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Data Storage

Submission + - Disk drive failures 15 times what vendors say

sysrammer writes: "Computerworld has an article on disk drive failures from the 5th USENIX Conference on File and Storage Technologies in San Jose, showing, among other things, "no evidence that Fibre Channel (FC) drives are any more reliable than less expensive but slower performing Serial ATA (SATA) drives", and that "that temperature seems to have little effect on drive reliability" (it looks like they're talking about temps closer to the upper operational limit, not catastrophic a/c failures, etc.). FTA: "About 100,000 disks are covered by this data, some for an entire lifetime of five years. The data include drives with SCSI and FC, as well as SATA interfaces. The mean time to failure (MTTF) of those drives, as specified in their datasheets, ranges from 1,000,000 to 1,500,000 hours, suggesting a nominal annual failure rate of at most 0.88%. We find that in the field, annual disk replacement rates typically exceed 1%, with 2-4% common and up to 13% observed on some systems. This suggests that field replacement is a fairly different process than one might predict based on datasheet MTTF." The authors did not identify particular vendors vs. the drive stats...their goal "is not choosing the best and the worst vendors but to help them to improve drive design and testing". Another note is that the study shows disk replacement rates, not necessarily actual failure. The article is at... http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?com mand=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9012066&source=NLT _AM&nlid=1 ...and the Usenix site is here... http://www.usenix.org/events/fast07/tech/schroeder .html mp"

Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards. -- Aldous Huxley