replacement drives in PE servers

Matt Garman matthew.garman at
Wed Mar 3 16:05:44 CST 2010

This isn't a Linux-specific question, but I'm hoping the Dell Linux
community has enough experience/insight to offer some suggestions.

We have many PowerEdge servers, mostly 1950, R410 and R610 models.
Most are running two disks in a RAID-1 (mirrored) setup using the PERC
5/i, 6/i or LSI SAS 1068E controllers.

We decided that we'd like to have spare drives for all of our servers,
on the chance that one dies.  My question is: to order spares of the
exact same Dell part number is quite expensive.  In the event we have
to use a spare, is it safe to use any drive that matches size and

One example: Dell part number JW551, with description "Hard Drive,
750G, ES3, 7.2K, 3.5 SGT2, Galaxy".  These aren't available on the
website, but we got a quote for a (refurbished) model that was over
$500.  But, ultimately, it's just a 750 GB SATA drive.  I can buy a
brand new 750 GB SATA drive for $150 or less.

I was just wondering what folks' thoughts are on this matter.  What
are the risks involved in using non-exact---but properly
spec'ed---replacement drives?


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