SUMMARY: Non-Critical: Buying non-SUN disks for SUN arrays.

From: jason kappy <>
Date: Mon May 22 2006 - 08:37:06 EDT
I received many replies and thanks to everyone who replied. Bottom line, don't use disks from other vendors unless you cannot afford. SUN uses a specific firmware and also has stringent power, heat disspation etc... requirements for the disks used in StoreEdge 3000 series RAID arrays. You can take a chance with JBOD. Below are  emails with some specifics:

If the array fails, and Sun believe that the 3rd party disks caused it 
to fail, then they 
won't replace whatever blew in the array.

E.g. if a power supply goes, Sun could say that this was caused by the 
disks not drawing 
power in a "supported" way, and therefore charge you call out time as 
well as not actually 
fixing it (or charging you for the repair).
(1) support. if you buy a sun disk it is automatically covered under 
support agreement for what ever device you install it in. if the price 
of the over-the-counter disk is substantially cheaper then it may sound 
like a good plan to buy over-the-counter and use a little of your 
savings to purchase some cold spares.

the other component of this catch is situations where you need your 
replacement disk to have the same geometry. even within sun OEM disks 
you will see different models from different manufacturers with the 
capacity but different geometry (i.e. cylinder count and bytes per 
cylinder). this affects people who are using various RAID products 
software and hardware) but can also come in to play in other 
if your disk is covered by a sun support agreement you can tell them 
make/model you have and they will replace it where as going to fry's to 
buy another 73GB disk will almost certainly land you a mismatch.

(2) sun has much stricter performance and thermal margins. while this 
sounds trivial a higher error rate in a component like a HDD or RAM can 
make a huge performance and stability difference.

i'm sure there are people who have had good luck with over-the-counter 
parts but these two issues generally lead me to this conclusion: if you 
can afford the sun branded gear then buy it... you get what you pay 
I've always avoided putting non-Sun disks in Sun arrays that have a
controller, such as a T3, 3310, 3510, etc. these devices sometimes need 
drive firmware upgrade to fix a problem or provide compatibility with a
controller feature. This just happened recently on a couple of 3310s I

Non-Sun drives won't take a Sun drive FW upgrade, even if it is the 
same model.

Save the non-Sun drives for JBOD housings or even boot disks. I do that 
the time without problems. 


> Hi All,
>          I want to upgrade our StorEdge 3310 array from 10,000 RPM 
76GB SCSI disks to 10,000RPM 300GB. The price of buying disks directly 
from SUN is twice than if I buy the disks from ebay or some place,  
attach the caddy's pulled out of old disks and slap them back in. Is there 
any catch in doing this? I am not concerned about SUN not replacing 
failed disks.

Blab-away for as little as 1"/min. Make  PC-to-Phone Calls using Yahoo! Messenger with Voice.
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Received on Mon May 22 08:37:43 2006

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