Favorite Hard Drives for Surveillance 2012

Author: Ethan Ace, Published on Mar 11, 2012

Hard drive failure is perhaps the number one cause of lost video in a surveillance system. But which hard drive manufacturer, if any, is most reliable? Are all hard drives the same? As part of our Winter 2012 Integrator Survey, we asked 100 integrators what their preferred hard drive for surveillance was.

The Responses

Here is a visual breakdown of the top choices:

Among those with a preference, more integrators chose Western Digital, at 27%, than any other. Seagate was second, at 23%. Hitachi was a distant third, with 6%. A few other manufacturers received a mention, though none managed to gather more than 1%.

What is striking, though not surprising, about these responses, is the percentage of integrators with no preference: 28%. Other questions of favorites in our surveys had almost no "no preference" responses. The reasons for this become evident when we look at the quotes from these integrators.

Western Digital

Western Digital, alone with Seagate, is undoubtedly one of the giants of the storage industry. It's therefore not surprising to see them as the most-mentioned manufacturer. Here are comments from integrators preferring Western Digital:

  • "WD Black, best reliability so far."
  • "Western Digital Black Enterprise. Great Warranty. Failure rate less than 3%"
  • "We use Western Digital RE4 or Caviar Black hard drives. Supposedly the RE4's are designed for 24/7 enterprise operation and will stand up to the rigors of constant usage. We have been falling back on the Caviar Blacks as of late because of the speed, reliability and lower price point. With the hard drive prices the RE4 drives are just too expensive."
  • "We've found the Western Digital Caviar Black drives to be fairly reliable and cost-effective (short of going to server-grade drives)."
  • "Western Digital Raptor Series, 10K rpm good value for smaller camera counts."

The Caviar Black line, a SATA desktop hard drive, was the most mentioned Western Digital model, followed by the RE-4 Enterprise Drive.

Seagate

Much like Western Digital, those preferring Seagate recommended them for their performance and reliability:

Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox
Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox

  • "Seagate: Best reliability and RMA procedure. Have used various brands before: Western Digital, Hitachi but these just never performed well for us."
  • "Seagate. I've worked in IT before surveillance and they have always been the most reliable."
  • "I prefer Seagate SV35 since manufacturer claims it is manufactured for professional security."
  • "Seagate Constellation ES - We have found these to be extremely reliable, there not the cheapest though. We generally configure them with a good quality 8 lane raid card (again not cheap) and enable write cache and as big a stripe as the raid card will allow. Its very important to use a battery module on the raid card when doing this."
  • "I have had great luck with the Security designed Seagate hard drives. That isn't to say there aren't equals or better options but thus far Seagate has been solid."

The Seagate SV35 and Constellation Series were both popular among respondents.

Hitachi

Finally, respondents had much the same to say about Hitachi:

  • "I like Hitachi, I get a lot of failures with Seagates for some reason. Western Digital fails too. But I think it is just bad luck. For instance I had some cheap consumer seagates that last forever and enterprise level seagate drives that died after a few months"
  • "Hitachi Ultrastar or Western Digital Black series. Reputation for reliability."

No Preference

28% of respondents had no preference in hard drives. The main reason for this was that they simply used whatever was supplied with their DVR/NVR or server:

  • "No preference. We typically use Dell servers and get the extended warranty for hard drive replacement."
  • "No preference - we typically use HP branded product to match our standard IT systems. Their hard drive vendors vary."
  • "no preference it is already installed"
  • "We use whatever the storage provider ships us."

Others simply viewed the major manufacturers as equal:

  • "I have no preferences in manufacturers. But since we work mostly with Milestone I prefer to have 10k rpm live disc. For archiving 7200 is sufficient. I can't think of any manufacturer better than another, all major manufacturers have about the same quality and sometimes they all release a bad model, there is no way to tell in advance. As long as they have good warranties we're fine."
  • "No preference. As long as the Hard Drive is surveillance rated."
  • "It doesn't matter as long as it's an enterprise harddrive"

Failure Rates

Interestingly, when looking at responses, no one manufacturer stood out as having higher reported failure rates than others. Western Digital, Seagate, and Hitachi all received about the same number of comments about being prone to failure. We suspect that this may mean that any of these three top choices are relatively safe.

Trends

These preferences remained fairly unchanged across all average system sizes. Integrators' leaning towards analog or IP cameras also had trivial effect.

