Seagate 5TB Enterprise 3.5 HDD Self-Encrypting Hard Drive Review
I’ve been working on a number of reviews lately and several of them involve RAID arrays (the reviews are forthcoming). I wanted to write about these amazing drives to start this off because I have been SO impressed with the performance and feature set.
The Seagate 5TB Enterprise 3.5 HDD Self-Encrypting Hard Drive is probably the best drive I’ve put in a RAID array. The model number is ST5000NM0084 and it has the following feature set:
- 5TB Capacity
- Instant Secure Erase
- AES 256-bit Self-Encrypting Drive
- 7200 rpm
- 128MB Cache
- 1.4 million hours MTBF
- Rated for 24×7 Operating (8,760 hours)
- Enterprise Ready
- Designed for Cloud Storage and RAIDs
- Designed for Surveillance
The RAID arrays I have been reviewing are part of reviews and How-to’s that I’m working on involving storing and streaming 4k movies for personal use. In addition I’m working on some reviews involving VMware’s ESX server software. When those articles are finished, I’ll come back to this article and add the proper links if you are interested.
The first thing you should know about the Seagate 5TB Enterprise 3.5 HDD Self-Encrypting Hard Drive is not cheap. That said neither is a Ferrari. Yes I just compared the two. It isn’t the fastest drive around (although it is a really fast drive). It certainly isn’t the cheapest. BUT what you can take to the bank is reliability, performance, security and support.
Let’s start with reliability. These drives are designed for Surveillance. So basically they are designed to dump video feeds 24/7. That means they are my #1 pick for streaming video. They have a 1.4 Million hour MTBF (Mean time before failure). That’s huge.
Performance is necessary. The Seagate 5TB Enterprise 3.5 HDD Self-Encrypting Hard Drive was designed to handle surveillance video loads. That means they are the work horse you want them to be. You can count on the advertised 6Gb/S SATA performance advertisement because it is legitimate. 12Gb/s for SAS.
Security is a primary concern for anyone running a business or a home network. You don’t want people in your business stuff, and you certainly don’t want them running through your personal photos, financial data, or anything else. While this drive isn’t capable of preventing hackers from getting into your network (nor is that its purpose) it is a SELF-ENCRYPTING drive. It uses AES-256bit encryption with a FIPS 140-2 validation. It also has a feature called Seagate instant secure erase that lets you render the data on the drive completely unreadable and secure with a single keystroke. They are able to do this because the data on the drive is encrypted. They can scramble the bits and the encrypted data is useless for all time. It doesn’t matter if data recovery is used because all they could recover is scrambled fragments of encrypted (already encoded) data that is useless. This is incredibly important for companies that deal with trade secrets, classified data, or if you just don’t want some eBay or craigslist wierdo that bought the drive from you used to recover your info. When I worked for Price Waterhouse (yes that was their name back then) we used to drill holes in the drive platters before we threw them out. This is a better solution.
Support is something Seagate does well. These drives have a 5 year warranty so if they go back in your array you just login to their website, enter the model and serial number, and ship the drive back to them. In about a week you get a new drive. Meanwhile your array is up and running. (You should have at least 1 spare so you don’t have to wait). That said if a drive is going to go bad it will do so within the first 5 years and that means you can realistically look at having these drives well beyond the time you would still wish to own them. (After all in 5 years they would have drives at twice the capacity available).