My previous media server is reaching the end of its life, 5 years of problem free storage until recently a couple drives started showing some errors and PATA drives, along with my 5yr old CPU socket, have since gone the way of the Dodo. So a great excuse for a new build.

My build was based on a need for reliability, speed, running cool and quiet with low power and of course security (in that order) for my storage. So I decided to step up and build out a RAID array with ZFS on top of LUKS (whole disk) within a Hardened Gentoo build.

Keeping that in mind here are the final build specs:

Motherboard: +ASUS  P8H67-M PRO/CSM, Micro ATX form factor with 2 6Gb SATA and 2 3Gb SATA
Processor: Intel Core i7 3770K 3.5GHz
Water Cooler: +Thermaltake Germany  TTPro (2x120mm fans + radiator + closed loop)
CPU Memory: 32GB Kingston 1333 (CAS 9-9-9-24)
Boot/Root/Swap: +Samsung USA  SATA III 6Gb/s 250GB SSD (supports AES-256 on-board)
Data Storage: 4 x 3TB +Western Digital RED Drives (WD30EFRX)
Case: +Corsair Vengeance C70 (steel + handles + 6 3.5" drive bays + fan mounts everywhere
Power Supply: +Coolermaster Deutschland 650W (only one with 6 SATA on hand at Microcenter)
Backup Power: APC UPS BR700G (450W)

During the overnight memtest burn in (stress test) of the Kingston RAM there were no issues and the system ran cool (< 45C) for the whole test. During my build of Gentoo, the CPU stayed below 40C and power usage didn't go above 110W as reported by my UPS. When idle, the system uses around 77W of power and remains around 31C. The drives remain around 29C. A great testament to the effectiveness of the Thermaltake water cooler and the airflow of the Corsair C70 case.

Now all of this is fine and dandy and it is amazing how fast Gentoo builds. However, I have had two of the Western Digital RED drives die in the past 24 hours. The first one gave out during the LUKS + ZFS build causing all sorts of I/O issues and unrecoverable degradation of the RAID resulting in the ASUS BIOS to report S.M.A.R.T. failure on next boot with the dire message of "backup and replace" (thanks ASUS!) I tested this drive on another system and it reports 860GB of storage available and no S.M.A.R.T. The second drive croaked this morning and now reports a total available capacity of 600,332,565,813,390,450 bytes [600 PB] via smartctl and scsiPrintSasPhy Log Sense Failed [scsi response fails sanity test].

I started an RMA on the first dead drive last night but my confidence in storing anything on these WD RED's is very low right now. I think I need to engage Western Digital to replace this whole batch. This is the first time I've used WD in ages, has anyone else had this happen to them with WD? I know the WD RED drives are intended for small NAS in SOHO environments but is there that much of a difference in quality from the Enterprise grade SATA III drives like the +Samsung USA / +Seagate Barracuda's?
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