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You write you're storing many transient files on your Synologies. By that, you mean files which are added then deleted, and those files are being indexed?
I'm quite careful about what we index, as we carry a lot of data.
I should also point out that we run two identical Synologies as a high-availability cluster, so I'm sure there's a performance hit there as well.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
I always appreciate seeing this data on hard drive reliability, even if our own storage environments differ from those used en masse by this leading cloud backup company.
Backblaze said:
Backblaze Hard Drive Stats Q2 2019
As of June 30, 2019, Backblaze had 110,640 spinning hard drives in our ever-expanding cloud storage ecosystem. Of that number, there were 1,980 boot drives and 108,660 data drives. This review looks at the Q2 2019 and lifetime hard drive failure rates of the data drive models currently in operation in our data centers.

...The complete data set used to create the information used in this review is available on our Hard Drive Test Data web page. You can download and use this data for free for your own purpose. All we ask are three things: 1) You cite Backblaze as the source if you use the data, 2) You accept that you are solely responsible for how you use the data, and, 3) You do not sell this data to anyone; it is free. Good luck and let us know if you find anything interesting.

If you just want the tables we used to create the charts in this blog post you can download the ZIP file containing the MS Excel spreadsheet.
#reliability #harddrives #hard disk drive
 



I always appreciate seeing this data on hard drive reliability, even if our own storage environments differ from those used en masse by this leading cloud backup company.
Backblaze has been a primary resource [for me] for several hard drive purchases now.
 


I always appreciate seeing this data on hard drive reliability, even if our own storage environments differ from those used en masse by this leading cloud backup company.
Certainly some brands come out looking a lot better than others. Interestingly, failure rates are not necessarily tied to just brands, but the Backblaze data generally makes Seagate stand out for all the wrong reasons and HGST stand out for all the right reasons.

Bottom line, research your disks carefully and remember to treat them well - maintain good temperature / cooling, an excellent power supply, etc. The 45-disk array that each Backblaze pod represents treats its drives on average worse than my server. But my system also does not benefit from the incredible level of error correction / redundancy that Backblaze has implemented.
 


Certainly some brands come out looking a lot better than others. Interestingly, failure rates are not necessarily tied to just brands, but the Backblaze data generally makes Seagate stand out for all the wrong reasons and HGST stand out for all the right reasons.
Bottom line, research your disks carefully and remember to treat them well - maintain good temperature / cooling, an excellent power supply, etc. The 45-disk array that each Backblaze pod represents treats its drives on average worse than my server. But my system also does not benefit from the incredible level of error correction / redundancy that Backblaze has implemented.
In the job I retired from last fall, one of my responsibilities was scoping, specifying, starting the procurement of, receiving, and helping our lead sys admin to set up and maintain multiple, full-rack NAS RAID systems for storing a continually growing incoming data stream.

At one point, before drive densities starting leaving the single-digit Gbyte capacity range, we had something like 800 drives in a single, small, barely adequately cooled, raised-floor room (which was shared with numerous servers, as well). Fortunately, over time, most of that was condensed into a single, half or so full rack, plus a couple of other devices. At the time I retired, we were testing 14-Tbyte drives for dependability.

Our "desirements," based on our experiences, matched Backblaze's: buy HGST drives whenever we could and avoid certain Seagate and WD models whenever possible (this was before the consolidation in the hard disk drive industry). And we read Backblaze's quarterly statistics religiously. I haven't stopped.
 


Anyone have any suggestions on how to use my 2010 Mac Pro (or my 2003 Power Mac) to read an internal 50-pin SCSI drive?

I was going to get rid of my old UMAX S900 but its power supply died before I could do a final drive archive and wipe. I purchased an Adaptec 2906 PCI SCSI card for my 2003 Power Mac, but the card is 5v. PCI, while the Power Mac has 3.3v. PCI-X slots. Thanks in advance.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Anyone have any suggestions on how to use my 2010 Mac Pro (or my 2003 Power Mac) to read an internal 50-pin SCSI drive? I was going to get rid of my old UMAX S900 but its power supply died before I could do a final drive archive and wipe. I purchased an Adaptec 2906 PCI SCSI card for my 2003 Power Mac, but the card is 5v. PCI, while the Power Mac has 3.3v. PCI-X slots. Thanks in advance.
Here's what I found (after an extended search):

I guess you'd need an adapter like this, too:

 


Anyone have any suggestions on how to use my 2010 Mac Pro (or my 2003 Power Mac) to read an internal 50-pin SCSI drive?
The Adaptec 29160 works on Power Mac G5's and includes an internal 50-pin interface. They can be had on eBay for about $10.

