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Reprise: Hard Drive Failure Rates

 
 
Lawrence D'Oliveiro
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      05-17-2009
<http://blogs.computerworld.com/node/5038>

Old blog entry, pointing to two papers published over two years ago, but I
think the points bear repeating:

* Workload doesn't make much difference to overall drive life, except for
infant-mortality rates. Even if they run slightly hot, that doesn't seem to
hurt.
* SMART predicts less than 50% of drive failures. It's not worth relying on.
* Expensive "enterprise" drives aren't significantly more reliable than
cheaper "consumer" drives.
* The basic assumption of RAID--that drive failures are independent--is
flawed.
* In any case, drive reliability is way less than the manufacturers would
have you believe.

Drive failure rates do increase over time, but I don't think this justifies
the policy some have of unconditionally replacing a drive when it's x years
old. I figure, the difference isn't enough to allow me to relax on backups
with newer drives, so since I've got the backups, why not just keep using
the older drive until it fails?

 
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Gordon
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      05-17-2009
On 2009-05-17, Lawrence D'Oliveiro <(E-Mail Removed)_zealand> wrote:
><http://blogs.computerworld.com/node/5038>
>
> Old blog entry, pointing to two papers published over two years ago, but I
> think the points bear repeating:
>
> * Workload doesn't make much difference to overall drive life, except for
> infant-mortality rates. Even if they run slightly hot, that doesn't seem to
> hurt.
> * SMART predicts less than 50% of drive failures. It's not worth relying on.
> * Expensive "enterprise" drives aren't significantly more reliable than
> cheaper "consumer" drives.
> * The basic assumption of RAID--that drive failures are independent--is
> flawed.


The basic assumption is that one drive will fail before the others. RAID 1
is an auto backup.


 
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