Though not required for normal operation, HDDs enable the storage of recordings from Protect and Access, and voicemails from Talk.
We recommend using a UniFi 8TB HDD for most devices except for the Cloud Key Gen2 Plus which has a smaller 2.5" HDD bay (instead of 3.5").
For the Cloud Key, we recommend using the drive shipped natively with your equipment. If you ever replace it, the Toshiba 2.5" MQ01ABD100V appears most stable according to internal testing.
Using High-Performance Surveillance Drives
High-performance surveillance drives are required to support the continuous read and write operations associated with recording and watching video. These are designated as CMR drives and typically have speeds of 7200RPM. SMR drives are not recommended because of their reduced read/write speeds, and their shorter lifespan. Slow or broken drives can lead to reduced performance, loss of data, or even system crashes.
Optimizing HDD Health
HDDs are electromechanical devices that must eventually be replaced because they naturally degrade over time. Components may wear out, files may become corrupted, and memory units (sectors) may become damaged. This may prevent you from obtaining stored data, or saving new data. Nonetheless, you can maximize health in a variety of ways:
- Maintain a cool operating temperature - In addition to putting more stress on the components, high heat also slows down HDD writing speeds and causes an increased rate of errors.
- Avoid unexpected shutdowns - Power outages and improper shutdowns stop drives in mid-operation can result in data corruption and and unnecessary HDD stress. We recommend using our UniFi Mission Critical or Power Backup for uninterrupted operation.
- Minimize contact with dust and liquids - These may damage internal components and prevent normal functionality.
Data Redundancy and RAID
RAID refers to a Redundant Array of Independent Disks. This is a means of protecting your stored data against any HDD failures. There are multiple RAID configurations.
- RAID 10 - Offers the best combined fault tolerance and overall performance, but this requires at least four HDDs and data duplication means that total storage space is reduced to half.
- RAID 1 - Offers similar fault tolerance to RAID 10, requires only two HDDs, but has slightly lower performance. Data is also duplicated so total storage is reduced to half.
- RAID 5 - Although less performant and resilient than the other options, this only requires three HDDs and data is not completely duplicated so you will retain a higher proportion of your maximum storage space.
RAID requires all drives to be the same size. If they are not, a RAID will be created using the minimum common size. For example, a 1TB HDD and an 8TB HDD configured for RAID 1 would result in the ability to store 1TB of data.
The following is a list of 3.5” drives that are confirmed to be incompatible with our UniFi OS Consoles:
|SkyHawk||ST10000VX0004||10TB||Does not fit the drive tray.|
|Ultrathin||ST500LT032||500GB||Does not have bottom screws.|
|Western Digital||UltraSlim||WD5000MPCK||500GB||Does not have bottom screws and connectors do not fit the tray.|
|Any||SMR Drives||Any||Drives fit the tray but cause issues.|
If you have questions about a particular hard drive or need help choosing a hard drive, please reach out to the Ubiquiti Community for insights and recommendations.