Hard-disk drives have been the default storage component in desktop and laptop PCs for decades and have only in recent years been challenged by SSDs. Although modern hard-disk drives are far more advanced and higher-performing than their counterparts from the older days of storage in ATA and IDE, on many levels, their basic underlying technology remains unchanged. All hard-disk drives consist of quickly rotating magnetic platters paired with read/write heads that travel over the platters’ surfaces to retrieve or record data. Hard-disk drives don’t perform nearly as well as solid-state drives or even hybrid products do in most situations, however. Today’s fastest hard drives can read and write data at more than 200-220MB/s per second, but those numbers are significantly worse than the speeds of even some of the most affordable solid-state drives, but arrive are at a significantly better Price VS Terabyte price point and are still the best choice for users looking for larger capacity storage overall. Popular brands in this area are Western Digital and Seagate, both of which provide tailored HDDs that suit different storage needs, ranging from PC use to NAS Drives, to Surveillance and Data Center deployment. Each Drive has been designed to be best suited to that operational environment.
There is no such thing as the Perfect Hard Drive. All Hard Drive manufacturers have differing techniques, different processes and most importantly of all, different products. Of course NAS specialised Hard Drives have only been around for a few years now and many still think they are just a gimmick to make people spend a little extra on a Hard Drive than a regular Desktop PC enabled hard drive or to make you favour one brand over another. However, this is not the case. This isn’t about randomly claiming one HDD is better than another, it is about having a tool that is fit for the task at hand. A NAS Server in most instances is left powered on for 24/7 and with intermittent read and write operation, ranging from LARGE video files being accessed to thousands of small backup files being checked each sync, it is important that the hard drive media in your network-attached storage system is up to the job.
In this environment, traditional hard drives are just no longer suited and though will do the job, will do so much slower and are susceptible to errors and potential HDD Failure. Moreover, if your network-attached storage data is mission-critical, of sentimental value or just plain impossible to replace, then you will no doubt have more than one HDD in the NAS enclosure, in a RAID volume. Drives in a RAID have to work that little bit harder as data is spread over the drives for redundancy (so the data is duplicated). NAS Drives are designed to be used in these RAID environments too and for greater lengths of time. Finally, NAS HDDs have firmware onboard that controls the behaviour of the disk in a NAS server, catering from everything vibration and temperature sensitivity, all the way through to intelligent spin speed and cache allocation.
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