Performance - Direct Attached Storage Mode

Seagate also sells the BarraCuda Pro Compute drives as being suitable for use in direct-attached storage systems. We evaluated the performance in such a usage scenario using one of the highest performing 2-bay DAS units currently in the market - the Akitio Thunder3 Duo Pro, connected to our testbed via a Thunderbolt 3 interface.

Prior to processing real-life workloads, we first checked quick artificial access traces using ATTO and CrystalDiskMark.

We find that the performance remains consistent irrespective of workload size as long as the sequential access characteristic holds. Two drives in RAID 0 can sustain 520 MBps+ reads and writes. RAID 1 performance is similar to the standalone drive performance.

Both RAID0 and RAID1 configurations were subject to our standard DAS test suite described in the previous section. The robocopy test suite gave the following results.

Akitio Thunder3 Duo Pro + 2x Seagate BarraCuda Pro 14TB (Thunderbolt 3)
robocopy Benchmarks (MBps)
  Write Bandwidth Read Bandwidth
Photos 299.52 182.11 383.84 196.73
Videos 400.26 214.63 400.44 203.24
Blu-ray Folder 423.90 218.47 403.24 206.67

There is no difference in the performance consistency between either RAID configuration. The behavior is largely similar to the internal drive scenario, except for the RAID 0 absolute bandwidth numbers. Thanks to the enclosure's fan, the temperature increase is also not as much as what we observed in the internal drive case, though we do see the temperatures in the RAID 1 case being slightly more than the RAID 0 case due to the workload distribution.

We also processed select workloads from PCMark 8's storage bench.

Akitio Thunder3 Duo Pro + 2x Seagate BarraCuda Pro 14TB (Thunderbolt 3)
PCMark8 Storage Benchmarks (MBps)
  Write Bandwidth Read Bandwidth
Adobe Photoshop (Light) 297.55 206.27 10.26 9.31
Adobe Photoshop (Heavy) 319.36 197.92 12.31 10.67
Adobe After Effects 97.82 65.30 9.49 9.12
Adobe Illustrator 224.29 178.66 9.06 8.81

A significant speed-up in response time is achieved while dealing with multimedia files stored in a RAID 0 configuration of two BarraCuda Pro 14TB drives in a Thunderbolt 3 enclosure. Combined with the consistency shown, we can say that our results back up Segate's claims regarding the firmware tuning of BarraCuda Pro drives for specific application scenarios.

Performance - Internal Storage Mode Miscellaneous Aspects and Concluding Remarks
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  • boozed - Monday, September 10, 2018 - link

  • Xajel - Monday, September 10, 2018 - link

    Using helium helps with reducing turbulence near the platters allowing them to have these platters closer to each other, or slightly thinner platter, or both of these worlds to have more platters. But another thing about He filled drives is that platters faces lesser friction than regular air-filled drives, making the motor doing less work to maintain it's speed which eventually means lower power usage.

    But He filled drives are more expensive to make, not because of the Helium it self which only costs a little. But because Helium is too light and can escape very easily from any tiny hole and even macroscopic holes like how Helium filled balloons inflate with time because Helium is very good at escaping, They had to design the HDD to be completely sealed to force the Helium inside. And because Helium is used mainly to put in more platters in the drive so gaining more capacity per drive there's no point in adding it to smaller drives with these extra costs and complications. The only benefit then is to save more power.
  • GreenReaper - Tuesday, September 11, 2018 - link

    I think you mean *mi*croscopic holes. Macroscopic makes me think of Donut County:
  • Teknobug - Monday, September 10, 2018 - link

    14GB! I haven't even filled my 1GB drives yet.
  • Teknobug - Monday, September 10, 2018 - link

    14TB & 1TB*
    ^ brain fart
  • PeachNCream - Monday, September 10, 2018 - link

    Same here. I've got a 1TB 2.5 inch drive in an external case that I plug into my laptop for backing up the 500GB SSD. There's less than 250GB used. Not everyone has so little data though and its nice to see Seagate seeling capacity to those that want or need it. It looks a lot like some of the features are inherited directly from enterprise drives which makes me suspect a rebrand, but not a bad one given the additional features.
  • Samus - Monday, September 10, 2018 - link

    Pfft, the ExploitedCollegeGirls library alone is 1TB...
  • timecop1818 - Monday, September 10, 2018 - link

    Seagate? Nope. Drives over 4-5TB not in RAID? Nope. I'd like to actually keep my data.
  • Hixbot - Monday, September 10, 2018 - link

    What's preventing you from using RAID with this drive? I have 5 of the 10tb versions in raid 5.
  • wumpus - Monday, September 10, 2018 - link

    Mostly cost, although once you get into 40TB raid land I suspect the convenience of >10TB drives outweighs the issue of buying multiple 8 port SATA pci-e cards to go along with 16 3TB drives. The 3TB still wins in cost (although any more and I'd look into jumping to 4TB, the cost of the ports outweighs the cost of the parity drives) and you can also bump up to RAID 6. On second thought, I'm not sure how I'm going to wrap a case around 16 drives: that might be the biggest hurdle.

    Not that I'm convinced that RAID6 is necessary (as far as I can tell most "you need RAID6" assumed that bad bits were randomly dispersed and that a single bad bit would kill your data, actually bad bits have to be in 4k(byte) chunks (32,000 times as rare as they thought) and that at least consumers aren't going to store anything that can't afford a single [sector] of error (at least at 40TB level). But If I'm already buying 15 hard drives for RAID5, I'll bump it up to RAID6.

    Do you back that monster up on LTO? Picking up refurbished/semi-obsolete LTO for consumer gear appears complicated (but eventually justifies the cost): picking up "list price pro gear" makes more sense to have a backup RAID array.

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