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Should You Use Fewer Larger HDDs or More Smaller HDDs?
The technology behind hard drives has evolved RAPIDLY! In just the last few years we have seen HDDs hit over 20 terabytes, seen the number of platters being squeezed into a single hard drive casing reach more than 10 and the performance and durability of these drives somehow continue to improve too! Still, one area that we have seen very little change in over the years is the price per terabyte of most HDDs. Despite the range of capacities available from most HDD brands (Seagate, WD, Toshiba, etc), the cost of the latest and largest HDDs still maintains a hefty price tag, whilst the smaller capacity drives (still broadly keeping their lower price point) are more readily available, occasionally on offer and this leads alot of data storage buyers to ask themselves – Is it better to buy a small number of MASSIVE hard drives or a larger number of SMALLER HDDs? Thanks to modern development and efficient evolution of RAID (redundant array of independent disk) management in NAS and DAS systems*, alongside storage enclosures now ranging from as little as 2 Bay desktop case scale all the way upto 24-60 Bay rackmounts, it is actually quite easy to achieve the same amount of capacity of a handful of ‘max capacity’ drives with a smaller cluster of more affordable smaller drives. So, today I want to look into the benefits/downfalls of either setup and hopefully help you decide whether you need to opt for bigger or smaller hard drives in your data storage setup in 2023 onwards.
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