Third-party drives not permitted on Gen 11 servers

David Hubbard dhubbard at
Tue Feb 9 18:24:48 CST 2010

I'd be more inclined to buy into the whitepaper
and the idea behind it if it were not for the fact
that Dell servers continue to come with whatever
random hard drive model and manufacturer Dell can
get at a low price; I don't believe there is any
special evaluation of manufacturers quality and/or
performance, either that or the standards are so
low that every model passes.

I don't know one week to the next what the hard
drive flavor of the week will be when a new server

Additionally, as someone who has 500+ servers in
production, we regularly have Dell branded drives
die and if the server is out of warranty, we throw
the same model drive bought off the street into
it.  I have to say I've not had any indication that
the Dell drives have been more reliable, if anything
less reliable since they buy up whatever a
manufacturer is willing to make a deal on at a
given time.

I'm glad this thread came up though, I could have
been in a bad spot if it had not; we have hundreds
of Dell servers and buy third party drives
simply to have as spare parts so when a drive fails
we can throw a new one in immediately instead of
waiting four hours or next day depending on a
server's support contract.  I guess now I have to
buy Dell spare part drives so I don't end up screwed.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: linux-poweredge-bounces at 
> [mailto:linux-poweredge-bounces at] On Behalf Of 
> Howard_Shoobe at
> Sent: Tuesday, February 09, 2010 5:18 PM
> To: linux-poweredge at
> Subject: RE: Third-party drives not permitted on Gen 11 servers
> Thank you very much for your comments and feedback regarding 
> exclusive use of Dell drives. It is common practice in 
> enterprise storage solutions to limit drive support to only 
> those drives which have been qualified by the vendor.  In the 
> case of Dell's PERC RAID controllers, we began informing  
> customers when a non-Dell drive was detected with the 
> introduction of PERC5 RAID controllers in early 2006. With 
> the introduction of the PERC H700/H800 controllers, we began 
> enabling only the use of Dell qualified drives.
> There are a number of benefits for using Dell qualified 
> drives in particular ensuring a positive experience and 
> protecting our data.
> While SAS and SATA are industry standards there are 
> differences which occur in implementation.  An analogy is 
> that English is spoken in the UK, US and Australia. While the 
> language is generally the same, there are subtle differences 
> in word usage which can lead to confusion. This exists in 
> storage subsystems as well. As these subsystems become more 
> capable, faster and more complex, these differences in 
> implementation can have greater impact.
> Benefits of Dell's Hard Disk and SSD drives are outlined in a 
> white paper on Dell's web site at 
> rd-drives-pov.pdf
> -----Original Message-----
> From: linux-poweredge-bounces-Lists On Behalf Of Philip Tait
> Sent: Friday, February 05, 2010 4:31 PM
> To: linux-poweredge-Lists
> Subject: Third-party drives not permitted on Gen 11 servers
> I just received my first Gen11 server, R710, with H700 PERC. I removed
> the supplied drives, and installed 4 Barracuda ES.2s. After doing a
> "Clear Configuration" in the pre-boot RAID setup utility, I 
> can perform
> no operation with the drives - they are marked as "blocked".
> Is Dell preventing the use of 3rd-party HDDs now?
> Thanks for any enlightenment.
> Philip J. Tait
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