What Can One Billion Hours of Spinning Hard Drives Tell Us?

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Publish Date: 
Monday, September 19, 2016
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Over the past 3 years we’ve been collecting daily SMART stats from the 60,000+ hard drives in our data center. These drives have over one billion hours of operation on them. We have data from over 20 drive models from all major hard drive manufacturers and we’d like to share what we’ve learned. We’ll start with annual failure rates of the different drive models. Then we’ll look at the failure curve over time, does it follow the “bathtub curve” as we expect. We’ll finish by looking a couple of SMART stats to see if they can reliably predict drive failure. Learning Objectives What is the annual failure rate of commonly used hard drives? Do hard drives follow a predictable pattern of failure over time? How reliable are drive SMART stats in predicting drive failure?