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Question NAS spin drives down, or 24/7

mikeford

Diamond Member
Jan 27, 2001
5,427
98
91
3x of my refurb 4TB HGST drives have passed the long format test, one also passed the WD Tools extended test, all have wiped smart codes and I assume 5 years of 24/7 use. Now they are in my new but old stock Lenovo PX4-400d as a JBOD of 10.7TB after factory installed junk and overhead. NAS is I at least think, fully setup, yet still flicking its light and making noises, these drives are noisey.

This NAS is for just our 3 home users, and I am about the only heavy user, spin down after an hour or leave running 24/7? What about letting the whole NAS sleep with wake on LAN?

This is Calif BTW, home of 45 cent / KWHR power, so power use, heat generated and AC to get rid of heat a serious factor. Next chance I get it will be plugged into the Killawatt meter and checked for running and idle power.
 

MalVeauX

Senior member
Dec 19, 2008
342
16
81
Heya,

If you want to save money on electricity, turn it off when not in use.

If you want to save money on hard drives, leave them spinning, and spend more on electricity.

A typical platform will run 30~40 watts easily for just the motherboard, CPU, memory and a fan or two at idle. Each drive will run 5~7 watts spinning. So three drives in a system should easily be around 50~55 watts at idle with 3 spinning drives that don't spin down.

So for you, that's about 1.32kWh per day, running 55 watts at 24 hours a day. The result would be around $215 per year ($18 per month averaged) at your $0.45c/kWh rate in Cali.

So you're buying a high capacity enterprise drive, every year, with that price. And you're buying a typical 4TB drive that is consumer level at that rate if you run the drives half the year.

So there's no good answer unfortunately, it's a compromise both ways. Either spend the money, keep your drives alive longer, more convenience with less drive failure potential, or save money on electricity and buy drives more often over time as they spin up and down every day and approach mechanical failure faster.

In your situation, you're better off using SSD drives. They don't spin up/down. They're a lot more durable than hard drives. They cost more too. But you could turn them off when not in use to avoid the electricity.

Very best,
 
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Steltek

Platinum Member
Mar 29, 2001
2,463
329
126
I presume you are talking about the used enterprise drives you posted about in your other thread? Noise wasn't really a consideration in their design, so I'm not surprised that they are loud.

Flip side is you'd save 1/3 of your power cost by shutting down 8 hours per day, up to 1/2 power cost if it is only used 12 hours per day. At $50-$60 apiece for the used drives, shut down 8 hrs/day you are saving the equivalent to pay for one replacement drive per year (or ~ not quite two drives if NAS is running only 12 hrs/day).

So, the cost of going either way is probably (depending upon how much life the used drives have in them) breakeven provided you don't have to replace more than one drive per year. Kind of a crapshoot, as it were.
 

mikeford

Diamond Member
Jan 27, 2001
5,427
98
91
I put my PX4-400R with 3x 4TB refurb HGST drives in JBOD on my Killawatt, seems a constant 40 watts, after sitting all night, during watching a movie from it, no change. Currently it is set to spin down after an hour, but something may be waking it up.

I did a LOT of looking on the net in various data forums, and found no consensus on spin down regarding modern enterprise drives. Hibernation seemed like a routine practice.

If I can get some reduced power mode working, the power reduction is supposed to be down to about 13 watts idle, and the low power mode would be more like 90% of the time, as the NAS drives are not used for working storage, just archival for the most part.
 

MalVeauX

Senior member
Dec 19, 2008
342
16
81
I did a LOT of looking on the net in various data forums, and found no consensus on spin down regarding modern enterprise drives. Hibernation seemed like a routine practice.
Heya,

Not sure where you're looking, but if you search for "server hard drive spin down or not" you may find some interesting thoughts from people who manage servers. If you talk with anyone who works in the field, they will tell you that spinning down your HDD's routinely is the fastest way to mechanical failure and that they're life span is superior when constantly spinning. But I realize your goal is not uptime and performance, but rather, power savings. Again, what you're doing now may work a while. I would be concerned with used drives spinning down daily, several times even, in terms of failure rates. But, your next array would likely be best served via SSD's so that you can avoid this and avoid high power consumption.

Very best,
 

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