Dell puts its Enterprise Hard Drive offerings through a rigorous validation process before they are ever considered as additions to its line of PowerVault storage systems and PowerEdge servers. Only the very best drives meeting exacting specifications such as those for performance, duty cycles, Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) and rotational vibration necessary for an Enterprise-level environment are accepted for customer usage.
In order to provide on-going support, Dell provides a patented online firmware update capability via the Dell Update Package (DUP). The DUP process translates to less downtime due to firmware maintenance updates.
Types of drives and best fits:
To further classify peripheral storage offerings, hard drives come in several varieties individually designed to address differing customer needs. These include
SSD: Enterprise Class Solid State Drives (SSD) fastest storage medium for random IO. Also known as Tier-0.
SAS: 10K & 15K SAS drives
Also known as Tier-1, these 10K & 15K RPM SAS drives provide the online enterprise performance and availability needed for mission critical applications. The dual-port point-to-point Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) interface provides:
- Highest reliability and performance out of the hard drive offerings
- Fast time to data through their low rotational latency and fast seek times
- A good balance between high IOPs (Input/Output operations per second), MB/second throughput and capacity
- 1.6M hour MTBF
- 24x7x365 operations
- Availability of data through both ports simultaneously
SATA: Nearline SAS and Enterprise SATA drives
Also known as Tier-2: these Nearline, Business Critical 5.4K and 7.2K RPM drives combine specific design and manufacturing processes for hard drives rated at 24x7x365 operations for true enterprise duty cycles. The main emphasis is on an exceptional dollars/GigaByte advantage over Tier 1 storage. This drive classification includes:
- Nearline SAS – combines the head, media, and rotational speed of traditional enterprise class SATA drives with the fully capable SAS interface typical of 10K/15K RPM SAS drives. These drives are rated at 1.2 million hours MTBF.
- Enterprise SATA – true enterprise class specifications, rated at 1.2 million hours MTBF, these drives provide the traditional SATA interface, but with capabilities far exceeding consumer grade SATA drives.