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 Post subject: Question regarding hard drive sizes
 Post Posted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 5:45 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 31, 2007 8:37 pm
Posts: 200
Location: St. Louis, MO
Just a curious question that I have had ever since I have been learning about servers.

I bought an old server just to learn, and have discovered that there seem to be a common set of hard drive sizes that only seem to apply to servers.

I see sizes like 36GB, 73GB, 146GB and 300GB. I know that most servers have a RAID configuration, but, it seems to me that even 2 or 4 36GB or even 73GB drives that I have seen in the original configuration of some of the Dell Poweredge servers don't seem like that would be much space for a server.

Why do those sizes seem to be standard?


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 Post subject: Re: Question regarding hard drive sizes
 Post Posted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 6:30 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 1:27 pm
Posts: 1105
Location: Stowmarket, Suffolk England
Those sizes are mostly Scsi type drives, if the Server has a SATA controller, I'd use that instead.


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 Post subject: Re: Question regarding hard drive sizes
 Post Posted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 3:03 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2007 11:44 am
Posts: 5803
Those strange and relatively low capacities are characteristic of high-performance 10K and 15K rpm Enterprise-class drives. They spin fast to reduce latency and increase transfer speeds, but the funny lower capacities are due mainly to the fact that they use very small platters recorded at relatively low areal densities.

For example a typical 3.5" form factor drive uses 95mm diameter platters, however 3.5" drives of the type you describe generally use 70mm platters, which is closer to the 65mm platter size in a standard 2.5" laptop drive. These drives use small platters to greatly decrease the average access time, thereby allowing them to access specific sectors much more quickly. They have relatively low recording densties (as compared to consumer level drives) in order to greatly increase reliability and reduce the instance of uncorrectable ECC errors.

Bottom line: the combination of small platters and low-density recording results in much lower capacities than conventional consumer class drives of the same vintage. Scott.


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