08-20-10 | Blog Post
Many low end dedicated servers on the market are desktop computers that are stacked on metal shelves or put on roll-able baker’s racks and sold as dedicated “servers”.
At Online Tech, desktop computers aren’t what our clients are looking for in a managed dedicated server. Our clients need managed servers with 24×7 reliability to run their customer-facing systems and internal IT infrastructure. Running those systems on desktop computers doesn’t provide the reliability that our clients demand.
The same is true when it comes to the type of hard drives that we deploy in our managed servers and private cloud servers. By deploying enterprise drives instead of lower cost deskstop drives in our servers, we are able to deliver a higher level of uptime and error correction that isn’t available with desktop hard drives.
Desktop drives are designed for 5×8 service – or a typical 40 hours a week work cycle. Enterprise drives on the other hand are designed for servers running in a 7×24 environment – 168 hours per week with a far heavier data demand than most desktops see.
eAegis has a great article on the difference between Enterprise HDD and Desktop HDD. In a nutshell, here are the driving differences between the enterprise hard drive and a desktop drive:
1) Faster Error Recovery Time – Enterprise drives automatically detect read/write errors and report them to the RAID controller for corrective action which the RAID controller can issue without taking the drive offline. Desktop drives are built for the assumption that no RAID controller exists and tries to recover the data without informing the RAID controller. Ina server, the RAID controller sees the drive as being non-responsive and takes it offline to be rebuilt. If the second drive fails during this time, a catastrophic loss of data can occur.
2) Rotational Vibration Tolerance – With racks of servers with multiple drives, the rotational vibration within a rack can multiple far above what is seen in normal desktop operation. Enterprise drives are designed to run in high density, multi-server environment without performance degradation or data loss.
3) Error Correction and Data Integrity – Enterprise class drives use ECC for data passing through drive memory and may use additional error detection methods for data transmitted within the drive electronics. Data that is transmitted from one end of the drive to the other with this system would be accompanied by some type of parity or checksum at every stage. Desktop drives have error detection, but do not support end-to-end data protection that the Enterprise class drives implement, leaving the drives more susceptible to data loss.
We believe that success in the managed server and private cloud market is measured in uptime, service and customer satisfaction. Enterprise drives are more expensive to deploy, but provide a better customer experience with a lower risk for failure.