Should you still spread a hard drive order over several vendors?

Solution 1:

Disks fail, and you typically want to get them from different batches to be safe. Once you get them you still want to run them for a few days or weeks to be sure to shake loose the problem disks.

I've had disks go bad as quickly as one or two days before (EMC disks) and I've had the same disks from that array last for years. To be safe I would mix and match or if you need to order from the same vendor spread the order out over a month or two so you get disks from different batches.

Am I insanely paranoid when it comes to disk failure? Yep sure am. Nothing worse than losing data.

Solution 2:

Unfortunately, just spreading your order so it's not from one batch is not good enough anymore. The problems like the seagate 7200.11 drives bricking due to bad firmware cannot be avoided by ordering the same model from different batches. I'd say if you're worried about a bad batch, you'd better order hard drives from different manufacturers for your RAID.

Solution 3:

I don't think that's necessary anymore; I think drive reliability has progressed to the point where you don't have to worry about this anymore. Besides, the way most of these large scale vendors (newegg, tiger, amazon, etc) work, the chances of you getting 6+ drives from the same manufacturing lot at the same time [has got to be] pretty slim.

This is all a matter of option of course; so as always, do what makes you comfortable. After all, if the RAID does fail, it's your tail. ;)

Solution 4:

I personally don't pay much heed to that kind of advice as I think it's a little bit of chicken little syndrome (the sky is falling). I certainly wouldn't want to intentionally mix drives from different manufacturers in the same RAID array. When you're replacing a failed member disk it's almost unavoidable but I wouldn't build it that way out of the gate.