Tuesday, May 9, 2006

Hard Disk Reliability

James Wiebe analyzes the relative reliabilities of different hard drive configurations (via Dave Nanian). The short summary is what you’d expect—RAID is good, mirroring is better, and non-redundant multi-drive enclosures are bad—but Wiebe’s white paper will give some insight into how good and bad. These are relative reliabilities because Wiebe based them on a 2%/year Hard Drive Failure Rate, which he made up based on his experience because, as he notes, published MTBF figures don’t take into account a variety of real-world problems that can cause drive failure.

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