Reprise: Hard Drive Failure Rates

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by Lawrence D'Oliveiro, May 17, 2009.

  1. <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?
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, May 17, 2009
    #1
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  2. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    Gordon Guest

    On 2009-05-17, Lawrence D'Oliveiro <_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.
    Gordon, May 17, 2009
    #2
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