Commodore 64 meets, or UNIX user groups, and all met on dialup Bulletin Boards and Usenet newsgroups. This is our future.
     
  11. Turbine

    Turbine Member

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    Periodically - After a certain amount of usage/time (please specify)

    I run a small number of drives in my NAS, strictly 4 maximum. I only ever upgrade density not number of drives.
    Usually upgrade after 3-4years when I need more space and the warranty has run out.

    Done this through 500gb/1tb/2tb/4tb drives and currently on 2x8tb drives and a single 4tb.

    Old drives are either retired to the yearly offsite/cold backup cycle or sold second hand with healthy stats.
    The 2TB WD Greens I had years ago I chucked into my NVR and they are still working! Probably 10 years old by now.

    Never had a failure...and I'm usually upgrading when the $/gb ratio is friendly.
     
  12. cvidler

    cvidler Member

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    The 'Australia Tax' is fucking ridiculous on HDDs too. Case in point, just this month, was my HDD upgrade time. I bought 8 WD HC530's (14TB. non-shingled, He, 5yr warranty, and still a Hitatchi design). Australian prices I could find (no has 'em in stock anyway, so pricing is kinda moot), was 900-1000$ each. + postage. From the US I got the 8 shipped, new sealed, in factory shipping carton (shame they took out the other 12 that would've been in there :)) taxes/duties paid, and with out currently less than ideal exchange rate for AU$448.93ea.

    something is definitely 'up' when it's cheaper to buy and shuck external drives than it is to buy bare drives in bulk from local distributors.
     
    power and elvis like this.
  13. power

    power Member

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    I know, but it still bugs me.
     
  14. Butcher9_9

    Butcher9_9 Member

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    I have gone from "Upgrade the HDDs for more space" to "Transcode all the things to X265 to save space" . Using about 60-70% of what I was 2 years ago so I have loads of space left.

    Sadly most of the low hanging fruit as gone, 3900X is just a bit too fast :).

    Otherwise I just either wait for a failure or until I need space. Old HDDs get retired to cold archive with a max of 38 drives with older ones being sold as they are replaced.
     
  15. Martyn

    Martyn Member

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    I've got ~11TB of hard drive storage, spread across 5 x drives. The last time I replaced, updated one would be ~4 x years ago.

    They were all pretty full up until a month or so ago, mainly used for steam, origin, uplay & gog games.

    Since adsl2+ has been replaced by NBN, I've cleared ~6TB of storage as it no longer takes hours (or longer) to download games, keep them updated with patches.

    All family photo's etc are backed up to the cloud (Onedrive & Crashplan), with a secondary hard drive still being used for local backups.

    I'm considering consolidating the storage over the drives onto the most speediest ones & disconnecting the others - having them for spares if things go pear shaped.
     
  16. garetz

    garetz Member

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    I still have a wd 1.5tb green from 2009 thats running well. As long as you have a use for a working disk, use it, why throw it away.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2020
  17. flain

    flain Member

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    I agree and i've been saying it since it first started happening many years ago. Back then people would argue that it's the buying power of the companies building enclosures, but I really can't see how that argument stands up anymore given how huge the gap has become.

    Thailand floods happened and around the same year Htiachi's HDD business got bought out by WD. I clearly remember having just filled my 20 bay server with 4TB drives in 2011 only for them to go up in value quite a bit a short time after. Here we are in 2020, nearly 10 years later and i'm only now looking at viable upgrade paths as prices have been so stagnant / slow moving for so long. If anyone's wondering i've had 3 drive failures in that time all replaced free under RMA.
     
  18. karun

    karun Member

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    Since most of the hard drives are in my NAS, these days only when it fails or I need more space. As a home user, its not worth replacing the drives until you need to.
     
  19. Jaco

    Jaco Member

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    Any mechanical drives I use these days are for my fileserver / Plex box - generally I've only ever replaced drives when they fail I've never had or made the budget to rotate them out frequently like some of the members have shared - anything I have is either re-downloadable or backed up on the Cloud / off-site anyway
     
  20. MR CHILLED

    MR CHILLED D'oh!

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    My drives get "retired" when I upgrade to newer drives. These days I'll generally upgrade for speed reasons and not capacity.
     

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