Drivers are built-in through Mac OS X 10.4 and can be hacked into a Mac OS X 10.5 installation.

I think the only way to get it to work on the Mac Pro would be to get an expensive SCSI to FireWire case.
 


In the worst (most expensive) case, you can get a Thunderbolt PCIe expansion chassis and install a Mac compatible PCIe SCSI card. But be prepared to spend a boatload of money, since all of this is going to be pro/server equipment and be priced accordingly.

It may be cheaper to find a friend with an old Mac that can mount the drive and copy all the files to some other media (like a USB hard drive) for you.
 


Anyone have any suggestions on how to use my 2010 Mac Pro (or my 2003 Power Mac) to read an internal 50-pin SCSI drive? I was going to get rid of my old UMAX S900 but its power supply died before I could do a final drive archive and wipe. I purchased an Adaptec 2906 PCI SCSI card for my 2003 Power Mac, but the card is 5v. PCI, while the Power Mac has 3.3v. PCI-X slots. Thanks in advance.
This is an old website so I don't know if it's active or would be of any help:

 


Here's what I found (after an extended search)...:
I'd also look for the Orange Micro SCSI-FireWire converter. Worked on my macOS Sierra machine without drivers and only necessitated the FireWire-Thunderbolt converter.

That combination (and a lot of cabling I'd retained) allowed recovery from magneto-optical disks I first started filling up in 1990 or so. Too bad the data is only marginally usable, since so much of the required software is no longer functional... even if the parent company is still a going concern and the software is still widely sold (hello MS Office!).
 



I tend to agree with David that the easiest approach might be to find someone who has an older, SCSI-equipped Mac. You might see if there is a local Mac user group, camera store, or repair shop that could help.

If you have a PC, a counterintuitive solution might be to find a cheap SCSI card and to install an HFS+ driver, like MacDrive or HFS+ for Windows.
 


Anyone have any suggestions on how to use my 2010 Mac Pro (or my 2003 Power Mac) to read an internal 50-pin SCSI drive?
I was going to get rid of my old UMAX S900 but its power supply died before I could do a final drive archive and wipe. I purchased an Adaptec 2906 PCI SCSI card for my 2003 Power Mac, but the card is 5v. PCI, while the Power Mac has 3.3v. PCI-X slots. Thanks in advance.
If memory serves, the UMAX used a standard ATX power supply. You could try replacing the dead power supply with one from an old PC.

If you have a access to a PC with SCSI, you could install Paragon Software's HFS+ for Windows and copy the files to a large USB thumb drive formatted with HFS from your Mac.
 





Thanks for all the suggestions. My first attempt is getting a replacement power supply. If that does not work, you all have given me several alternatives. While I am waiting for my power supply, I need to fix my ADB keyboard, which has a broken (and missing) pin on the plug. Any suggestions for a simple/cheap fix?
 



Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Here's an update on developments in old-fashioned spinning hard drives (just don't use one as your startup drive for any APFS-based macOS system, unless you're masochistic):
AnandTech said:
Seagate: 18 TB hard disk drive Due in First Half 2020, 20 TB Drive to Ship in Late 2020
... Seagate says that its Exos 16 TB hard drives are very popular among its clients and even expects to ship more than a million of such drives in its ongoing quarter, which ends in December. The launch of its 18 TB hard disk drive will maintain Seagate’s capacity leadership in the first half of next year before Western Digital starts volume shipments of its HAMR+CMR-based 18 TB and HAMR+SMR-based 20 TB hard drives.

