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ATTO R680 + SOHOTANK ST8-U5 + Seagate ST33000651AS = ISSUES!
ATTO R680 + SOHOTANK ST8-U5 + Seagate ST33000651AS = ISSUES!
by Christian Glawe on Aug 8, 2011 at 4:38:21 pm

I've built an 8-drive array with the above components, and striped it RAID 5.

In a week of operation, I've had 3 different drives "degrade". In one instance, I sent the drive back for a replacement. In the second instance, I pulled the drive out, put the *same* drive back in, and ATTO config tool said "Status: OK". Rebuilt RAID successfully.

Now, it's happened a third time. Again, I pulled out the offending drive, put same drive back in and "Status: OK".

Are the Seagates *so* bad that I get 3 true failures inside a week?! Or, is there some other possible explanation that ATTO is seeing drives as "degraded" that really aren't?

Thanks in advance...

Christian Glawe
editor/compositor
www.IceHatCreative.com
www.christianglawe.com



Re: ATTO R680 + SOHOTANK ST8-U5 + Seagate ST33000651AS = ISSUES!
by Kyle Lodge on Aug 8, 2011 at 5:08:29 pm

Hey Christian,

It could be a combination of things: Could be the chassis. Is it a 6 GB/s chassis? Does the chassis have an expander? How long are the cables? As far as I can tell by the part number of the drive, that is a desktop level drive, meaning they aren't really meant to be built into a RAID, not saying it can't but Ultrastar level drives are what are recommended for RAID use. In our office we only use Hitachi as of right now they have the least failure rate and provide good speed as well.

You might also want to check under your ATTO Config Tool, look under your localhost tab and highlight Channel 1 under your ExpressSAS R680. Then select NVRAM at the top. What are your Device Wait Time and Device Wait Count set at?

Kyle Lodge


Re: ATTO R680 + SOHOTANK ST8-U5 + Seagate ST33000651AS = ISSUES!
by Christian Glawe on Aug 8, 2011 at 5:39:28 pm

Thanks for the reply, Kyle.

Device Wait Time: 3

Device Wait Count: 1

Spinup Delay: 0


Would drive performance that exceed these values cause a "Degraded" warning?

Christian Glawe
editor/compositor
www.IceHatCreative.com
www.christianglawe.com



Re: ATTO R680 + SOHOTANK ST8-U5 + Seagate ST33000651AS = ISSUES!
by Steve Modica on Aug 8, 2011 at 5:25:47 pm

You shouldn't be using desktop drives in a stacked RAID like that. They don't have rotational vibration sensors and you may be hitting heat issues as well. (although putting server drives in, you might overrun your power supply)

You have to look at the atto logs and see why the drives degraded. Only then will you know what's really going on. I believe atto "fakes" media errors for timeouts and you'll get some other error for heat related issues. I'm betting on heat.

Steve

Steve Modica
CTO, Small Tree Communications


Re: ATTO R680 + SOHOTANK ST8-U5 + Seagate ST33000651AS = ISSUES!
by Christian Glawe on Aug 8, 2011 at 5:47:45 pm

Thanks for your reply, Steve.

Checking S.M.A.R.T. Status for the "degraded" drive shows some values over the threshold, but some of the threshold values are "0", like Spin Up Time and Power on Hours Count. Do you know how these threshold values are derived, and can they be changed? Certainly, I want to know if a drive is in process of failing, but I don't want to be rebuilding the RAID for every false "error".

The values for the "degraded" drive are very, very similar to the "healthy" drives.

I know this is completely unscientific, but the enclosure does not feel particularly warm...

Christian Glawe
editor/compositor
www.IceHatCreative.com
www.christianglawe.com



Re: ATTO R680 + SOHOTANK ST8-U5 + Seagate ST33000651AS = ISSUES!
by Caspian Brand on Aug 8, 2011 at 5:59:22 pm

Christian,

To reiterate and further comment on Steve's and Kyle's comments, you really shouldn't use desktop drives in a RAID array intended for high performance.

In addition to vibration dampening, and other environmental concerns, there are also various other commands and error corrections, reporting, etc., which Desktop model drives need to assume on their own, as they are their own 'controller' of sorts.

RAID Edition / Enterprise drives are also designed to better communicate with various RAID controllers so that both the drive and controller aren't trying to control the same thing at the same time resulting in potential conflicts.

This is part of why some drive models and some firmwares work better with some controllers vs. others or not at all.

Some devices like the Drobo, are intentionally designed not to care as much about drive models, speeds, capacities, and firmwares in order to give the mass public more flexibility in redundancy. But this adversely affects performance in our Media Production environments.

That's one of the reasons there are those of us here designing and selling these solutions, specifically designed for production needs.

Get some RAID Edition or Enterprise drives (there's a good reason they cost more).

Best Regards,
-Caspian

Product Specialist
Studio Network Solutions


Re: ATTO R680 + SOHOTANK ST8-U5 + Seagate ST33000651AS = ISSUES!
by Christian Glawe on Aug 8, 2011 at 6:51:07 pm

Thank you all for your input.

I've noticed that the Stardom hard drive compatibility chart:

http://www.stardom.com.tw/stardom_products_data/stardom_hd_compatibility_reference_chart/stardom_hard_drive_compatibility_reference_chart.pdf

.. lists a number of Seagate drives that would be considered "Desktop" edition drives. Granted, the drives I put in the enclosure are not on this chart (it's from December 2010) - but it appears to me that Stardom is saying that "desktop edition" drives are compatible with the ST8-U5 enclosure.

