Disk drive failure rates: Fact or fiction?

Maitland, Jo
April 2007
Storage Magazine;Apr2007, Vol. 6 Issue 2, p10
The article discusses independent studies by Google and Carnegie Mellon University on disk drive failure rates and the reaction of users about it. Both studies found that disk drive failure rates were considerably higher than those reported by disk drive manufacturers but many users do not care about the news. In its study, Google found an 8% annual failure rate for drives in service for two years while manufacturers suggest a normal annual failure rate of 0.88%. Carnegie Mellon's study concludes that failure rates are sometimes 13 times greater than a vendor's published claims. However, Earl Hartsell of Solvay Pharmaceuticals says that vendor support offsets the costs associated with drive replacements, while Mark Holt at Media General says it means nothing to the user.


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