Seagate itself will be ready with its HAMR-based 20 TB drive late in 2020. Right now, select Seagate customers are qualifying HAMR-based 16 TB HDDs, so they will likely be ready to deploy 20 TB HAMR drives as soon as they are available.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Here's a podcast interview with Tim Standing, creator of SoftRAID and a very interesting guy when it comes to Mac storage:
OWC said:
Tim Standing, SoftRAID, Storage, and Pizza
... Tim Standing has been writing drivers and storage utilities for Mac OS since 1986. He is the creator of SoftRAID for macOS and is currently VP of Software Development at Other World Computing, Inc.

In the past year, Tim has added APFS support to SoftRAID as well as two additional RAID levels: RAID 6 and 6+. He has also patented a write acceleration technique, which enables the write speed RAID volumes to be as fast as the read speed. Tim’s team is responsible for SoftRAID, OWC Dock Ejector, and all the Mac drivers and utilities, which make OWC products so exceptional.
#TimStanding #RAID #SoftRAID #OWC
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Here's the latest hard drive reliability data from Backblaze:
Backblaze said:
Backblaze Hard Drive Stats Q3 2019
As of September 30, 2019, Backblaze had 115,151 spinning hard drives spread across four data centers on two continents. Of that number, there were 2,098 boot drives and 113,053 data drives. We’ll look at the lifetime hard drive failure rates of the data drive models currently in operation in our data centers, but first we’ll cover the events that occurred in Q3 that potentially affected the drive stats for that period. As always, we’ll publish the data we use in these reports on our Hard Drive Test Data web page and we look forward to your comments.
#reliability #hard disk drive #harddrives
 



I'm dreaming of a Thunderbolt 3 low-profile (~10 mm) aluminum enclosure the same size as a Mac Mini for NVMe and SATA drives. A few extra USB ports would be nice, as well. Are you listening, OWC?
It looks like Satechi [Amazon] was listening, but they forgot to include internal storage.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Thanks for the pointer, Ric. There are few people as knowledgeable about critical facets of macOS as Tim (who aren't bound by NDAs, at least), and the podcast was really informative. And the pizza baking information was good, too. ;-)
I hadn't listened to the whole podcast when I posted the link
but it's an excellent one that really shouldn't be missed. From memory, highlights include:
  • hard drive and SSD reliability
  • APFS vs. HFS (critical pros and cons)
  • SoftRAID 6 going cross-platform with Mac file system support on Windows
  • tight integration of support and development
  • a wonderful segment starting at 42:30 about food and life...
 


I just got a new 10TB hard drive (G-Technologies) and will be certifying it with SoftRAID before it sees any significant use. That said, I just happened to fire up DriveDX. Should I be at all concerned that a drive that has a current total Power on Time of 40 hours and a Power Cycle Count of 7 already has an Overall Health Rating/Overall Performance Rating of 93.4%?

For a drive that's practically brand-new, I must admit I was a bit shocked to see a number even that far off 100.
 


I just got a new 10TB hard drive (G-Technologies) and will be certifying it with SoftRAID before it sees any significant use. That said, I just happened to fire up DriveDX. Should I be at all concerned that a drive that has a current total Power on Time of 40 hours and a Power Cycle Count of 7 already has an Overall Health Rating/Overall Performance Rating of 93.4%?

For a drive that's practically brand-new, I must admit I was a bit shocked to see a number even that far off 100.
Dug through my smartmontools logs and for brand-new disks, I see 1 for power cycle count and 0 for power on hours.

Mine were bare disks. Your numbers lead me to guess:
  • Repackaged return?
  • Burn-in and test prior at G-Technologies prior to packaging?
  • Powered up when you received it, but forgot?
That said, 40 hours and 7 power cycles aren't much and you plan to test/certify them, so it seems a minor concern.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
I just got a new 10TB hard drive (G-Technologies) and will be certifying it with SoftRAID before it sees any significant use. That said, I just happened to fire up DriveDX. Should I be at all concerned that a drive that has a current total Power on Time of 40 hours and a Power Cycle Count of 7 already has an Overall Health Rating/Overall Performance Rating of 93.4%?
That sounds pretty bad. I don't think I'd trust the drive for anything important.

I have an old Apple 2.5-inch laptop drive that shows 100% Health in DriveDX (with 99 hours on it).

A 2015 MacBook Pro internal flash drive with almost 8,000 hours also shows 100% Health (though SSD Lifetime Left has dropped to 95%, due to Wear Leveling).