Christian Glawe
editor/compositor
www.IceHatCreative.com
www.christianglawe.com



Re: ATTO R680 + SOHOTANK ST8-U5 + Seagate ST33000651AS = ISSUES!
by John Davidson on Aug 8, 2011 at 7:03:04 pm

Probably 90% of people on the cow are using desktop drives in their RAIDs, including myself - so don't beat yourself up too much. I'd say a bigger issue is that you're using Seagate drives. ST33000651AS is the new 3TB drive, right? I've been bitten by Seagate before - many times - especially with newer/larger drives that are not as well proven. About 3 years ago I ran into nothing but trouble with their 1.5tb drives in a ProAvio array. The drives had a lag and all kinds of fun little errors that Seagate refused to acknowledge for quite a while. I ended up shipping them back and replacing with 1TB WD Caviar Black drives, which are still rocking out in RAID5 to this day.

I'm sure others can list just as many problems with Hitachi and WD, but there are many of us here who avoid Seagate. I've just seen too many of those drives die. Your array should be just fine, even with Deskstars or Caviar Blacks. The Seagate's are where I'd look for trouble. You may have had your heart set on all those Terabytes in an affordable array - but better to get something a little smaller and more proven and save yourself some grief.

John Davidson | President / Creative Director | Magic Feather Inc.


Re: ATTO R680 + SOHOTANK ST8-U5 + Seagate ST33000651AS = ISSUES!
by Alex Gerulaitis on Aug 8, 2011 at 7:27:41 pm

[John Davidson] "Your array should be just fine, even with Deskstars or Caviar Blacks."

A word of caution on Caviars: unlike Deskstars, using Black Caviars in RAID other than 0 and 1 may void their warranty: WD is pretty specific that RAID5 is not their intended use.

Alex (DV411)


Re: ATTO R680 + SOHOTANK ST8-U5 + Seagate ST33000651AS = ISSUES!
by Bob Zelin on Aug 8, 2011 at 8:30:05 pm

oh, ho, ho -
all of you professionals are SO POLITE. What is going on is that Mr. Glawe did a "do it yourself" to SAVE MONEY, instead of buying a pre configured G-Tech, Cal Digit, Maxx Digital, Sonnet, Granite Stor, Dulce, etc. etc. And he read all these things about how fast the R680 was, and just looked for the cheapest components. Well, Mr. Glawe, you CAN call Jon Schilling at Stardom, to ask why your drives are dropping off like flies ! And you can call ATTO as well, but here are some clues -

1) Kyle Lodge was correct in asking for your ATTO NVRAM Device Wait Time and Device Wait Count - 3 and 1 are the default. They should be at 10 and 15 to insure your drives actually spin up before the ATTO freaks out and says that it has bad drives.
2) Mr. Modica and Mr. Brand are of course correct in stating that you should not be using CHEAP S@#$ drives in your "professional, fast" RAID array. But because so many companies just want to sell their products, they "qualify" non enterprise drives so that you will buy their product. Don't believe me - call ATTO.
3) As others have said - SEAGATE DRIVES SUCK - and specifically, they TIME OUT ALL THE TIME since 2009, which is when most of "us" changed over to Hitachi (and now Western Digital as well). So you can change your ATTO Device Wait Time, and Device Wait Count, and it might help you, but the bottom line is that Seagate Drives TIME OUT, and will never work properly with ATTO cards.
Use Hitachi or Western Digital, and your problems will go away.

As for Western Digital's comment on no RAIDs for WD drives - well, this is from Alex's link -

"Business Critical RAID Environments – WD Caviar Black Hard Drives are not recommended for and are not warranted for use in RAID environments utilizing Enterprise HBAs and/or expanders and in multi-bay chassis, as they are not designed for, nor tested in, these specific types of RAID applications. For all Business Critical RAID applications, please consider WD’s Enterprise Hard Drives that are specifically designed with RAID-specific, time-limited error recovery (TLER), are tested extensively in 24x7 RAID applications, and include features like enhanced RAFF technology and thermal extended burn-in testing."


So you see Christian, there ain't no cheap way out. You won't get your super duper performance for budget prices without LOTS OF AGGRIVATION. Get some Ultrastars, change those ATTO settings, and NEXT TIME, ask Jon Shilling for some direct advice at Stardom, before blowing your money.

Bob Zelin




Re: ATTO R680 + SOHOTANK ST8-U5 + Seagate ST33000651AS = ISSUES!
by Christian Glawe on Aug 8, 2011 at 9:34:55 pm

Thanks for your candor, Bob. I've learned a lot. I do hope that the next guy looking to put a system together will find this thread useful.

Christian Glawe
editor/compositor
www.IceHatCreative.com
www.christianglawe.com



Re: ATTO R680 + SOHOTANK ST8-U5 + Seagate ST33000651AS = ISSUES!
by Jacob Altman on Oct 21, 2011 at 4:48:57 am

I've been bitten by the Seagates too. Avoid them like the plague. Bob is completely right that the issue will prob be in large part to do with time-out and therefore phantom errors being sent to the controller, which proceeds to degrade the raid set.

What ATTO does not publicise is that there is a CLI setting that can alter the command timeout on the R380/R680 so it will wait around much longer for the interupts for an I/O. This is pure magic as you can set it to 60 or 90 seconds for example and avoid the seagate issues while still maintaining the ability of the controller to degrade the raid set when a drive has truly died.

SONNET use the ATTO card in their FUSION products, and the command is documented (as well as a lot of other interesting info) in their manual which can be downloaded here: http://www.sonnettech.com/support/downloads/manuals/config_tool_utilities_ug.pdf

Search within that document for raidcommandtimeout and you'll know what you need to do.

I also find that manual is a far better document to give clients as all the screenshots are on mac and far better laid out than the standard ATTO manuals.

Good luck, this fixed the issue for me, but AVOID THOSE SEAGATE DRIVES!





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