Holy crap….  3TB SATA drive?!?!?!?

This is getting so crazy!  Where do we start?  What do we do?  Ugh….  The confusion can be endless.  I thought I’d take a quick sec to talk about what we are using in the studio.  What works, and what doesn’t.

When I saw that Western Digital had come out with a 3TB drive, I got pretty excited.  The thought that we could just swap out the 2TB drives we use in our RAID arrays for 3’s was pretty enticing.  We did this with the 1TB’s as soon as the 2TB’s came out, and it instantly doubled the size of the RAID 5 storage we had.  When I saw that there was now a 3, I thought, “easy, just upgrade the RAIDs and we are golden…” But would it work?

To get the answer, I jumped on the phone to WD to get the straight up skinny.  First let me say that Western Digital is one of the best companies to deal with regarding customer service.  Over the past several years, we have exclusively used WD drives and have found them to be exemplary when it comes to service.

Before long, I was able to speak to a product engineer in California and had a good long talk about the 3’s, and their use in a RAID.

The simple answer for us is:  No go.  Western Digital does not recommend these drives in a RAID because they are not TLER or Time-Limited Error Recovery.  In a nutshell, this means that when the drive experiences a normal error, it does not have the proper buffering, and could potentially drop out of the RAID.  The engineer went on to say that they would be fine for use inside the Mac in a single drive configuration, but that they were not supported in a RAID.

We use 2TB WD Enterprise drives in all our RAID's

So for us, we will just have to wait until they get a TLER drive on the market.  For now, we will just stick with our trusted bombproof 2TB Enterprise drives.