3 reports cite this report:

Favorite Video Surveillance Hard Drive Manufacturer 2018 on Nov 06, 2018
Who is the favorite hard drive for video surveillance use? 150+ integrators answered: What is your preferred brand/model of hard drive for...
Favorite Video Surveillance Hard Drive Statistics 2016: Seagate vs WD on Aug 01, 2016
What is the favorite hard drive for video surveillance integrators? Two manufacturers stood out, Seagate and WD but one of them trounced the...
Video Surveillance Statistics Directory Vol 2 on Mar 18, 2012
In this report, we aggregate and present numerous statistics about how surveillance is being used in the real world. Recently, we conducted an in...
Comments : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Ex-Integrator Now Growth Strategist Interviewed on Apr 24, 2019
For more than a decade, Scot MacTaggart was a security integrator (at PA-based PSX). In late 2018, he left the industry. He is now a Growth...
Arecont Favorability Results 2019 on Apr 22, 2019
Arecont's net negativity remained the same in IPVM's 2019 integrator study, though integrator's feeling became relatively more neutral compared to...
H.265 Usage Statistics on Apr 19, 2019
H.265 has been available in IP cameras for more than 5 years and, in the past few years, the number of manufacturers supporting this codec has...
Securadyne CEO: IPVM 'Entertaining For An Ignorant Few' on Apr 16, 2019
Securadyne's CEO Carey Boethel is unhappy with IPVM's report - Failed Integrator Rollup, Securadyne Sells to Guard Giant Allied. Indeed, he...
Strong ISC West 2019 For Manufacturers But Concerns For 2020 March Move on Apr 16, 2019
ISC West 2019 was strong for manufacturers, according to new IPVM survey results of 100+ manufacturers, consistent with 2018 results. However,...
Alarm.com Favorability Results 2019 on Apr 15, 2019
The once dot com startup has evolved to become a core provider for home security and is now expanding into commercial. In their first entry in...
ISC West 2019 Report on Apr 12, 2019
The IPVM team has finished at the Sands looking at what companies are offering and how they are changing their positioning. See below for 50+...
Failed Integrator Rollup, Securadyne Sells to Guard Giant Allied on Apr 09, 2019
One of the most ambitious integrator rollups of the decade has reached its conclusion—selling to a mega guard company. Allied Universal has...
Dahua Favorability Results 2019 on Apr 01, 2019
Dahua favorability declined, in IPVM's 2019 integrator favorability series, driven by their backdoors, resulting in mass hacking and US government...
HTTPS / SSL Video Surveillance Usage Statistics on Apr 01, 2019
HTTPS / SSL / TLS usage has become commonplace for websites to improve security and, in particular, to help mitigate attackers reading or modifying...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Verkada Salesman: IPVM "Stuck In A The Stone Age" on Apr 25, 2019
Verkada is 'tackling dinosaurs' and battling those, like IPVM, who are 'stuck in a the stone age'. Verkada's recent sales recruiting promotion...
The HIVIDEO $31 Face Detection DVR Tested on Apr 25, 2019
Face detection in a $31 DVR? That is what "HIVIDEO" (not to be confused with Hikvision, even if the company intends to do that) was promoting at...
Amazon Marketing Pro Installs of Amazon Security Systems on Apr 25, 2019
Is Amazon a threat to conventional providers like ADT, Vivint and Brinks Home Security? Many say no. Now, Amazon is advertising free in-home...
Ex-Integrator Now Growth Strategist Interviewed on Apr 24, 2019
For more than a decade, Scot MacTaggart was a security integrator (at PA-based PSX). In late 2018, he left the industry. He is now a Growth...
19 Facial Recognition Providers Profiled on Apr 23, 2019
IPVM interviewed 19 facial recognition providers at ISC West to understand their claimed accuracy, success and positioning. 9 from China, where...
Locking Down Network Connections Guide on Apr 23, 2019
Accidents and inside attacks are risks when network connections are not locked down. Security and video surveillance systems should be protected...
Hikvision Admits USA Sales Falling on Apr 22, 2019
Hikvision, in a new Chinese financial filing, has admitted that its USA sales are now falling. Less than a year after the US government passed a...
Speco Ultra Intensifier Tested on Apr 22, 2019
While ISC West 2019 named Speco's Ultra Intensifier the best new "Video Surveillance Cameras IP", IPVM testing shows the camera suffers from...
Arecont Favorability Results 2019 on Apr 22, 2019
Arecont's net negativity remained the same in IPVM's 2019 integrator study, though integrator's feeling became relatively more neutral compared to...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact