Drive life…

February 20th, 2007 by Chris

As queued by Slashdot, I found an excellent summary (thanks StorageMojo) of a paper presented at the USENIX conference. The paper, which wonthe Best Paper Award, is titled, Disk Failures in the Real World: What Does an MTTF of 1,000,000 Hours Mean to You?.

A summary of the summary:

  • Vendor MTBF numbers can be off by as much as 15 times (on average 3 times)
  • Consumer drives and enterprise drives have similar failure rates (despite very different advertised failure rates)
  • Drive failures don’t follow infant mortality or burn-in patterns, but increase as a function of time
  • Complex RAID systems are not as secure as you might think, since the failure of one drive is likely to indicate that the failure of another drive is coming soon

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