White label vs. Recertified hard drives

White label vs. Recertified hard drives

White label, or Recertified 🤔

You may be wondering; what is the difference between a white label and a recertified drive? I completely understand this question!

Explainer 📖

I am going to try to explain it as good as possible, but if you still have questions afterwards, then don’t hesitate to contact us.

Recertified drives

A factory recertified drive is a drive that was returned by for example a hyperscaler, and may have no fault found, an easily correctable error or may have zero power on hours (POH) and be 100% error free.

For example, HPE may have a 3% threshold for their newly ordered drives, and when they receive the drives, they take a sample of 10% out of let’s say 5000 hard drives they’ve ordered. When they experience a 3.5% lot failure test rate, the lot is rejected. So I see you thinking; “because 18 drives out of 500 failed, they return all 5000 drives?” Yes, indeed. Here’s why:

Due to the drives having been invoiced under a specific serial number, it can not be resold as a new drive so the manufacturer runs the drives through its test process which is also used for new drives. Those that pass the new drive test criteria are recertified as factory recertified hard drives.

Since the drives has been tested twice by the test process we actually see lower return rates that we do for new drives.

This is how a recertified drive looks like:

White label drives

A factory white label is a drive could be a drive that has for example been de-stroked (platter disabled) to a lower capacity or needed another mechanical repair. The drive goes through the same test sequence as a recertified or new drive. So it’s ticking all the boxes. ✅

This is how a white label drive looks like:

RMA rates
In terms of RMA rates, the same % applies to both. However, that is if the drive is used as intended. I would not recommend using a WL drive in a high compute virtualized environment.

To conclude

In the end, it’s up to you whether you rather buy new drives at a higher cost (€€€), a recertified drive (€€) or white label drive (€). 
But, don’t forget, all hard drives can break! It’s a matter of trade-offs between costs and the warranty period.

I hope this explanation helped you to better understand the difference and helps you in your purchase decision.

- Bram


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