Does the candle that burns twice as bright...
..burn half as long?
When selling Host Independent Disk Subsystems into a certain part of the UK public sector, we always filled the slots up with "Enterprise" class SATA disks.
That gave the end users and our good selves peace of mind, but those disks remained powered on and rotating at 7200RPM 24/7/365.
The failure rate was very low, I cannot remember the stats, but I do recall for every 24 bay system we flogged, the end user purchased two spare disks "just in case" and the reported failure rates were less than single digit.
Our biggest installation comprised of over half a Petabyte of storage comprising of 500Gb, 1Tb and 2Tb disks, depending on the age of the disk array and the biggest disk capacity available at the time.
We wouldn't have dreamt of putting "consumer disks" into that environment for a few reasons.
The biggest stigma was the fact they were "desktop drives" and not recommended for heavy duty use by the manufacturers (Seagate or Hitachi)
Secondly was the warranty, the Enterprise disks had a better warranty and a "disk retention policy" where the end user would only have to return the lid of the failed disk to get a warranty replacement unit, thus never risking sensitive data leaving the site, even if the odds of any data recovery were very low.
Thirdly, the Disk Subsystem manufacturers had a "compatibility list" of 'certified hard disks" and this always comprised of the Enterprise class disks, desktop platters never, ever featured and to get support (when needed) we, as integrators adhered to that list religiously
Lastly, the enterprise disks cost more, so from an integrator perspective, by following the vendors' recommended configuration, there was a little extra money to be made.
The notable differences between Desktop and Enterprise disks was the cache size with the Enterprise offering double the cache size of the desktop equivalents, other than that, they were all 7.2K RPM disks.
This article comes as no surprise to me but the statistics make for interesting reading. However, most integrators will continue stuffing Enterprise disks into those RAID arrays that allow us to use disks bought from distribution and we will adhere to the tested disk list because we just have to do things right.