Comments and lessons
> My rule of thumb with flashing the bios is "Don't do it unless you've got a problem and make sure it's the absolute last resort"
> Why the hell would you update all the drives in a RAID5 at the same time? Do one at a time and make sure everything is fine after each one.
Yes, indeedy. I'd add that if the drive has been in production for a couple of months (mine have) and if the system has a UPS attached (what big RAID server doesn't?) then it's probably a good idea to let other folks beta- and gamma-test the firmware update. Especially this time!
The post from a Seagate engineer at
referred to above, is a very informative read. The moral, in a follow-up comment there, is surely DON'T FARKING LET MIDDLE MANAGEMENT BYPASS YOUR TRIED AND TRUE TEST/RELEASE PROCEDURE. Amen. There is no problem in the world that management can't make much worse very fast.
> People moaning about dead RAID have just learnt an important lesson, namely never by all the disks from the same company.
But unfortunately if you are setting up a 5-disk 4Tb RAID-5 you'd need five different companies, and are there that many today? Hitachi (formerly IBM), Seagate (took over Maxtor), Western Digital, er.... and if just two out of five drives drop dead that the same time you are still screwed. The lesson I'm taking away is to make sure that if I do disk to disk backup, make sure all the disks in the backup machine are a differnt make to all the disks in the primary.
Finally, something I often tell people: there is no way that any disk drive by any manufacturer can be tested with respect to long-term reliability before it is shipped. Every drive is effectively a prototype, you are relying on what the engineers learned from the previous model and its ancestors for reliability over the next few years. Sometimes the unknowns in the technology will get you. Sometimes a human error will be made. Shit happens, get used to it, unless you can afford to use tried and tested 160Gb drives when state of the art is 1500Gb. Come to think of it, can one still buy the same 160Gb drives as those that were state of the art and proved reliable over several years since? Probably not!