Google’s disk failure experience

Wed, 2011-12-21 22:06 by admin

by Robin Harris

Read an overview at StorageMojo

Google released a fascinating research paper titled "Failure Trends in a Large Disk Drive Population" (PDF) at this years File and Storage Technologies (FAST ’07) conference. Google collected data on a population of 100,000 disk drives, analyzed it, and wrote it up for our delectation.

In yet another twist of consumer-driven IT, the disks Google studied, PATA and SATA drives, are the same drives you and I would buy for personal use. As an ironic result, we now have better data on drive failures for cheap drives than the enterprise does for its much costlier FC and SCSI “enterprise” disks with their much higher MTBFs.

Google found surprising results in five areas:

  • The validity of manufacturer’s MTBF specs
  • The usefulness of SMART statistics
  • Workload and drive life
  • Age and drive failure
  • Temperature and drive failure

I’ll give you the skinny on each after a note about MTBF and AFR. …

Read an overview at StorageMojo