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Access "Disk drive failure rates: Fact or fiction?"

Published: 20 Oct 2012

Rrecent independent studies from Google and Carnegie Mellon University have concluded that disk drive failure rates are considerably higher than the rates reported by disk drive manufacturers. But, it turns out, many users may not care. At a Usenix conference in San Jose, CA, this past February, Google released its study, which found an 8% annual failure rate for drives in service for two years. That's one out of every 12 drives. Manufacturers claim the mean time to failure (MTTF) of Fibre Channel (FC) and SATA drives ranges between 1,000,000 and 1,500,000 hours, suggesting a normal annual failure rate of 0.88%. "Typically, this problem does not hit home for me because vendor support contracts offset the cost associated with the drive replacements," says Earl Hartsell, senior IT analyst at Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Marietta, GA. "It would take a relatively large increase in support costs for this problem to become a pain point." Similarly, Mark Holt, information technology specialist at Media General in Richmond, VA, says failure rates help manufacturers ... Access >>>

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