Characterizing the Evolution of Disk Attributes via Absorbing Markov Chains

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Publish Date: 
Monday, September 19, 2016
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The life cycle of any physical device is a series of transitions from an initial healthy state to ultimate failure. Since Markov chains are a general method for modeling state transitions, they can effectively model the transitions as well as life expectancy. As a specific example, HDD life cycle can be analyzed by developing a Markov model from various disk indicators (e.g. medium errors, RAS, usage). An illustration is given wherein the evolution of medium errors in HDDs is modeled by an absorbing Markov chain. Examples of methods to employ the information contained in the Markov chain are provided.

Learning Objectives

understand how a Markov chain may be used to model a variety of disk qualities/errors
understand the types of business/operations related answer such a model provides
gain insight into how one can employ such information to develop flexible business rules