A Samsung T5 with almost 3000 hours shows 100% Health (and 99% Lifetime Left).

A Samsung 850 EVO with more than 4100 hours shows 100% Health (and 98% Lifetime Left).
 


Mine were bare disks. Your numbers lead me to guess:
  • Repackaged return?
  • Burn-in and test prior at G-Technologies prior to packaging?
  • Powered up when you received it, but forgot?
That said, 40 hours and 7 power cycles aren't much and you plan to test/certify them, so it seems a minor concern.
I should clarify that the 40 hours of usage and 7 power cycles are mine. I did some basic testing with the drive using nonessential data.

A little more background (I'm not sure whether or not this will change anyone's assessments):

The drive was purchased back in July, but sat on a shelf, factory sealed in its original packaging (except for removal from the shipping container) and untouched, until four days ago, because I was simply too busy to set it up. As far as I am aware, storage conditions have remained ideal ever since it came into my possession.

Is it really worth my time to contact G-Technologies, given my intent to certify the drive?
 


I should clarify that the 40 hours of usage and 7 power cycles are mine. I did some basic testing with the drive using nonessential data.

A little more background (I'm not sure whether or not this will change anyone's assessments):

The drive was purchased back in July, but sat on a shelf, factory sealed in its original packaging (except for removal from the shipping container) and untouched, until four days ago, because I was simply too busy to set it up. As far as I am aware, storage conditions have remained ideal ever since it came into my possession.

Is it really worth my time to contact G-Technologies, given my intent to certify the drive?
Ah, I missed that you were asking about DriveDX's 93.4% ratings, given the hours or power cycle numbers and not those numbers themselves.

So, I don't know. Looking over an old (2015) DriveDx log for four hard disk drives tested in one session, the ratings ranged from 85.5% to 100%. The only one that ever exhibited a problem was one of the 100% ones. It showed SMART read failures 3.5 years later.

I also don't know because DriveDx's rating methods are not clear. They are superficially described in the DriveDx online help. My lowest 85.5% rating was "GOOD," which the help page says means "current health state of drive is perfect or almost perfect." The help page claims that these ratings help when SMART thresholds are approached but not exceeded, but anything above "LOW" is deemed at least "sufficient and normal." The help page also notes that these ratings can fluctuate. If we don't know exactly how ratings are determined and they can fluctuate, how can we depend on the numerical rating? I reviewed the SMART data associated with the ratings and could not easily see any differences that might correlate to a drop in the rating. Perhaps we can have faith that the developer's qualitative ratings (good, average, low, bad) are correct.

Ric suggests not using the drive for important data. He has much more experience fiddling with this stuff than I.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Should I be at all concerned that a drive that has a current total Power on Time of 40 hours and a Power Cycle Count of 7 already has an Overall Health Rating/Overall Performance Rating of 93.4%?
For a drive that's practically brand-new, I must admit I was a bit shocked to see a number even that far off 100.
It's worth looking at the individual items under Health Indicators. What looks like an issue there under the Any Type tab? Anything under Pre-Fail or Life-Span? Anything under Warning? What happens if you do a Self Test?

Maybe SMART Utility is worth running for another look at the drive. Disk Sensei has a Health check, too, if you happen to have that app.
 


It's worth looking at the individual items under Health Indicators. What looks like an issue there under the Any Type tab? Anything under Pre-Fail or Life-Span? Anything under Warning? What happens if you do a Self Test?
Maybe SMART Utility is worth running for another look at the drive. Disk Sensei has a Health check, too, if you happen to have that app.
In the individual indicators, everything looks really good. The health indicators are 100% across the board, and the error counts are at zero across the board.

Thanks for reminding me that I do, in fact, own a license for Disk Sensei. I've dug up my license code, but what I have no idea how to do is get a copy of the latest (final?) version of it. It seems to have been replaced wholesale by Sensei. I would hope the developer hasn't discontinued his earlier products, because not all of us can or will run Catalina.

If I can't use the license I paid for, I guess it will be worth my time to look into SMART Utility.
 



In the individual indicators, everything looks really good. The health indicators are 100% across the board, and the error counts are at zero across the board.

