Failure Trends in a Large Disk Drive Population
Eduardo Pinheiro, Wolf-Dietrich Weber and Luiz Andr´e Barroso
1600 Amphitheatre Pkwy
Mountain View, CA 94043
It is estimated that over 90% of all new information produced
in the world is being stored on magnetic media, most of it on
hard disk drives. Despite their importance, there is relatively
little published work on the failure patterns of disk drives, and
the key factors that affect their lifetime. Most available data
are either based on extrapolation from accelerated aging experiments
or from relatively modest sized field studies. Moreover,
larger population studies rarely have the infrastructure in place
to collect health signals from components in operation, which
is critical information for detailed failure analysis.
We present data collected from detailed observations of a
large disk drive population in a production Internet services deployment.
The population observed is many times larger than
that of previous studies. In addition to presenting failure statistics,
we analyze the correlation between failures and several
parameters generally believed to impact longevity.
Our analysis identifies several parameters from the drive’s
self monitoring facility (SMART) that correlate highly with
failures. Despite this high correlation, we conclude that models
based on SMART parameters alone are unlikely to be useful
for predicting individual drive failures. Surprisingly, we found
that temperature and activity levels were much less correlated
with drive failures than previously reported.
The tremendous advances in low-cost, high-capacity
magnetic disk drives have been among the key factors
helping establish a modern society that is deeply reliant
on information technology. High-volume, consumergrade
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