SMR and ZFS: please, don't mix

You may already know what is ZFS. Maybe you don’t know what is SMR, or Shingled Magnetic Recording.

Long story short: a drive which performs SMR as writing system overlaps tracks between them for increase the space available on the magnetic drive. For writing it in the correct way, the data is stored into a cache, then written when the drive is ready to take care of that.
Yes, it slows the writing speed. A lot.
Compared to CMR (conventional magnetic recording) or PMR (perpendicular magnetic recording) the peak latency is increased from 0.1 sec to 1.3 secs!. If you can hear something distant, it’s the echo of my jaw hitting the floor.
Putting into another example (took from LTT video, coming from a IT specialist ):
the rebuild of a 1 4TB disk out of 8 disks ZFS array tooks 16 hours with CMR/PMR, it took 9.5 *days with an SMR drive. Not just Bad, but Hyper-cube-bad-squared. And cube at the end.

Synology took the occasion for say “hey WD, your Red drives with SMR are not good for us”.
I can understand why (seems that maybe even other FS do not like so much DM-SMR drives)
Some more links…

Buy smart your next drive, buddies… And be prepared: class action is coming.


Oh, great. We’ll get a few pennies for our crappy drives and a coupon for 10% off MSRP for our next WD purchase.

Maybe. Maybe not. My hope is for having a “nice” coupon for gifted SMR-Free Drives NAS-Level.
Reason? They publicized a product with an issue for the publicized destination.
Did WD created “colors” for segments? Yes. Did they sold an unsuitable device for the use advertized? Yes. Did they lied to the customers? Yes. Does the customer deserve a “suitable” drive for the use? IMVHO totally. Of course, i am biased.

1 Like

Stumbled on the same article (by servethehome) the last weekend after noticing same capacity WD Red drives but with different Part Numbers while searching for a NAS and drives for it…

Here’s an article with a simplified explanation of PMR/CMR, SMR… technologies:

1 Like

Seems like WD have released a new product description