Thanks for reminding me that I do, in fact, own a license for Disk Sensei. I've dug up my license code, but what I have no idea how to do is get a copy of the latest (final?) version of it. It seems to have been replaced wholesale by Sensei. I would hope the developer hasn't discontinued his earlier products, because not all of us can or will run Catalina.

If I can't use the license I paid for, I guess it will be worth my time to look into SMART Utility.
I saw the disappointing response from the developer to your post (I presume it was yours) on the Cindori support forum. FWIW, I am using the latest version (1.6.3) of the old Disk Sensei tool on Mojave, and I haven't run into any problems. At the moment, you still can download version 1.6.3 from the MacUpdate website, and it runs fine without installing any additional crapware.
 


I saw the disappointing response from the developer to your post (I presume it was yours) on the Cindori support forum. FWIW, I am using the latest version (1.6.3) of the old Disk Sensei tool on Mojave, and I haven't run into any problems. At the moment, you still can download version 1.6.3 from the MacUpdate website, and it runs fine without installing any additional crapware.
Indeed, that was me. However, thanks to your response, I am now much less disappointed. I'll give it a shot, whereas I had assumed the futility of doing so (based on the developer's response) to be a foregone conclusion. One question: How were you able to determine what else was (or was not) installed? I have always wanted a way to know what a program is doing when it installs itself.

A side note to Ric's reply: Thanks! I'll scour my email for a possible SMART Utility license. Is there some sort of "perfect storm" right now with regard to SMART-enabled utilities? When I went to their website, I encountered a note about the "venerable" eSellerate was shutting down on 6/30/2019. (The above quotes are not for any actual quotation; rather, it's to show sarcasm on my part, as I ponder how many licenses I've acquired over the years are now useless.)

The developer of SMART Utility indicates that they are switching to Stripe, but as of this writing, a purchasing link is still "coming soon." Suffice it to say that to see "coming soon" more than six months hence is disappointing!
 


The developer of SMART Utility indicates that they are switching to Stripe, but as of this writing, a purchasing link is still "coming soon."
I wrote the sales department, and the president of the company replied; he said that the transition is taking longer than expected. Additionally, he noted that trying to achieve Catalina compatibility has been "a real pain." I don't doubt a word of that!

He concluded by saying that he was hopeful that sales will be able to resume "in the next few weeks."

Whenever it happens, he will have a new customer in me. Consider me "un-disappointed", and thank you, again, Ric, for the recommendation!
 


Bottom line, research your disks carefully and remember to treat them well - maintain good temperature / cooling, an excellent power supply, etc.
Just happened to see this post. Does the comment about maintaining "an excellent power supply" refer to using a higher-quality power supply than the one that ships with a given drive, or to considering an uninterruptible power supply?
 


I would like to request opinions on the fastest Thunderbolt hardware RAID enclosures available, with or without SSD drives provided in the purchase. I would like the enclosure to handle the fastest SSD drives available, so if there are recommendations for that as well, I'd love to hear them.

I currently use Thunderbolt 2-connected OWC ThunderBay and ThunderBlade SSD four-drive enclosures, in a SoftRAID RAID5 configuration. But I'm still using macOS Mojave 10.14.6, so there's still some limited support for a software RAID setup. However, SoftRAID drives cannot boot my Mac Pro (Late 2013), and it's my understanding that support is even less if I upgrade to Catalina in the near future. That's what is prompting me to ask for recommendations for a hardware-based RAID enclosure.

While I understand speed comes at a cost, I would prefer to keep my total costs for the enclosure and SSD drives below $2,000 if possible.

Thanks to all in advance.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
I would like to request opinions on the fastest Thunderbolt hardware RAID enclosures available, with or without SSD drives provided in the purchase. I would like the enclosure to handle the fastest SSD drives available, so if there are recommendations for that as well, I'd love to hear them. I currently use Thunderbolt 2-connected OWC ThunderBay and ThunderBlade SSD four-drive enclosures, in a SoftRAID RAID5 configuration...
As you probably know, Thunderbolt 2 is a speed bottleneck (< 20 Gbps), so even a simple PCIe Thunderbolt expansion box with an NVMe PCIe SSD card should easily max out performance even with a single SSD (e.g. Samsung 870 EVO).
 


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