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.

2 reports cite this report:

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

Security Camera Cleaning Frequency Statistics on Apr 18, 2018
150+ integrators told IPVM how often they clean cameras on customer's sites and why.  Inside we examine their answers and break down feedback...
Worst Access Control 2018 on Apr 18, 2018
Three access control providers stood out as providing the most problems for integrators. In this report, we analyze the answers to: "In the...
Arecont CEO And President Resign on Apr 17, 2018
This is good news for Arecont. Arecont's problems have been well known for years (e.g., most recently Worst Camera Manufacturers 2018 and starting...
Strong ISC West 2018, Says Manufacturers, GSX / ASIS Expected Weaker on Apr 17, 2018
Manufacturers say ISC West 2018 was strong, continuing the trend we have seen in 2017 results and 2016 results. However, those same 100...
Best and Worst ISC West 2018 on Apr 16, 2018
ISC West 2018 had strong attendance, modest overall new products, and a surge in Artificial Intelligence marketing. First, here are 20+...
GDPR For Video Surveillance Guide on Apr 12, 2018
The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force on May 25, but there is much confusion and no clear guidelines on...
Axis Launches ~$100 HD Camera on Apr 11, 2018
Chinese manufacturers, led by Hikvision, have come to dominate the low end of the Western market, driven by ~$100 cameras. While Axis has...
Average Access Control Project Size 2018 on Apr 10, 2018
  The most common access control project size is 5 - 16 doors per project. This 2018 result mirrors previous statistics, most recently in 2016...
Favorite Video Analytic Manufacturers 2018 on Apr 02, 2018
Video analytics is one of the biggest trends in 2018, driven by marketing for Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning. But what do integrators...
Stats: Disclosing Vulnerabilities Responsibility? Researcher or Manufacturer on Mar 30, 2018
Getting prompt and appropriate information on vulnerabilities is important for integrators and end users to ensure that their systems are best...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Last Chance - April 2018 IP Networking Course on Apr 19, 2018
Today is the last day to register for our IP Networking course. Register now. NEW - 2 sessions per class, 'day' and 'night' to give you double...
Rare Video Surveillance Fundraising - Verkada $15 Million on Apr 19, 2018
Fundraising in video surveillance (and the broader physical security market) has been poor recently. Highlights are few and far in between...
'Best In Show' Fails on Apr 19, 2018
ISC West's "Best In Show" has failed. For more than a decade, it has become increasingly irrelevant as the selections exhibit a cartoon level...
Security Camera Cleaning Frequency Statistics on Apr 18, 2018
150+ integrators told IPVM how often they clean cameras on customer's sites and why.  Inside we examine their answers and break down feedback...
Worst Access Control 2018 on Apr 18, 2018
Three access control providers stood out as providing the most problems for integrators. In this report, we analyze the answers to: "In the...
Axis VMD4 Analytics Tested on Apr 17, 2018
Axis is now on its 4th generation of video motion detection (VMD), which Axis calls "a free video analytics application." In this generation, Axis...
Arecont CEO And President Resign on Apr 17, 2018
This is good news for Arecont. Arecont's problems have been well known for years (e.g., most recently Worst Camera Manufacturers 2018 and starting...
Strong ISC West 2018, Says Manufacturers, GSX / ASIS Expected Weaker on Apr 17, 2018
Manufacturers say ISC West 2018 was strong, continuing the trend we have seen in 2017 results and 2016 results. However, those same 100...
Key Control For Access Control Tutorial on Apr 16, 2018
End users spend thousands on advanced systems to keep themselves secure, but regularly neglect one of the lest expensive yet most important aspects...
Best and Worst ISC West 2018 on Apr 16, 2018
ISC West 2018 had strong attendance, modest overall new products, and a surge in Artificial Intelligence marketing. First, here are 20+...

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