Building A Personal Cloud With Seagate 12TB Hard Drives And Synology DS918+ NAS

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Seagate IronWolf And Barracuda Pro 12TB Hard Drives, Serious Capacity

A few weeks back, Seagate launched an array of 12TB hard drives targeted a variety of market segments, from desktops to workstations and high-performance Network-Attached Servers. The Seagate Barracuda Pro, IronWolf, and IronWolf Pro are fundamentally similar, but each drive is tuned for specific applications. The Barracuda Pro is designed for HEDT and creative professional platforms. The IronWolf targets Network-Attached Servers (NAS) with one to eight bays. And the IronWolf Pro is designed for the same segment, but with servers with up to 18 bays.

We’ve had the Barracuda Pro and standard IronWolf NAS drive in-house for a little while and have some thoughts on their performance and features on the pages ahead. Solid State Drives may be the hot-topic in storage as of late, but the sheer capacity of these drives and their relative low-cost per gigabyte make them appealing for an assortment of use cases. The IronWolf series in particular allows for massive, shared storage volumes when linked up in RAID and attached to a network. So much shared storage that it’s just like having your own personal cloud...
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With that in mind, we also enlisted the help of Synology, which offers and array of NAS solutions for virtually every market segment. We’ve got a 4-bay model on-hand – the sleek DS918+ -- and filled it with a quartet of IronWolf 12TB drives to build a roughly 36TB array, that’s accessible from virtually anywhere there’s a connection to the web.
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First, let’s take a look at the drives, and then we’ll explorer their performance, and walk through the steps of configuring the Synology NAS...

Seagate IronWold And Barracuda Pro 12TB HDDs
Specifications & Features

Apologies for the less-than-attractive spec-table images above – there was a lot of data we wanted to share and stacking them on-top of each other made the page extremely long. Regardless, if you take a look at the specifications, you’ll see that the Seagate IronWolf and Barracuda Pro share many similar specifications. Both drives share the same 3.5” form factor, SATA 6.0GB/s interface, 256MB of cache memory, 12TB capacity, and platter configurations.
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It may seem that Seagate simply slaps a different decal on the drives and qualifies the IronWolf for NAS applications, but that is not the case. These are actually two different drives. The Barracuda Pro is tuned for higher performance, has a higher workload-rate, and carries a longer 5-year warranty. It also uses slightly more power overall.

The Seagate IronWolf is still relatively speedy for a hard drive, with a max sustained transfer rate in the 210MB/s range, but the drive is tuned to better handle vibrations associated with multi-drive arrays and features rotational vibration sensors, and data collected by those sensors is used to tune and tweak drive’s operation on the fly to better maintain performance and ensure reliable data transfers.

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The IronWolf drives have a shock tolerance of 70G – 250G depending on whether or not the drives are operating at the time and they carry a 3-year warranty. If that’s not enough for you, the IronWolf Pro drives offer a 5-year warranty and also include Seagate’s Rescue Date Recovery service, for even more piece of mind.

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