FileServer & WebServer
Although most of the drives included in this review are not meant to work in servers, these tests had to be performed for two reasons. First, no one can guarantee that users will build RAID arrays only on drives that are specially intended for that. Ordinary desktop drives are commonly employed instead of drives that are “meant for use in disk subsystems of entry-level servers and workstations”. So, while no one can prohibit the user from doing something, the user must be aware that he/she will be responsible for the choice made.
Second, we will see if there are any special optimizations for server-like loads in the server-oriented drives.
Here are the results of the File Server pattern:
The following diagram lists the average of the results of each drive under all kinds of load.
As you see, the two drives from Western Digital enjoy a considerable advantage over their competitors in this pattern. Third place goes to the Hitachi HDS725050KLA360. Seagate’s drives occupy the middle of the diagram, and the two ATA-interfaced drives from Maxtor are the slowest here.
The Hitachi HDS725050KLA360 gains the lead in the Web Server pattern, pushing the WD 5000YS and the WD 5000KS to second and third places. The other drive from Hitachi, the HDS725050KLAT80 model, is fourth. Seagate’s drives, except for the ATA model, again densely occupy the middle of the diagram whereas the Maxtor drives are at the very bottom of it, competing with the ATA drive from Seagate.
We can make two points out of the server load tests. First, the test didn’t reveal any special performance-improving optimizations in the server-oriented drives. We must confess, however, that we tested the drives under comfortable conditions, with a minimum of vibrations and keeping their temperature within 25-30°C. It may be – we have no reason to doubt the manufacturers in this respect – that the specially designed server-oriented drives would have done better under less comfortable conditions.
The second point is that WD’s and Hitachi’s drives were the best in these tests.