On Mon, May 28, 2012 at 6:48 AM, Nathan Kroenert <nat...@tuneunix.com> wrote:
> Anyone offer up suggestions of either 3 or preferably 4TB drives that
> actually work well with ZFS out of the box? (And not perform like
> rubbish)...
With our NCP 3 boxes the WD drives seem to be working okay (this is
with consumer level drives, which for what we do with our NCP boxes at
$work seems to be working out okay).

On Mon, May 28, 2012 at 6:48 AM, Nathan Kroenert <nat...@tuneunix.com> wrote:
> And - am I doomed to have to use these so called 'advanced format' drives
> (which as far as I can tell are in no way actually advanced, and only
> benefit HDD makers and not the end user).

Yes.  All of the manufactures are moving to use "advanced format"
drives, more accurately known as 4K sector size drives.  After a snafu
last week at $work where a 512 byte pool would not resilver with a 4K
drive plugged in, it appears that (keep in mind that these are
consumer drives) Seagate no longer manufactures the 7200.12 series
drives which has a select-able sector size.  The new 7200.14 series is
4k only.  WD for the time being appears to still present 512 byte
sectors in their current lineup. What kind of performance penalty this
carries I don't know as we have not tested any as of yet.  Presumably
though, WD is going to stop doing that eventually just like Seagate
already has.

No, you are correct, the "advanced format" thing is just marketing.
But it does have very real benefits and has everything to do (at least
as far as I understand the technical details from the HDD
manufactures) with the bit density and the sector count getting so
high on these multi-terabyte drives that they are having to put a
larger and larger percentage (and by extension absolute number of GBs)
of the platter area to be used for ECC and sector locating magic.
This means they are wasting more and more platter space trying to use
the 512-byte sectors.  By using the larger sectors they can use less
sectors which means they have less "wasted" space. So all around it is
good for everyone its just the HDD manufactures are trying to change
15+ years of complacency with respect to the sector size of HDDs.

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